Tom Smart, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — When Sacramento opened its game against the Salt Lake Bees with a triple and a two-run home run, it seemed the only solution would be to chase the long ball.
Fortunately for the Bees, they did just that.
Behind Trent Oeltjen’s two home runs and another by John Hester, Salt Lake managed to bury the River Cats 11-6 Wednesday night.
It was the first time the Bees scored 10 or more runs in back-to-back games this season.
Oeltjen’s homer in his first at-bat of the game erased the two-run deficit to start the bottom of the second inning, giving the Bees a 3-2 lead.
“For about the past two weeks or so, he’s been swinging the bat pretty well for us,” said Bees manager Keith Johnson. “Hopefully it continues. Obviously his batting average isn’t where he wants it to be, but the at-bats are starting to improve and the hits are starting to come.”
Salt Lake benefited from the long ball again in the bottom of the sixth inning when Hester delivered a two-run shot to left field that capped a three-run inning for the Bees, giving the home side a 6-4 advantage.
“(Hester) did a great job for us, both behind the plate and offensively,” said Johnson. “Big home run that he hit for us to get the lead.”
Right after that, right fielder Matt Long kept the River Cats in check with the first out in the seventh inning, as he threw out a Sacramento runner on a booming throw from the outfield to Hester at home plate.
“A lot of times a catcher will try to be to quick with that play, and drop the ball or what have you,” said Johnson. “It was just a great play overall.”
In that same inning, Johnson opted to throw Ryan Brasier on the mound, only to watch his pitcher give up a pair of runs on a throwing error and an RBI double. Brasier redeemed himself by striking out Michael Taylor to end the top of the inning with the score leveled at 6-6.
Oeltjen became the hero of the night in the bottom of the seventh inning, slugging a three-run homer that effectively buried Sacramento.
GRUBE STRUGGLES: In his eighth start of the season for the Bees, Jarrett Grube struggled in a five-inning performance. Grube gave up six hits, two of them homers, with four earned runs and just three strikeouts.
OELTJEN HITS PAIR: With his two home runs Wednesday, Oeltjen leads the Bees with 11 homers. Kole Calhoun and Luis Rodriguez are second on the team with six home runs each.
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