Salt Lake Bees: Bees' bats come alive in narrow victory over River Cats
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake Bees (56-46) rallied back from a four-run deficit to edge the Sacramento River Cats 9-7 in front of 4,182 fans at Spring Mobile Ballpark on Sunday afternoon.
The River Cats jumped out to an early 5-1 lead after Michael Taylor blasted a three-run homer and Ryan Ortiz and Jemile Weeks each drove in runs.
However, the Bees remained calm and confident as they came up in the bottom of the fourth, knowing they had been in that position before.
"That's just been our M.O. all year. Our record is pretty good when the other team scores first," said Bees manager Keith Johnson. "But our guys have been doing a pretty good job of just sticking with their game plans offensively and putting up runs."
Luis Rodriguez stepped to the plate in the bottom of the fourth with two outs and calmly belted a two-run homer to bring the score to 5-3.
Starting pitcher Barry Enright (5-5) gave up just one hit and zero runs in the fifth and sixth innings as he quickly retired the side to stop the bleeding.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Kole Calhoun led off with a single to center field, which first baseman Efren Navarro followed with another single to put Calhoun on third base with no outs.
Chris Nelson then grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, but fortunately, it was enough for Calhoun to safely cross the plate.
After Rodriguez drew a walk, right fielder Trent Oeltjen came up to bat and ripped a bomb over the fence to give the Bees their first lead at 6-5.
Oeltjen was a force at the plate, as he finished 2 for 4 with three RBIs. He crossed the plate twice himself.
"He's (Oeltjen) been great. He's been dealing with the injury bug a little bit all year, but right now he found some timing, found his stroke, and (he's) putting together some really good at-bats and finally getting some results," Johnson added.
Jeremy Berg (H, 8) came in to relieve Enright in the top of the seventh and kept the River Cats' bats at bay through eight innings, allowing just two hits and zero runs.
The Bees extended their lead to four in the bottom of the eighth after Oeltjen and John Hester smacked back-to-back RBI doubles and Roberto Lopez hit a sacrifice fly to put the game at 9-5.
Daniel Stange strolled out to the mound for Salt Lake in the top of the ninth, wrapping up the victory for the home team despite giving up a two-run blast to Stephen Vogt.
With the victory, the Bees split the series 2-2 and split the season series at eight games apiece.
Salt Lake will kick off a four-game homestand with the Fresno Grizzlies tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m.
Ryan Love was born and raised in Holladay, Utah, and is a full-time student at the University of Utah studying communications. Ryan became a part-time employee for the Deseret News in October 2012. EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
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