Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — June and July couldn't have gone much better for the Salt Lake Bees.
In June, Salt Lake recorded a PCL-best 19-9 record. So far in July, the Bees have a PCL-best 14-7 record.
At the end of a back-and-forth affair Wednesday night, Salt Lake prevailed with a 4-3 victory over Fresno.
Things looked shaky for the home team in the opening innings, as Bees starting pitcher Matt Shoemaker gave up a pair of RBI doubles.
The Bees responded in the bottom of the third inning when Matt Long connected for his eighth home run of the season. The ensuing inning saw Fresno catcher Hector Sanchez send one over the left-field wall to give the Grizzlies a 3-1 lead.
The round-tripper moved Shoemaker into a tie with fellow Salt Lake pitcher Barry Enright for the most home runs allowed in the PCL at 22.
Salt Lake manager Keith Johnson, however, was pleased with his pitcher's performance.
“I thought (Shoemaker) did a good job,” said Johnson. “There wasn’t very many comfortable swings, so it was a tribute to him to pitch like that and execute pitches.”
In his second at-bat for the Bees, Chris Nelson brought the home team within a run after belting a homer to right field. Nelson, who's played particularly bright for Salt Lake, owns a team-high .382 batting average this month with four home runs and 15 RBIs.
“(Chris) has been bouncing around between big league teams for a while, and since he’s been back with us he’s continued to find his groove,” said Johnson. “He’s been a consistent bat in the middle of the lineup for us.”
Andrew Romine extended his current hitting streak to 15 games when the shortstop drove in Luke Carlin for an RBI single to level things up at 3-3 in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Kole Calhoun drove in the game-winning run with a walk-off RBI single that scored Drew Heid.
PCL LEADERS: Wednesday night’s win gave Salt Lake sole possession of first place in the entire league with a 59-46 record.
PIONEER CROWD: On Wednesday, 14,276 baseball fans were treated to a solid night of baseball on Pioneer Day, cheering the home team to victory before enjoying fireworks.
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