PCL: Manager's foresight aids Bees' win vs. New Orleans
Salt Lake's Cory Aldridge and Luis Jimenez homered Saturday night, leading the Bees to a 6-4 win over New Orleans at Spring Mobile Ballpark.
Manager Keith Johnson had a good night, too.
Two strategic moves by Johnson in the sixth inning paid dividends for streaking Salt Lake, which won for the sixth time in seven games.
The Bees owned a 4-3 lead in the top of the sixth when New Orleans' Chase Lambin tripled with one out.
A manager could have played his infield back at that point, conceding a run to prevent a base hit that might trigger a bigger inning.
Instead, Johnson pulled in the Bees' infield, which worked when the Zephyrs' Jeff Dominquez hit a grounder to shortstop.
If Salt Lake's Ed Lucas had been playing back, Lambin would have scored. But with Lucas stationed on the edge of the grass, Lambin stayed at third, where he remained when Jose Duarte popped out to end the inning.
Asked why he pulled in his infield, Johnson said, "If the guy gets a base hit right there, it doesn't really affect anything. Cutting down our range in that situation, I just felt it was the right thing to do. â¦
"There's something to keeping a lead, especially in the middle innings. If a team ties the game up, it puts a little more air in their sails. So I wanted to cut that down a little."
In the bottom of the sixth, the Bees opened a 5-3 lead.
Efren Navarro led off with a single, bringing up catcher John Hester.
Johnson ordered a bunt, which Hester executed perfectly. His first sacrifice of the season moved Navarro to second base, and he scored on Robinzon Diaz' single.
Johnson had Hester bunt because "when he's in the big leagues playing for [Mike] Scioscia, he's going to be bunting. So it's an opportunity for him to get some practice. And No. 2, it's an opportunity for us to add a run. So the purpose was two-fold."
Owlz 4, Chukars 0 • Orem's pitchers had a stellar night, allowing only three hits in a home win over Idaho Falls.
Raptors 10, Rockies 9 • Ogden won in Colorado, helped by Jesus Valdez' tiebreaking homer in the top of the 11th.
Storylines Bees 6, Zephyrs 4
R Cory Aldridge and Luis Jimenez homer and drive in two runs as Salt Lake defeats New Orleans, 6-4.
• Trevor Crowe goes 3 for 5 and scores twice as the Bees win for the sixth time in seven games.