SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake Bees opened their new series on a high note, defeating the Las Vegas 51s, 7-1, in a game that lasted 3:40 at Spring Mobile Ballpark Monday night.
After the Bees struggled to keep pitchers in the game during their series finale with Tacoma Sunday afternoon, Bees starter Matt Shoemaker pitched seven complete innings to pick up his seventh win of the season. He totaled eight strikeouts and gave up just one base on balls, one earned run and five hits.
Jeremy Berg and Daniel Stange each pitched a solid inning in relief, and the Bees' defense combined to strand 16 Las Vegas runners on base.
On the other hand, the Las Vegas pitching staff, which was made up of five different hurlers, combined to throw 96 balls — out of 199 total pitches — and walk 10 batters. Shortstop Andrew Romine drew three of the walks himself while Trent Oeltjen and Drew Heid took two apiece.
The Salt Lake bats eased Shoemaker’s load, plating three runs across the first four innings and then doubling the lead in the sixth frame. Catcher Luke Carlin scored the first run after reaching base on a fielder’s choice, which resulted in Roberto Lopez getting tagged out at home at the end of a rundown that involved four different defensive players.
Designated hitter Kole Calhoun tripled in the bottom of the third and then went home one batter later on a Matt Long single. In the fifth, Chris Nelson hit an RBI single, driving home left fielder Heid and giving the Bees a 3-1 lead.
The Bees drew two walks and then had singles by Nelson, Luis Rodriguez, Long and Lopez to record the three sixth-inning runs and scored the final run in the bottom of the eighth on an Oeltjen sacrifice fly to right field.
Nelson and Long both finished 2 for 4 with two RBIs while Heid was 2 for 2 with an RBI and two runs scored.
Sarah Thomas earned a degree in Mathematics from the University of Utah and is currently pursuing an MBA at Westminster College. She has been covering sports for the Deseret News since 2008. Email her at email@example.com.