Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY— Matt Long hasn't yet got the call-up to join the Los Angeles Angels, but that doesn't deter the second baseman from contributing to the Bees.
Long is riding a 10-game hitting streak, extending the run in Sunday's 14-9 loss to Tacoma. Long nearly lifted the ball over the fence for a possible three-run shot, but the ball just clipped the top of the fence.
At the ripe age of 25, Long is enjoying his time in Salt Lake and most notably the familiarity he has with some players in the clubhouse.
"I'm having a blast," explained Long. "I love the city, love the stadium along with all the fans, and a lot of guys I've played with, and a lot of guys I hadn't but everyone has been really good."
The familiarity goes beyond just the players on the roster, as a few members of the coaching staff have had the chance to watch his PCL career blossom.
"I played under Keith Johnson a little bit in Rancho Cucamonga, and been with (Francisco) Matos in Double-A and they're all great," noted Long. "They are really good at coaching the game and translating what you need to do."
Playing at the four position is something new for Long, but he admitted that the managers have been a huge part of helping with the learning curve associated with the position change.
"They know the game and know how to teach it, especially for me to be in a new position, KJ has been huge."
Johnson was the first to admit that his position is tough to learn, and opponents are always looking for ways to exploit your every weakness.
"Trying how to learn second base at the Triple-A level is tough," said Bees manager Keith Johnson. "If you leave a little bit of the door open, someone is going to kick it down, so to speak."
NOTEBOOK: Luis Jimenez was feeling it Sunday, going 4-for-5 with two RBIs, two runs scored and a double. Mike Wilson led Tacoma with four doubles, along with three RBIs. Salt Lake saw five pitchers take the mound in the loss.
POWER RESTORED: In his first at bat Sunday, Paul McAnulty ripped a home run off the light pole in right field. It was a welcome sign after going homerless Saturday night at home for the first time in eight games.
'SAL GOOD:Kole Calhoun has struggled in the five-game series versus Tacoma by going 2-for-17. The outfielder will look to bounce-back in the next series at Reno, but not before making the journey East for his first PCL All-Star game.
ATTENDANCE: A small crowd of 4,142 took shelter in the shade, while temperatures nearly reached triple digits at Sunday's ballgame.
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