Salt Lake Bees: Bees begin first-round playoff series Wednesday night vs. Las Vegas

Published: Monday, Sept. 2 2013 6:47 p.m. MDT

Salt Lake Bees Efren Navarro tries to get Fresno's Todd Linden out during a PCL baseball game in Salt Lake City on Sunday, June 9, 2013.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY— With the regular season in their rearview mirror, the Salt Lake Bees have turned all their attention to Wednesday’s Pacific Conference championship series against Las Vegas.

It will be the Bees' first playoff appearance since 2008 and their first under current manager Keith Johnson.

“We made it,” Johnson told reporters after Monday’s 17-7 regular-season-ending loss to Reno.

“Regardless of how things happened over the last few games or whatever, the record didn’t matter. We got in, and now we’ve got to win a tournament. That’s how we’re going to approach it.”

Reflecting back on the regular season, Johnson admitted that his staff and players exceeded their own expectations en route to a division-best 78-66 record.

“Coming into any season obviously there’s goals for the team, but there are a lot more individual goals from our perspective as coaches or as managers. I say we exceeded it,” said Johnson, naming a handful of players who earned time with the Los Angeles Angels this year. “All these guys going up there and contributing at the major league level, it far exceeded anything that we thought.

“I mean, we were hoping the (Angels) didn’t need that much help, but for the guys sent up there ... getting their opportunity and to see them doing well and contributing is overwhelming.”

Although a slew of players will not rejoin the Bees for their postseason run, Johnson said he couldn't be happier with his group heading into Wednesday night's game.

“I like all of our guys. We’re going to be fine. Like I told you, we’re going to be ready to play.”

NAVARRO PCL ALL-STAR: Salt Lake first baseman Efren Navarro was named to the 2013 PCL All-Star team by the league Monday. Navarro led the PCL with 39 doubles, was second in hits with 166, tied for second in batting average at .328 and was fourth in on-base percentage at .407.

SWEPT AWAY: In their final home stand of the regular season, the Bees failed to avoid a series sweep, losing 17-7 Monday. The loss marks a season-high seven consecutive home games without a win. A win Monday would have given Salt Lake just its second season without being swept at home since 1996.

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