Like they say, all change must start at the top.
For the Salt Lake Bees, the change at their leadoff spot wasn’t necessarily by choice — Andrew Romine was called up by the Los Angeles Angels. Nor was it necessarily needed — Romine was good enough to be called up by the Angels. But the Bees continue to reap the benefits of plopping 30-year-old outfielder Doug Deeds in the leadoff spot.
In Thursday’s 9-5 win over Tacoma, Deeds was 1-for-4 with a walk and scored twice, a relatively quiet performance by his recent standards. But it was his leadoff double that set the tone for the explosive offensive night that saw each member of the Salt Lake lineup record at least one hit.
“I think everybody had a little bit of the hit bug today,” Deeds said.
Before moving to the top of the order on June 23 against Reno, Deeds started 38 games this season in either the eighth or ninth spot in the batting order. Before Thursday, Deeds was batting .354 in nine starts since manager Keith Johnson made the change.
“The reason I inserted him up there,” Johnson said, “is because even when he’s not getting hits he puts together a good at-bat.”
In 2010, Deeds batted leadoff for Reno.
Salt Lake (43-44) entered the game a loser of four of its past six games, including a 6-5 loss to Tacoma on the Fourth of July.
The Bees came alive against Rainiers starter Andrew Carraway, who in his previous start threw a two-hitter against Fresno. After doubling to open the game, Deeds scored on back-to-back hits by Matt Long and Ryan Langerhans. In the second inning, the Bees nearly batted around the order. In the third, Efren Navarro and Paul McAnulty hit back-to-back solo home runs.
“It was a good team win,” Johnson said. “Obviously, when you can jump on a team early and put up a few runs early, it’s a good thing.”
Orem 13, Ogden 6 • The Owlz maintained a steady lead over the Raptors on Thursday, ending the night with 15 hits and two four-run innings.