Salt Lake Bees: Third baseman Luis Jimenez ready for anything this season

Published: Friday, April 5 2013 9:57 p.m. MDT

Bees' Luis Jimenez hits as the Salt Lake Bees play the Tucson Padres in the season opener Thursday, April 4, 2013, in Salt Lake City.

Tom Smart, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — Luis Jimenez is, for lack of a better term, rising.

The 24-year-old is coming off a terrific 2012 season, when the third baseman led the Bees in doubles, total bases and RBIs.

Earlier this spring, he received the 2013 Fred Haney Award as the Angel's spring training rookie of the year.

It's just work for Jimenez, who summed it up in the simplest of terms.

"All we’ve got to do is come do our thing," said Jimenez. "That's what we are here for, just to come and play baseball and do the best we can."

Jimenez's team hosted Tucson on Friday for the second of a four-game series in Utah. The Bees prevailed with a late 2-1 victory at Spring Mobile Ballpark.

A consistent anchor at his position for Salt Lake, Jimenez led all PCL third basemen in 2012 with a .947 fielding percentage. Fans can expect similar results from Jimenez, who says that as long as he is healthy there should be nothing other than good results.

"This season I want to have a good year and stay healthy — kind of like last year, when I stayed healthy the whole season," said Jimenez.

BUCKNER DEBUT: Salt Lake pitcher Billy Buckner made his debut in a Bees uniform Friday, striking out five batters while giving up three hits and one run through five innings. Buckner went 8-6 last season for the Pawtucket Red Sox, pitching a 3.91 ERA in the 2012 campaign.

CALHOUN INJURED: Late in Thursday's season-opening win at Spring Mobile Ballpark, Kole Calhoun sustained a fractured hamate in his right hand, which could potentially leave him out 4-6 weeks. The outfielder could be sorely missed, having hit .298 with 14 home runs and 73 RBIs in 2012. Calhoun was also called up for 23 games with the Halos a year ago.

TURNING TWO: In front of a rather small crowd of 3,547 fans, the Bees were able to force a pair of double-plays.

BEELINES

Bees 2, Padres 1

In short: Kyle Banks put Tucson on the board in the first inning with an RBI double. Salt Lake answered in the bottom of the fifth with a John Hester RBI double to even things up. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Hester was able to cross home plate after a wild pitch for the game's winning run.

Bees manager Keith Johnson's take: "The guys are playing well, and doing what it takes to win a ballgame."

Record: 2-0

Up next: vs. Tucson, today, 6:35 p.m. Padres LHP Robbie Erlin vs. Bees RHP A.J. Schugel

Next homestand: April 8-11 vs Reno (Diamondbacks).

Conner has worked for the Deseret News Sports Desk since 2008 covering HS Sports, Salt Lake Bees and Real Salt Lake. Email: cjohnson@deseretnews.com; Twitter: TheConner88

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