Pitching well, hitting well and playing smart baseball, the Salt Lake Bees raced past the Fresno Grizzlies 4-1 on Friday night at Spring Mobile Ballpark.
The 11,233 in the audience may have been happier, however, with the successful return of Vernon Wells.
In the first game of his rehab stint with the Bees, Wells went 1 for 3, played five innings, knocked a double to the gap and generally looked close to returning to his previous All-Star form. Mike Trout may have taken over with the Los Angeles Angels, but with Wells working his way back, there is little doubt that the big club wants as many weapons as possible for the pennant race that is forming in the American League west.
"Vernon looked good tonight," Salt Lake manager Keith Johnson said. "He handled the bat well, he looked strong it was a good first night for him. Being his first night back, I know he was a little amped up. The main thing is that we've kept him healthy."
Wells, on the disabled list with torn thumb ligaments since late May, left the game and returned to his hotel following the sixth inning, so he wasn't available for comment following the win. He's expected to remain with the Bees for the next week before returning to Los Angeles.
In that time, Johnson said, the plan is to feed him a little more each day. On Friday, Wells struck out once but made solid contact in the remainder of his plate appearances. He also made a few nice putouts defensively.
"It was just good to be able to play with him and to have him on our team," Luis Jimenez said. "He's a big boy, and he knows how to handle himself. We were all impressed with him. He's been doing this a long time."
Jimenez was the star on Friday night, going 4 for 4 with a solo homer in the bottom of the fifth inning. He knocked in two runs, while Greg Smith ran his record to 5-7 with a solid night on the pitching mound.
Paul McAnulty came up with the game-winning hit, a single in the fifth.
Mustangs 2, Owlz 1 • Despite outhitting Billings 12-5, Orem didn't score a single run until the bottom of the ninth inning in its home loss.
Raptors 2, Voyagers 1 • Ogden held Great Falls scoreless until the ninth inning, allowing only two hits.
Storylines Bees 4, Grizzlies 1
R Vernon Wells goes 1 for 3 with a double in his first game of rehab.
• Salt Lake goes to 49-51 with the win.
• Greg Smith pitches 71â3 innings and surrenders a single earned run.