You see a guy get up there and get a hit, you want to get up there and get one too, and I think you just had an inning where everybody went up there and got it done. —Bees' Chris Carter
SALT LAKE CITY — Over five innings on Thursday, the Salt Lake Bees' offense was dormant. The Bees had scored no runs and mustered just five hits through the five frames and were down 6-0.
Then the sixth inning hit.
The Bees unloaded on Sacramento River Cats starting pitcher Dereck Rodriguez and Joan Gregorio, scoring eight runs in the frame and taking the lead.
Chris Carter led off the inning with a home run, then Jabari Blash hit a two-run homer to right field. Jose Briceno singled home Ryan Schimpf, then David Fletcher worked a bases-loaded walk to bring Salt Lake within one run. Kaleb Cowart hit a two-run RBI single to right field to give the Bees a 7-6 lead, and the River Cats still hadn’t recorded an out. Sacramento brought in former Bee Jose Valdez, who allowed one run on a Jose Fernandez RBI single but got out of the inning.
“Yeah, it put us on the board there and we’ve got the lineup here, anybody can just do it for us and everyone, just pass the torch and everybody gets on, keep getting guys on,” Carter said. “You see a guy get up there and get a hit, you want to get up there and get one too, and I think you just had an inning where everybody went up there and got it done.”
Salt Lake defeated Sacramento 10-7 in front of 3,055 fans at Smith’s Ballpark. Carter led the way with his two-home run, three-RBI night, and Cowart and Blash added two RBIs each.
In the eighth inning, Carter homered again — a two-run moonshot — to give Salt Lake some insurance runs.
COWART ACTIVATED: Salt Lake infielder Kaleb Cowart, who had been on the disabled list with a foot injury since spring training, played his first game of the 2018 season on Thursday, going 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a run. In 2017, Cowart played 50 games for the Los Angeles Angels, batting .225 while hitting five doubles, a triple, three home runs and 11 RBIs. Cowart also spent significant time with the Bees in 2017, appearing in 90 games for Salt Lake. The Georgia native led the Bees in home runs (12) and ranked fourth in hits (114), doubles (25) and RBIs (57).
Cowart was one of five Bees (Rey Navarro, Dustin Ackley, Ramon Flores and Nolan Fontana) to play 90 or more games for Salt Lake. Ackley, Fontana and Cowart all are still with the Angels organization and Fontana and Cowart are currently on the Salt Lake roster. Cowart is entering his fourth year of service as a member of the Bees’ roster.
Bees — 10
River Cats — 7
In short: Salt Lake exploded for an eight-run sixth inning, with homers from Chris Carter and Jabari Blash, to give the Bees the lead, and they didn't look back.
Next up: Sacramento (RHP Tyler Beede, 0-0, 1.80 ERA) at Salt Lake (LHP John Lamb, 0-0, 1.80 ERA), Friday, 6:35 p.m.