Tonight, that was a huge homer, obviously, the way the game played out, it ended up being the winning run. —Salt Lake Bees manager Keith Johnson
SALT LAKE CITY — A 3-run home run by Jabari Blash in the third inning proved to be the difference as the Salt Lake Bees defeated the Sacramento River Cats 4-3 on Friday night at Smith’s Ballpark.
“Right now, we’ve got a lot of guys swinging the bat. On any given night, it could be somebody different. Tonight, that was a huge homer, obviously, the way the game played out, it ended up being the winning run. (Blash) has been swinging the hot bat for us and continues to do that and it’s good to have him in the lineup,” Bees manager Keith Johnson said.
Unlike in 2017, the Bees have a lot more power in their lineup. In April of 2017, the Bees hit 11 home runs. In 2018, the Bees have hit 27 home runs with nine games left to play in the month. Two Bees players — Blash and Chris Carter — have combined to hit 12 dingers this season.
“Any offense, that’s the case, but especially with our offense, we’ve shown we can swing the bats. We’re never really out of a ballgame. We’re trying to minimize damage as much as we can on the pitcher’s mound and the defensive end. Our pitchers were pounding the zone tonight, we made some really, really nice defensive plays tonight. That double play that (Ryan) Schimpf and (Kaleb) Cowart turned, that was probably a game-winning play right there,” Johnson said.
Bees starting pitcher John Lamb had his longest outing of the season, going five innings and allowing one run, three hits and striking out four.
“He did a great job. He was efficient with his pitches, he had that one inning in the second inning where things got a little bit long on him, but he did a really good job mixing it up, keeping hitters off balance and then just pounding the zone all night,” Johnson said. “We made some really nice plays defensively behind him, and that’s usually what happens when a guy works with a good tempo and just has a team in ‘swing mode.’”
TRANSACTION TRACKER: On Friday, Salt Lake Bees pitcher Ivan Pineyro was sent down to the Arizona League Angels, while pitcher Dylan Unsworth was called up from Double-A Mobile. Unsworth, a native of Durban, South Africa, is believed to be the first South African to play for the Bees.
HOMETOWN HEROES: The Salt Lake Bees honored hometown heroes on Friday night, with police, fire and EMT personnel receiving free admission to the game against Sacramento.
Bees — 4
River Cats — 3
In short: A 3-run home run by Jabari Blash in the third inning proved to be the difference as the Salt Lake Bees defeated the Sacramento River Cats 4-3.
Next up: Albuquerque (RHP Matt Flemer, 1-0, 9.45 ERA) at Salt Lake (RHP Parker Bridwell. 0-0, 4.50 ERA), Saturday, 6:35 p.m.