Left-handed pitcher John Lamb, who started the season in extended spring training recovering from his second back surgery, improved to 3-0 as the Salt Lake Bees defeated the Sacramento River Cats, 5-4, in front of an announced 7,205 at Smith's Ballpark in the first game after the Pacific Coast League All-Star break on Thursday night.
Lamb became the sixth Bees starter this season to throw seven innings. He struck out six and did't allow a walk. He gave up four runs on seven hits. Shane Robinson (three hits), Kaleb Cowart (two hits) and Nolan Fontana each enjoyed multi-hit games. Relief pitcher Luis Gerra worked a perfect ninth inning and became the 10th pitcher to record a save for the Bees (50-41) this season.
Turning Point • The Bees scored three runs in the fourth inning to break open a tie game. The first run scored after a fielder's choice and a throwing error by Sacramento first baseman Juan Ciriaco set the table for Kaleb Cowart's RBI single.
Bees MVP • Robinson went 3 for 5 with a double and three runs scored.
Hidden Hero • Kaleb Cowart went 2 for 4 and drove in two of the Bees' five runs.
Quoteworthy • "There's things that I can always improve on," Lamb said. "I'm going to have to continue to fine-tune throughout, hopefully, a career that I have ahead, but if there's anything I think could be better it's the velocity on my fastball. I've been occasional 90, 93 in my career. I would love to get back to that, but I'm not going to judge myself as a failure if I don't. It's just managing what I have out there and just trying to keep hitters off balance."
Angel Angle • Outfielder Eric Young Jr. cleared waivers and has been outright to Salt Lake by the Los Angeles Angels. Young was sent down to make room on the roster for reigning AL MVP Mike Trout, who will be returning from the disabled list. In 44 games prior to being promoted to the majors, Young batted .354 with a .419 on-base percentage, a .528 slugging percentage, 18 extra-base hits and 15 stolen bases for the Bees.
History lesson • The Bees went into the All-Star break with a 41/2-game lead in the division over Albuquerque. The last time they took a lead into the break was in 2008 (71/2 games).
What's next • The Bees host Sacramento for three more games this weekend, including Friday night at Smith's Ballpark with first pitch scheduled for 7:05.