Minors: Gorneault Bees' HR leader
Let's hope the Salt Lake Bees kept some of the celebratory champagne on ice.
After clinching the Pacific Northern Division title earlier this week, the Bees had reason to pop out the leftover bubbly as Nick Gorneault became the franchise's all-time top home run hitter Thursday night against Fresno.
Gorneault's home run in the bottom of the first inning was his 60th for Salt Lake. While the team celebrated, Gorneault seemed more focused on downing some postgame food after the Bees' 5-4 win over Fresno.
"It was cool," he said. "It was nice that they announced it [the record]."
Bees manager Brian Harper was more impressed, and not just by Gorneault's swinging.
"He's had a great second half of the season," said Harper. "He does so many other things than just hit."
In Thursday's game, the Bees improved to 5-11 against the Grizzlies, thanks to solid hitting to start the game and some sloppy handling of early grounders by Fresno.
The Bees' Terry Evans stole two bases in the first to jumpstart the offense.
"Terry is a big guy that can run," said Harper. "He just has a knack for picking the right time."
Gorneault's record hit and Brandon Wood's homer also contributed to the Bees' five runs in the inning.
The Salt Lake defense, led by Los Angeles Angels rehab pitcher Bartolo Colon, held Fresno scoreless until the fifth by allowing only three hits in the first four innings.
If it wasn't for the Bees scorching first inning, however, the outcome would have been much different, as Fresno pitcher Matt Kinney allowed no more runs.
"[Kinney] is a great pitcher," said Harper. "With Matt, you've got to knock it out early."
Fresno's William Bergolla's triple in the fifth led to a three-run inning for Fresno. Thomas de la Rosa hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth to bring in Justin Leone and make the score uncomfortably close for Salt Lake.
Ogden 5, Orem 3 (11): Elian Herrera led off the 11th inning with a homer and Matthew Wallach singled in a run to lead the Raptors over the Owlz at Orem.