PCL: Bees rally on long-ball hits
There was a bit of a twist to the baseball adage that says hitters heat up when temperatures rise. The weather was warm to start the season for the Salt Lake Bees - 9-5 come-from-behind winners Wednesday against Tucson - yet, excluding Terry Evans, the meat of the Bees' order wasn't hitting.
As the temperatures at Franklin Covey Field have dropped to the less-than-balmy 60s and 50s, the power switch has flipped on.
First, Brandon Wood, once hitting .105, broke out. Nick Gorneault, down to .100 at the start of Wednesday's PCL game before a hardy group of 3,113, followed suit.
After falling behind 5-0 after three innings, Wood and Gorneault played long ball to lead the charge back for Salt Lake (5-2), including a five-run outburst in the bottom of the third.
"Honestly, I was just hoping to put a couple good swings together," said Gorneault, who drove in three runs with a double and a solo homer, his first of the season. "I just tried to get back to basics."
Wood's two-run blast, his third, also highlighted Salt Lake's third-inning outburst, rescuing starting pitcher Henry Bonilla, who rebounded from a poor start to earn his first win. Matt Wilhite and Alex Serrano secured the win with four innings of scoreless relief.
Salt Lake's run production early on has come from both ends of the lineup, from the likes of Nathan Haynes, Casey Smith, Mike Eylward and Adam Pavkovich, but not from the middle. Evans, who has two homers and three steals, was one of the few Bees contributing from the three-through-six spots.
"Nick had such a good spring," Salt Lake manager Brian Harper said. "He came so close to making the big club. He had three good at-bats today."
Gorneault nearly hit one out earlier, but his long fly was caught on the warning track in left. There was no doubting his drive in the seventh. His double in the fifth drove in two of the Bees' three runs to put the game on ice.
* Trailing 5-0, Salt Lake charges back on a two-run homer by Brandon Wood and three RBIs by Nick Gorneault.
* The Bees score five runs in the third inning and three in the fifth.
* Gorneault, Wood and Kendry Morales have two hits each.