Like a Top 40 radio station, the hits just keep on coming for the Salt Lake Bees.
Salt Lake continued its torrid batting to open the season, scoring a 13-6 victory over the Portland Beavers on a sunny Sunday afternoon at Franklin Covey Field. The Bees, led by designated hitter Freddie Sandoval's 5-for-5 game, had 14 hits. Beavers pitchers also issued eight walks and hit two Bees batters.
"It was just one of those days where everything is going your way," said Sandoval, who became the first Bee with five hits since Nick Gournealt did it two seasons ago. "I was just trying to put the bat on the ball and hoping that good things would happen."
Good things are happening for all the Bees hitters. Salt Lake has now scored 64 runs in their past six games.
"I just stand there and watch them hit," said Salt Lake manager Bobby Mitchell when asked about the key to his team's early success so far this season. "Everybody is just swinging the bat really well, so it's hard not to score runs right now."
The Bees improved to 10-1 on the year with the victory, while the Beavers fell to 4-6.
The Bees sent 12 batters to the plate and scored seven runs in the third inning alone to break the game wide open and they coasted from there. Sandoval finished the game with four RBIs, while left fielder Adam Pavkovich added two.
Salt Lake's Nick Green (1-0) earned his first-ever triple-A victory with an effective seven innings on the mound. Green gave up a dozen hits, but only one was particularly costly, as the Beavers managed just three runs on the 23-year-old. Portland's Matt Antonelli hit a two-run homer in the third, but that was the only real damage the Beavers would do against the Salt Lake starter.
"It feels good to get the win," said Green. "I obviously gave up a lot of hits, but fortunately I was able to control the damage. Our lineup, man, has been great. For me to give up 12 or 13 hits or whatever it was and then to look up on the scoreboard and see that you still have a 10-run lead, it's unbelievable."
Mitchell said, "Nick battled without his best stuff. He was up in the strike zone during the first half of the game and they were hitting him pretty good, but later on he got stronger."
When Green came out of the game the Bees led 13-3. Portland scored three runs off Bees reliever Rafael Rodriguez in the eighth, but it was far too little, too late.
The Bees will play the series finale against the Beavers today. The noon start will be the third consecutive afternoon game in the series. Salt Lake will then host a four-game set against the Las Vegas 51s beginning on Tuesday night.BEELINES: Today's Bees starter, Nick Adenhart, is the top pitching prospect in the L.A. Angels organization. He is already 2-0 on the season with a 0.82 ERA ... The Bees are hitting .343 as a team, easily the best in the PCL. Sandoval is leading the way with a .475 batting average, followed by Matt Brown, who is hitting .471 ... Shortstop Brandon Wood, who leads the PCL with six homers, had his nine-game hitting streak snapped on Sunday, but he walked three times and scored two runs ... Sunday's attendance was 8,073.
E-mail: [email protected]