BEES: Sibling starters help Bees get by Rainiers
Spring training was a tad different for Salt Lake Bees infielder Casey Smith, happily, and not just because the Los Angeles Angels invited his brother Coby to camp.
"I've been with the Angels since 2001, and this is the first year my parents came out to spring training," said Casey prior to Monday's game with Tacoma. "I don't know what that says."
"It means you know who's their favorite," answered Coby, sharing a familiar laugh with his older brother (by a year and a half).
Both players were in Monday's starting lineup during Salt Lake's 8-6 victory against Tacoma (7-12). Casey played second and Coby, assigned to the Bees (12-7) from extended spring training, in left. For the record, Casey wears his baseball pants long, while Coby tucks his near the knee.
As 3,203 watched at Franklin Covey Field, Coby threw Tacoma's Jeremy Reed out at third, then took a pitch in the back and stole second and scored in the Bees' two-run fifth. In the sixth, Coby walked with the bases loaded, forcing home a run. He and Casey crossed the plate in the same inning, as the Bees scored six times to take an 8-4 lead.
Although this is not the first time the Smith brothers have played for the same team - their time together while growing up in Alabama includes high school, junior college and Troy State - there is something extra special about this pairing.
Casey had given the Angels the head's up about Coby, who had been playing independent league ball with Shreveport.
"I talk to him as much as my wife as far as an everyday type of thing," Casey said. "[But] it's a lot different than talking with anybody else. We understand exactly what we're talking about. Now, if there's something I would have called him about, he'll mention it before I even bring it up. It's awesome."
* Salt Lake outfielder Nathan Haynes goes 3-for-5, including a triple. He also scores from first on a throwing error.
* Bees pitcher Pedro Liriano pitches six innings to break a personal six-game losing streak.