Salt Lake Bees: Luis Jimenez continues recent power streak

By Ryan Miller

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, May 2 2014 11:00 p.m. MDT

Salt Lake Bees batter Luis Jimenez hits against Fresno during baseball in Salt Lake City Sunday, June 9, 2013.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Enlarge photo»

SALT LAKE CITY — During the Bees' recent road trip to Albuquerque, Salt Lake hitting coach Francisco Matos had third baseman Luis Jimenez make an adjustment at the plate. That adjustment has brought immediate results.

Jimenez blasted two home runs Friday night to extend his home run streak to three games as the Bees beat Reno 14-5 in front of a crowd of 4,637.

"I have been with (Jimenez) for a while and am very familiar with him," Matos said. "We're trying to get him to stay square at the plate a little longer. He was having a hard time and was pulling up the ball a little bit."

Matos came up a with a drill to help Jimenez, and in the last three games four home runs have been hit off Jimenez's bat.

"We have just been working in the cage, trying to stay back and see the ball better," Jimenez said. "I've been getting good contact. I'm not trying to do anything more than my game, just trying to hit the ball and put it in play."

Coming into Friday's game, Jimenez had homered in two straight games, and it didn't take him long to extend his streak. Jimenez sent one out of the yard in the first inning for a two-run shot that helped the Bees break open the game early. Jimenez struck again in the sixth, sending a solo homer over the left-field fence.

With his two home runs Friday, Jimenez now has seven on the year, this after hitting just four all last season in a combined 82 games with the Bees and Angels.

"(Jimenez) has been a solid performer his whole career," Bees manager Keith Johnson said. "Last year there was a lot of times he tried to do too much and he didn't have his timing down quite yet. What we're seeing now is just par for the course."

The free-swinging Jimenez was just one of many Salt Lake players who teed off on Reno pitching. The Bees collected 16 hits, including a season-high eight extra base hits. Johnson thinks the offensive explosion is a result of his team finally getting in the groove of the season.

"Guys are starting to get more comfortable in the lineup," Johnson said. "We did a fantastic job on the offensive side."

With the win, the Bees improved to 12-17 on the season.

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