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Salt Lake Bees get help from an Angel in the outfield en route to win over Tacoma

By Ryan Miller

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, Aug. 1 2014 10:50 p.m. MDT

Updated: Friday, Aug. 1 2014 11:16 p.m. MDT

Bees' Shawn O'Malley watches the ball fly to deep left field as Salt Lake and Tacoma play Tuesday, July 8, 2014, at Smith's Ballpark.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Enlarge photo»

SALT LAKE CITY — The seemingly never-ending line of new players continued for the Salt Lake Bees on Friday night as they welcomed Angel outfielder Collin Cowgill for a rehab assignment.

Cowgill went 1 for 3 with a walk and an outfield assist to help the Bees to a 4-3 win over Tacoma.

"It felt good," Cowgill said. "Saw a bunch of pitches, got a hit, drew a walk. It was good. The thumb feels good, no issues with the nose."

Cowgill is rehabbing from a facial fracture and a fractured right thumb that he sustained when he attempted to place down a bunt in a game on July 12. The pitch glanced off his thumb and into his face, causing both injuries.

"I squared around a bunt, (the pitcher) threw a fastball up and in and just kind of chased me," Cowgill said. "There wasn't much I could do to get out of the way of it. It was one of those unlucky things."

In the top of the fifth, Cowgill showed that his form has returned. Tacoma's Nate Tenbrink singled on a ground ball to Cowgill in right field. Ji-Man Choi challenged Cowgill's arm by trying to score from second on the hit, but the temporary Bee made him pay, gunning Choi down at the plate.

Salt Lake got the action started early Friday. In the first inning left fielder Shawn O'Malley sent a ball down the first-base line that Tacoma's Julio Morban misplayed off the wall, allowing O'Malley to stretch the hit into a triple. O'Malley scored when Luis Jimenez grounded out. The Bees added another run in the opening frame with a Tommy Field single that scored Brennan Boesch.

Jimenez collected his second RBI of the night in the third inning by blasting a solo home run into the the right-field lawn, putting the home team up 3-0.

Salt Lake starting pitcher Wade LeBlanc took advantage of the early offensive production by the Bees bats. The left-hander started the contest pitching four no-hit innings. Leblanc left the game after the sixth, giving up seven hits and one run to collect his eighth win on the season.

"He did a great job for us," Bees manager Keith Johnson said. "He left the ballgame with control and with the lead, something he has been doing for us for his last few starts. It's good for us to put a W in the win column for him."

Up 4-1 heading to the ninth, Salt Lake got a scare when Tacoma was able to plate two runs, but the Bees were able to hold on for the win.

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