The Salt Lake Bees opened their pre-All-Star Game road trip against the hottest team in the Pacific Coast League, with the Fresno Grizzlies stretching their win streak to 12 in a row in Tuesday’s series opener.
No. 13 proved to be the Bees’ lucky number on Wednesday, as Salt Lake pounded out 20 hits in a 19-7 victory. The 19 runs represented the most the Bees have scored in a game this season.
Salt Lake (48-38) blew the game open with seven runs in the eighth inning, starting with a bases-loaded, two-run single by Nolan Fontana. Shane Robinson followed that with an RBI single, and Ramon Flores added an RBI double. Kaleb Cowart, Carlos Perez and Cesar Puello also had RBI singles during the inning.
The Bees trailed 5-4 entering the top of the fifth inning before Puello’s two-run triple gave Salt Lake the lead. Puello later scored on Rey Navarro’s fielder’s choice to make it 7-5. Cowart hit a two-run homer and Navarro added a two-run double in the sixth, and Flores added an RBI single in the seventh as the Bees built their lead.
Puello finished 5-for-6 with five RBIs, and was a single short of the cycle. Flores, Cowart and Perez each had three hits, with Cowart and Navarro each driving in four runs.
The Bees fell 5-4 in Tuesday’s series opener, squandering a one-run lead in the seventh inning. Fresno (47-39) scored a pair of runs with two outs in the bottom of the frame to pick up its 12th consecutive win.
The rally began when Salt Lake reliever Brooks Pounders hit Fresno’s Tony Kemp with a pitch on a 2-2 count. Derek Fisher then singled to set up Colin Moran’s go-ahead, two-run single, mere minutes after Salt Lake’s C.J. Cron had hit a two-out, two-run single to put the Bees in front.
Before the Bees hit the road, they closed out an eight-game homestand by beating the Las Vegas 51s 8-6 on Monday at Smith’s Ballpark. Salt Lake overcame an early 3-0 deficit, scoring at least once in every inning from the third inning through the eighth. Puello, Robinson and Dustin Ackley each had three hits for the Bees, who also got two doubles from Flores.
The Bees wrapped up their series in Fresno with a Thursday game that was not complete at press time. Salt Lake will open a three-game series in El Paso on Friday, with the Triple-A All-Star Game next Wednesday in Tacoma, Washington.
The Bees’ next home game is next Thursday at 7:05 p.m. against the Sacramento RiverCats.