[Field's] starting to string together some really good at-bats and finally connected for the first time this year. And at the time that was a huge home run for us — it gave us a lead that we held for the rest of the game. —Keith Johnson, Salt Lake Bees manager
SALT LAKE CITY — With his first home run of the season, Salt Lake Bees infielder Tommy Field sparked his team to a 4-2 victory over the Fresno Grizzlies at Spring Mobile Ballpark on Friday evening.
Field's homer, a two-run shot to left field in the fifth inning, drove home Matt Long and gave the Bees a narrow but sustainable lead in a low-scoring win.
“He’s starting to get his timing back,” Bees manager Keith Johnson said, referring to Field’s return after suffering a broken right middle finger at the end of April.
“He’s starting to string together some really good at-bats and finally connected for the first time this year,” Johnson continued. “And at the time that was a huge home run for us — it gave us a lead that we held for the rest of the game.”
Field was called to the Los Angeles Angels on April 20 before returning to the Bees just four days later. He was placed on the disabled list just four days after that and has now been back on the field for two weeks.
Since Field’s return, the middle infielder has hit .256, with his best performance — a 2-for-3 night with two RBIs and a run scored — materializing Friday.
“He and (Andrew) Romine and (Luis) Jimenez, all these guys went up and just sat the bench for periods of time in the big leagues and then Tommy got hurt,” Johnson said. “When you get injured you hate missing time, but getting the opportunity to play everyday and work your way back into the fold, try and put up some numbers here, and, more importantly, get consistent.”
After Fresno pulled within a run in the top of the eighth inning, Jimenez knocked his own home run over the center-field fence to secure the win and avoid giving up a late lead as the Bees did the previous night.
“That’s a huge home run by Jimenez in the eighth inning to get that run back and make it a two-run lead instead of letting them carry that momentum into the ninth inning,” Johnson said.
“Today we had the potentially to do that (give up the lead), too, late in the game,” the manager added. “But our pitchers did a good job of making pitches and we made the plays behind them for the most part.”
Starter A.J. Schugel earned the win, improving to 3-4 with eight strikeouts and one earned run in seven innings. Jimenez finished 2 for 3 from the plate with two RBIs and one run scored as the Bees improve to 30-32 on the season and 1-1 against the Grizzlies.
Sarah Thomas is a graduate of the University of Utah and has been covering sports for the Deseret News since 2008. EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org