Unable to hit a home run, the Buzz did the next best thing Saturday night at Franklin Quest Field. Six extra-base hits, including a team-record tying three triples, lifted Salt Lake past Fresno 11-2.
"When you score runners from first on a base hit it means somebody is hitting the ball hard somewhere," Buzz manager Phil Roof said after his team's second consecutive win.Despite the display of power, however, the Buzz (3-2) have yet to homer this season. This is the longest season-opening drought in the five-year history of the franchise.
Roof isn't worried. It's hard to be concerned after your team racks up 15 hits and has two players (Jon Shave, Chad Rupp) get three RBIs and two others (Jeff Ferguson, Jamie Ogden) drive in a pair of runs.
Shave's two-run triple highlighted a five-run sixth inning for the Buzz.
Ferguson and Rupp, who hit Salt Lake's other triples earlier in the game, joined Ogden with run-scoring hits in the frame.
The outburst was sandwiched between Fresno's first score, an RBI ground out by Jeff Ball in the sixth inning and his one-out home run in the top of the ninth.
Salt Lake built a 5-0 advantage in the first five innings. While Buzz starter Travis Baptist kept the Grizzlies scoreless, five of his teammates drove in runs.
The bulk of the offense came in the fifth when Ferguson, Shave and Ogden each recorded an RBI. The other scores came courtesy of hits by Rupp in the first and Brian Buchanan in the fourth.
As impressive as Salt Lake's hitting was, Buzz pitching wasn't far behind.
Baptist picked up the win in his season debut, allowing just four hits over six innings.
"I was real anxious. Maybe too anxious," Baptist said after his initial start in the rotation. "It's nice to get that first one and get off on the right foot."
The lefthander credited catcher Jeff Horn for his performance. The two were teammates in Salt Lake last season.
"He calls a good game for me," Baptist said. "He knows me inside and out."
After giving up 15 runs in their opener, the Buzz have held the opposition to three runs or less over the past four games.
"I really believe our pitching is going to be a big plus for us this year," Roof said.
And in the meantime, who needs home runs?
BEE LINES: The series continues today at 2 p.m. Buzz LHP Dan Serafini (0-0, 3.60 ERA) and Grizzlies RHP Chris Brock are the scheduled starters . . . RHP Todd Ritchie has been outrighted to Salt Lake from the parent Minnesota Twins . . . First baseman Scott Stahoviak missed his third consecutive game because of a hyper-extended right knee. He is listed as day-to-day.