Another series, another sweep at Franklin Covey Field.

This one, however, pleased the Salt Lake Bees.

After opening their longest homestand of the season by coming up empty against Tucson, the Salt Lake Bees bounced back to defeat the Tacoma Rainiers four straight times.

The latest triumph was an 8-4 decision Thursday night at Franklin Covey Field, giving the Pacific Coast League-leading Bees (57-36) their sixth sweep of the season and first since April.

Salt Lake manager Bobby Mitchell pointed to a couple of factors for the turnaround. The Bees got hot and caught a Tacoma team in a down mode. The Rainiers (45-49) have lost nine of their past 10 outings.

"It's a combination of a lot of things," Mitchell said. "But it's definitely a good thing."

Sweeps, though, aren't something the Bees spend a lot of time thinking about.

"We never look at things like that. We just try to play every game like it's our last one," said third baseman Freddy Sandoval, who had three of the Bees' 14 hits. "We always give our best. We always play with our hearts and we just hope for the best things to happen."

Salt Lake built a 7-0 lead over the first five innings. The outburst included a pair of homers — a three-shot by Sandoval in the fifth and a two-run blast from Ben Johnson in the fourth.

The Bees' other scores came on two-out doubles. Dee Brown knocked in a run in the first, while Coby Smith matched it an inning later.

Two-out doubles also produced Tacoma's initial runs.

Back-to-back hits by Victor Diaz and Bryan LaHair put the Rainiers on the board in the sixth.

Salt Lake countered with an RBI single from Chris Walker in the bottom of the inning to make it 8-2.

It stayed that way until there were two outs in the eighth. That's when Diaz chased Bees starter Nick Green from the game with a two-run homer to close the gap to four. -->

Bees starter Nick Green earned the victory — his first since May 24. The right-hander improved to 6-5 overall after scattering seven hits and striking out six.

"It's always good to be on the winning side of things," said Green, who had gone eight starts without a win.

After throwing 111 pitches Green was relieved by Matt Wilhite, who held Tacoma scoreless down the stretch.

The Bees open another four-game series tonight at 7. Salt Lake RHP Kasey Olenberger (4-4, 4.07 ERA) and Sacramento RHP Kirk Saarloos (7-3, 4.65 ERA) are the scheduled starters.

The final series before the Triple-A all-star break pits division leaders.


E-mail: dirk@desnews.com