The Salt Lake Bees were able to salvage a split of their four-game series against the Round Rock Express, winning the final two games of the series at Smith’s Ballpark and reversing a recent slump that had seen them lose five of six.
The Bees (29-34) won the series finale over the Express (38-26) 9-7 on Monday night, holding off a ninth-inning Round Rock rally. Salt Lake took control of the contest with four runs in the fifth inning and added single runs in the sixth and seventh to build a 9-5 advantage. Matt Thaiss hit a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth, Jose Rojas was 2-for-4 with a double and a triple and Kaleb Cowart was 2-for-5 with a double and four RBIs.
On Sunday, Salt Lake eked out a 6-5 win despite spotting Round Rock a 3-0 lead in the first inning. The Bees tied the game with a three-run second inning, then took the lead for good on Thaiss’ two-run home run in the sixth. Taylor Ward went 3-for-5 with three doubles and Justin Bour and Brennon Lund each doubled twice.
The Bees’ back-to-back wins on Sunday and Monday came after back-to-back blowout losses on Friday and Saturday. The visiting Express pounded Salt Lake for 23 hits in a 19-5 win on Saturday. Matt Harvey was on the mound for the Bees as part of a rehab assignment from the Los Angeles Angels, and Round Rock gave him a rude welcome to the Pacific Coast League with eight runs on eight hits in 2 2/3 innings. Lund, a former BYU star, was 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs for Salt Lake.
Round Rock won Friday’s series opener 10-0, holding Salt Lake to four hits. The Bees committed four errors, leading to four unearned runs for the Express. Two of those errors came in the first inning as Round Rock built an early 4-0 lead.
The Bees were coming off a 13-7 win over the San Antonio Missions on Thursday. Salt Lake had 14 hits in that contest, with Rojas recording the team’s lone extra-base hit of the evening with a double. Rojas and Bour each had three hits and Thaiss and Lund had two apiece. Jarrett Parker had three RBIs in the win.
Salt Lake is currently in fourth place in the Pacific Southern Division, percentage points behind third-place Albuquerque and 11 1/2 games behind first-place El Paso. The Bees will hit the road for a seven-game trip to Tennessee beginning Wednesday in Memphis. Following a three-game series against the Redbirds, Salt Lake will travel to Nashville on Saturday to open a four-game set with the Sounds.
The Bees will return home June 20 at 6:05 p.m. for the resumption of a game with the Fresno Grizzlies that was suspended in the fourth inning April 10 because of rain. Following the conclusion of that contest, Salt Lake and Fresno will play their regularly scheduled game that evening at Smith’s Ballpark, opening an eight-game homestand for the Bees.