SALT LAKE CITY — One night after escaping with a victory over the Nashville Sounds, the Salt Lake Bees were at it again, only this time there were no close calls, no attempted Sounds rallies.
Instead, led by the trio of Matt Thaiss, Luis Rengifo and Kaleb Cowart, the Bees pummeled the Sounds, racking up 18 hits in an 11-6 victory.
Thaiss, who finished 3-for-4 and two RBIs, and Cowart (1-for-5 and 2 RBIs), each went yard, while Rengifo (2-for-4 and 3 RBIs) added a two-run single and a sacrifice fly.
Every Bee, save one (Jared Walsh), had at least a hit, with five having multi-hit performances.
The Bees pitching staff wasn’t too shabby either. Take away a middling performance from starter Luis Suarez, who gave up five runs on three hits in four and a third innings, and four Bees relievers (Eduardo Paredes, Tyler Stevens, Connor Lillis-White and Jeremy Rhoades) allowed just one run through four and two-thirds innings.
“It was a total team win,” said outfielder Bo Way — Way made his season debut with the Bees and finished the contest 3-for-4 with two runs scored.
“Everybody kind of pulled their own weight tonight. It was a total team victory.”
HARDLY RECOGNIZABLE: The Bees team that took the field Saturday night was nothing like the team that took the field for the season opener against the Albuquerque Isotopes back on April 5, a game Salt Lake won 9-3.
On that night the Bees lineup featured at least four players with significant major league experience, including Ryan Schimpf (147 MLB games), Chris Carter (750), Jabari Blash (113) and Ben Revere (857).
None of the aforementioned players remain on the Bees roster, and only one, Blash, remains in the Los Angeles Angels organization — he will be back with Salt Lake soon enough, he was optioned to Salt Lake by the Angels Friday.
As for the other Bees to play that day, Rymer Liriano is no longer with the organization and David Fletcher and Jose Briceno are both with the Angels.
Only two position players who suited up opening day remain with the club and both saw action against Nashville.
Michael Hermosillo finished 1-for-3 with two runs scored, while Jose Fernandez was 3-for-5.
YOUTH MOVEMENT: In the place of the veterans that are no longer with the Bees are a host of young players keen on making it up to the majors.
Thaiss, Taylor Ward, Rengifo, Joe Hudson and Walsh are but some of the Bees that have taken hold on the roster, all of whom are younger than 28 years old.
Salt Lake currently has just two position players 30 years of age or older, Dustin Ackley and Fernandez.
Even the pitching staff is young, the oldest player being 29-year-old Deck McGuire.
THE WAY BACK: Prior to making his season debut with the Bees Saturday night, Way spent the entirety of this season with the Mobile BayBears (Double-A). Way appeared in 35 games for the BayBears — amidst multiple stints on the disabled list — and sported a .279 batting average, to go along with a triple, five double and 12 RBIs.
The debut wasn’t his first with the Bees, however. Way was a member of the club last season, for 42 games, in addition to time spent in Mobile.
He was steady for the Bees during his earlier stint — his batting average of .298 was one of the highest on the club last season — and he was steady again in his return.
"It was fun coming back up here. I've played with a lot of these guys in Double-A, so it was good to see them," said Way.Comment on this story
LATE BLOOMER: Former Bees and current Angel catcher Francisco Arcia, who made his major league debut Thursday, made history Saturday night. Through two games in the majors Arcia has 10 RBIs, a feat no other player in major league history has managed to pull off.
He went 2-for-4 with four RBIs in the Angels victory Thursday and on Saturday he did even better, finishing 3-for-4 with six RBIs in the Angels 11-5 victory over the Seattle Mariners.
- In short: The Bees offense fired on all cylinders racking up 18 hits — 5 extra base — and a game-winning 11 runs.
- Record: 57-49
- Up next: Nashville RHP Chris Bassitt (3-4, 5.33) at Salt Lake TBA, Sunday, 6:05 p.m.