SALT LAKE CITY — In this season, his second as Bees manager, Keith Johnson led his ballclub to a 73-71 record. That's 21 more wins than in 2011, and a positive step moving forward.
"The group that we had this year, even with the ups and downs, the guys continued to play hard for us," said Johnson. "We consistently had losses that we strung together and consistently had wins that we strung together, but as a group I thought these guys did good and played for each other. Especially at this level, it's not always the case."
Salt Lake finished just above the .500 threshold with a 16-9 victory over PCL-best Sacramento (86-58) Monday afternoon.
Doug Deeds was at his best Monday, and was a home run away from hitting the cycle while finishing 5-for-6 with four runs scored. An emotional Deeds hinted this could be his last season playing pro ball.
"It's always nice to go out with a couple good at-bats, and I was just trying to soak it all up in every experience out there," said Deeds. "If it's going to be my last day, it's going to be my last day and I just want to remember every pitch, every out, every aspect of it."
Matt Long noted that finishing with a winning record was a great testament to how Salt Lake battled through such a hit-and-miss season.
"I think that's why it was important, because we were so sporadic. It was a roller-coaster the whole way," said Long. "So to be able to find some consistency and finish strong to get above .500, it's a good mark to end the season."
NOTEBOOK: The Bees wrapped up the 2012 campaign in style with a season-best 20 hits. Trevor Crowe was a HR away from the cycle, and finished 4-for-6 with five RBIs. Matt Shoemaker (11-10) took the win Sunday and leads the PCL in innings pitched with 1762/3. Matt Long finished the game 3-for-5 with a pair of round-trippers, including five RBIs and three runs scored.
THE DUDE ABIDES: Luiz Jimenez finished the season leading all third basemen in the PCL with a .947 fielding percentage, and set the franchise record with 374 chances and 90 putouts for his position. First basemen Efren Navarro's 141 games leads the PCL, and Barry Enright notched a PCL leading 29 starts on the mound.
SO LONG, PETER: The Angels activated Peter Bourjos after a rehab assignment with Salt Lake.
Bees 16, River Cats 9
In Short: Doug Deeds led off with a triple to in the bottom of the first, and the Bees were able to tally a pair of runs. In the bottom of the fifth, Matt Long and Hank Conger both slugged home runs and Trevor Crowe added a triple to help Salt Lake to four runs in the inning. Long added a three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth to extend the lead to five runs. Sacramento rallied for three runs in the following innings, but five Salt Lake runs in the bottom of the eighth inning wrapped up the game.
Bees manager Keith Johnson's take: "Our offense just kept continuing to put up runs, and we ended up having a pretty good win to end the season."=09
EMAIL: [email protected]