The Salt Lake Bees offense scoffs at early deficits.
The Bees allowed at least one run in the first inning for the seventh consecutive game Sunday, this time three, but the offense again bailed out the pitching.
The Bees rallied past the Sacramento River Cats 9-7 by striking for eight consecutive runs from the fourth to eighth innings at Spring Mobile Ballpark.
“Anytime I’ve kind of given up runs, they’ve answered right back and kept me in the game and let me settle down a little bit,” said Bees starter Barry Enright, who went six innings to earn the win.
Despite the slow starts, the Bees are 4-3 during this stretch of allowing at least a run in the first. Manager Keith Johnson dismisses any concern about the early holes.
“Our record is pretty good when we allow the other team to score first,” he said. “Whether it’s the first inning or the third inning or whenever they score first, our guys have been doing a pretty good job sticking with their game plans offensively and putting up runs throughout the course of the game.”
The numbers back up Johnson’s pronouncement. His team is an even 30-30 when the opposition strikes first this season.
“Even though in a few games they’ve given up a run in the first inning, they’ve done a good job to come back and settle down and put up a bunch of zeros in the middle,” Bees right fielder Trent Oeltjen said about the team’s starting pitchers. “They’ve kept us in the game really well, and our offense is coming together. We have confidence we can score runs throughout the game, so I hope that gives the pitchers a bit more confidence as well.”
Oeltjen provided the big blow to hand the Bees the lead. His blast to right field barely stayed inside the foul pole to put his team ahead 6-5 in the sixth inning.
“I knew if it stayed fair, it had a good chance to go out, so that was the main thing,” said Oeltjen, who finished 2 for 4 with three RBIs. “Just hoping it would stay fair. Sometimes kind of talk to it: ‘Come back.’”
Sunday’s victory earned a series split for the Bees, who host Fresno at 7:05 p.m. Monday.
Owlz 6, Mustangs 4 • In Billings, Mont., Kody Eaves had three hits, including an RBI double, to help Orem (15-15) notch the Pioneer League victory. Chad Hinshaw and Jose Rondon had two hits each for the Owlz.
Brewers 8, Raptors 6 • In Ogden, Helena built up an 8-2 lead in the top of the eighth inning and held off the host Raptors for the win. Jesmuel Valentin had two hits and an RBI for Ogden (15-15), Justin Chigbogu ripped a two-run single, and Jesus Valdez hit a solo home run.
Storylines Bees 9, River Cats 7
R The Bees score eight consecutive runs to overcome an early deficit and earn a series split with Sacramento.
• The Bees improved to 30-30 when the opposition scores first.
• Roberto Lopez was the lone Bees batter without a hit in the game. The team finished with 13.