PCL: Tacoma tops Bees in slugfest
Bad news and good news.
Salt Lake lost Tuesday to Tacoma, 12-11. However, for the third time in as many home series, the PCL's North Division-leading Bees won three of four from the visitors.
Salt Lake is winning and scoring a league-leading number of runs (116) without consistent at-bats from a few key players in the middle of the lineup. One of those, infielder Matt Brown, who appeared to break out with three hits and four RBIs on Tuesday, considered the prospect of a Salt Lake (12-8) lineup with everyone swinging to their potential.
"When we get hot together," he said, "it's going to be sick."
Now, the players and coaching staff get a rare day off before starting another four-game home series Thursday, this time against Sacramento.
"I'm going to play golf," said catcher Jeff Mathis, who had three hits and scored three times Tuesday.
Salt Lake manager Brian Harper is taking the rare day off to fly home to Phoenix.
Harper was still a bit steamed about an out call that prevented Terry Evans from reaching first on a close play. Evans would have scored had he been on base.
"Everybody on the field except the umpire thought he was safe," Harper said. "Even the [Tacoma] third baseman."
Still, the Bees take their break with a comfortable lead over Portland.
"We've got a lot of good players," Mathis said. "We're starting to come together."
Briefly: The Los Angeles Angels optioned Tommy Murphy to Salt Lake. He had appeared in three games for L.A. . . . Pitcher Jesse Smith was placed on the disabled list with a sore elbow.
* Tacoma's Wladimire Balentien laces two homers and drove in five runs.
* Salt Lake's Matt Brown hits a home run and has four RBIs.
* Bees' third baseman Brandon Wood drives in three runs with a bases-loaded double.