Salt Lake Bees: Kole Calhoun, Bees outlast Grizzlies, move into first place in division
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Bees center fielder Kole Calhoun took one swing of the bat, trotted around the bases for the third time of the game, and landed right into the record books. Calhoun became just the ninth player in franchise history to crack three homers in a single game, as the Salt Lake Bees (58-46) continued their winning ways with a 5-4 victory over the Fresno Grizzlies (47-57) Tuesday night in front of 14,016 fans at Spring Mobile Ballpark.
The Bees were able to draw first blood in the bottom of the first inning after shortstop Andrew Romine smacked a lead-off double and Calhoun belted a homer to put the home team up 2-0.
Calhoun was outstanding at the plate, as he went yard in his first three at-bats and finished 4 for 4 with four RBIs, while also crossing home plate three times himself to lead the Bees.
"I kind of had a rough night last night, so I came out, hit some early BP today, got some pitches I could hit, put some good swings on 'em, and the ball kind of flies here so I got a little lucky," said Calhoun. "Today was another one of those days that I was on the better end of the stick. It's really not accredited to anything. I didn't eat anything magical. It's just coming out, playing and having a better night than last night."
Fresno was able to get up on the board in the top of the second after Roger Kieschnick doubled and Francisco Peguero traded places with him to cut the Bees' lead in half.
The Bees were able to answer in the third, fourth and fifth innings off solo homers from Calhoun (third and fifth inning) and catcher Luke Carlin (fourth inning) to put the score at 5-1 after five innings of play.
In the top of the sixth, Fresno's Nick Noonan led off with a deep triple and scored on a throwing error by Bees shortstop Romine to bring the score to 5-2.
Starting pitcher Dustin Richardson (4-1) recollected himself and got out of the inning virtually unscathed. Richardson gave up nine hits and four runs while striking out eight batters in his 6 2/3 innings of work.
The Grizzlies quickly retired the side, came out in the top of the seventh and played small ball to get back in the game. The first three batters of the inning reached on singles, setting up Juan Perez's two-RBI single that put the game at 5-4 and ended Richardson's night on the mound.
Reliever Fernando Cabrera (H, 8) strolled out to the mound and quickly got the Bees out of the jam to end the inning. Cabrera and Daniel Stange (S, 4) continued to keep the the Grizzlies' bats quiet the rest of the way to help the Bees hold on for their fourth-straight win.
With the win, the Bees are now 13-7 and batting .325 in the month of July, both of which lead the league, helping them snag a one-game lead over the Tacoma Rainiers (57-47) for the top spot in the Pacific Northern Division.
Salt Lake and Fresno square off again Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. at Spring Mobile Ballpark.
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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