SALT LAKE CITY — The streaks remain intact.
Luis Rodriguez and Efren Navarro each hit safely in the Salt Lake Bees’ outing against Tucson on Friday evening, extending their respective hitting streaks and boosting the Bees to an 8-4 victory.
Rodriguez and Navarro pushed their streaks to 12 and 10 games, respectively, early in Friday’s contest, hitting back-to-back RBI doubles in the first inning. Navarro added a second RBI double in the Bees’ five-run second inning to establish an early 7-1 lead.
“It was good to see us come out early and put up a couple big innings to give ourselves a lead,” manager Keith Johnson said. “Our guys did a good job of putting together good at-bats all the way up and down the lineup, and extend some innings and get their pitch counts up.”
The Bees added their final run in the sixth inning on an RBI single by Rodriguez, which drove home Jimmy Swift.
Rodriguez, the Bees’ third baseman, finished the night 3 for 5 with a double, a triple and two RBIs. He is batting .388 since the start of his streak, and the 12-game stretch is the longest for the team this season.
First baseman Navarro was 2 for 5 with two doubles and three RBIs on Friday and is hitting .405 since his streak began.
“Every single at-bat, they have been focused and they haven’t been giving at-bats away,” Johnson said of the third and fourth hitters in his lineup. “The hits are starting to pile up for them a little bit.”
The Bees climbed to 15-14 on the season and moved to 5-4 versus Tucson. Designated hitter Brad Hawpe was 3 for 4 from the plate while Matt Young, Trent Oeltjen, and Roberto Lopez each recorded stolen bases.
Starting Salt Lake pitcher Matt Shoemaker improved to 2-4 on the season, giving up 10 hits but striking out seven in seven innings for the win. Thad Weber had the loss in 4 1/3 innings for Tucson.
“’Shoe’ had a little bit of a letdown in the top of the third,” Johnson said, referring to the Padres’ three-run inning. “But he was able to recompose himself and get himself through seven strong innings for us.”
The Bees will wear pink in the second game of the Tucson series tonight. It is Pack the Park Pink night in which $1 from every ticket sold will be donated to the Huntsman Cancer Institute. The first 2,000 fans will receive pink Salt Lake Bees T-shirts and there will be fireworks following the contest.
Bees 8, Padres 4
In short: The Bees plated seven runs in the first two innings behind strong hitting from Luis Rodriguez and Efren Navarro, who each extended hitting streaks to 12 and 10 games, respectively.
Up next: vs. Tucson, today, 6:35 p.m. Padres RHP Eddie Bonine (0-2, 5.21 ERA) vs. Bees RHP Kip Wells (0-1, 31.50 ERA)
Next homestand: May 16-19 vs. Nashville Sounds (Brewers)
Sarah Thomas is a graduate of the University of Utah and has been covering sports for the Deseret News since 2008. EMAIL: email@example.com