Regardless of the outcome of any game, the Salt Lake Bees are valuable to the Los Angeles Angels. Scott Servais, the Angels’ assistant general manager, said while it’s helpful for the Bees to win, the Angels’ success takes precedence.
With that said, Servais watched a high-flying slug match between the Bees and the Memphis Redbirds. In the end, the Bees lost 12-9 after a sluggish start.
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The Bees had a hopeful comeback attempt in the bottom of the eighth with three runs. Tommy Fields scored off a ground-ball single from J. B. Shuck, who also scored in the inning. Grant Green also notched in a run. The Bees closed the gap, but the Redbirds would survive with the victory, taking a 2-1 lead in the four-game series.
The Bees struggled all night to recover from the Redbirds’ blazing six-run first inning. Randal Grichuk got the motor going for the Redbirds with a solo homer to center field. Both teams swung impressively, with 15 hits each.
Already on Servais’ radar, Green went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs. Shuck followed with 2-for-4 performance with two RBIs.
The Bees’ players are a focal point for the Angels because they’ve had only two first-round picks since 2011, when they drafted C.J. Cron. Servais said the Bees provide a valuable pool of trade-offs.
"There are five or 10 guys on this team that will still help us out … at some point this year," said Servais.
The Angels and Bees have swapped 22 players 49 times — not even halfway through the season. This relationship is almost half of the Bees’ 112 transitions this season.
Servais said the minute the Bees’ players have put on the Angels’ uniform they have helped the team win, naming Green, Cron and Efren Navarro as bright spots for the Angels.
Cron, a former University of Utah first basemen and catcher, is going into this second month with the Angels. Servais said it’s because he can hit.
"At the end of the day, if you can hit you can stay around," said Servais. In the last 10 games, Cron has a .200 batting average with one run, five hits and four RBIs on 25 at bats.
"As long as C.J. keeps hitting, he will have a very long career."
But for the Bees’ the goal is to improve and win. And so far, the season hasn’t been what they planned on. In July, the Bees have gone 10-7.
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