SALT LAKE CITY — At last week's media day, Taylor Lindsey said he felt no pressure about being regarded as one of the Angels' top minor league prospects. Through the first four games of the season, he has let his bat prove just that.
Lindsey hit his first Triple-A home run and extended his hitting streak to four games Sunday, but the second baseman's contributions weren't enough as the Bees fell to Sacramento 9-6 in front of a crowd of 3,036 at Smith's Ballpark.
"At the plate I feel good," Lindsey said. "It feels good to get the first one out of the way."
With his sixth-inning home run, Lindsey has now hit in every game of the season, batting .263 with three RBIs through the team's first series.
"This is about getting these guys ready to play in the big leagues and develop them," Bees' manager Keith Johnson said.
For the second consecutive night, the River Cats used an early-inning power surge to jump quickly on Salt Lake. Sacramento's Jose Martinez followed up a Shane Peterson RBI double with a two-run blast to left field to cap a four-run second inning and give the River Cats a lead the Bees couldn't come back from.
"These last couple of games we haven't been able to eliminate the big inning," Johnson said. "We got ourselves in a hole and we were unable to climb out of it."
The Bees had the beginning of a rally going in the seventh. Luis Jimenez started the inning with a single and then was able to steal second when Sacramento second baseman Hiroyuki Nakajima missed on a tag. John Hester's single got Jimenez to third, giving the Bees runners on the corners with no outs. Salt Lake couldn't take advantage, however, as Matt Long struck out swinging before J.B. Shuck lined into an inning-ending double play.
Up only two runs entering the the eight inning, the River Cats put an end to any late-inning suspense with a four-run eighth. Martinez started the scoring with a two-out single that scored Nakajima. Kent Matthes drew a walk to load the bases before a bases-clearing double by Nate Freiman made it 9-3.
"If you take those two big innings away, and it's a different ballgame." Johnson said.
The Bees tried to make a late comeback in the ninth, plating two runs before C.J. Cron struck out swinging with the bases loaded to end the contest.
Salt Lake returns to action Monday night, beginning a four-game series with Fresno at 6:35 p.m.
River Cats 9, Bees 6
In short: The River Cats scored four runs in both the second and eighth innings to overpower the Bees. Taylor Lindsey hit his first Triple-A home run in the contest.
Next up: Fresno at Salt Lake, Monday 6:35 p.m.