Strong pitching, good defense and aggressive base running was the perfect combination for the Salt Lake Bees on Wednesday night as they beat the Tacoma Rainiers 3-2 at Smith’s Ballpark. The Bees have won the first two games of the four-game series.
Starting pitcher John Lamb had a strong showing — allowing eight hits, two runs, two walks and striking out two in seven innings of work. His performance was then followed up by Brooks Pounders and Deolis Guerra allowing no hits.
The Bees had hits in every inning except for the eighth and had multiple impressive defensive plays, including one in the fifth inning where right fielder Eric Young Jr. laid himself out on the grass to catch a fly ball.
Turning Point — Ramon Flores hit a ground-ball single into right field in the seventh inning, and Michael Hermosillo took off first base. He rounded second base and then, despite being told to stop, rounded third and headed home. He was called safe at home — putting the Bees up by one.
Bees MVP — Michael Hermosillo went 2 for 3, including a home run in the first inning, a double in the second and a walk in the seventh that led to him scoring the winning run from first on a single to right field. He was responsible for all three of the Bees’ three runs. Hermosillo is now on an 11-game hitting streak, is batting .310 and leads the Bees with 15 hits in the past 10 games.
Hidden Hero — All three Salt Lake Pitchers — Lamb, Pounders and Guerra — had strong performances and limited the Rainiers to eight hits for the game.
Quoteworthy — “I was rounding second and [manager Keith Johnson] was like ‘c’mon, c’mon, c’mon’ and as soon as I rounded third he stopped me but at that point I had already put my head down and was full go,” said Hermosillo on his scored run in the seventh inning. “I didn’t see him stop me or else I would have stopped. But I am definitely going to be aggressive … put the pressure on the outfielders… so try to make them make a mistake. If everything is not perfect there, like it wasn’t, I’ll score.”
Angel Angle — Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun, who spent his early career with the Bees, hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning on Wednesday night to lift the Angels over the Washington Nationals. While Calhoun was in Salt Lake in 2012, he appeared in 43 games and hit .296 with five home runs and 32 RBIs. In 2013, he hit .354 with 12 home runs and 49 RBIs before being recalled to the majors.
What’s Next - The Bees take on the Rainiers in Game 3 of the series Thursday at 7:05 p.m. at Smith’s Ballpark.