by Tai Justice
The 26-27 Salt Lake Bees were back at Smith’s Ballpark after taking four of the six games on the road against Oklahoma City, outscoring the Dodgers 34-24 in that series. The Bees were back at home and set to take on the 23-30 Sacramento River Cats for a six-game series.
The series didn’t start out well for Salt Lake as starter Griffin Canning ran into trouble early on as Joe McCarthy blasted a three-run homer to right center field. That give Sacramento an early 3-0 lead after the first inning. The River Cats would follow that three run first inning by loading the bases in the top of the second. Jason Krizan would step to the plate and rip a ball down the right field line and clear the bases. In the blink of an eye, the Bees found themselves 6-0 before they even reached six outs.
Gavin Cecchini got the Bees on the board with an RBI-single to make it 6-1 before Jake Gatwood touched them all in the bottom of the third. Suddenly, the Sacramento lead had been cut in half. The hope for the Bees seemed to be short lived as Arismendy Alcantara started off what would end up being a big series for him with a three-run homer to left center field to put the River Cats back up by six runs.
Jo Adell continued his big season by regaining a share of the Minor League lead in home runs with his eighth of the year. This one was a homer to right and made it a 9-5 game after five innings. Gatewood would tack on his third and fourth RBI’s of the night in the bottom of the sixth to make it a 9-7 game and that’s where the score stayed until the bottom of the ninth.
Preston Palmerio started the bottom of the ninth inning rally by leading off the home run with a bomb to right center field to make it a 9-8 game. Gavin Cecchini then walked, Jon Jay doubled and Matt Thaiss was intentionally walked to bring up Adell with the bases loaded. That would prove to be a mistake. Adell lined the first pitch of the at-bat into the gap to complete the comeback win. 10-9 was the final score.
it was the first win of the season when trailing after eight innings. The win brought the team to .500 for the first time on the year as they now sit at 27-27. The River Cats would fall to 23-31.
The second game of the series started off with the two teams trading off solo home runs in the first inning as Jason Krizan lifted one out to right field for Sacramento and Brandon Marsh crushed a ball over the left field wall. These two squads entered the second inning tied 1-1. The tie would be broken in the third inning when the Bees would blast back-to-back home runs to left and right field to make it a 3-1 lead.
Those two home runs would kick off an offensive slugfest at Smith’s Ballpark as the two teams combined for 25 total hits and six home runs. Arismendy Alacantara, the Sacramento slugger, would tie the game on the farthest home run this year as it landed on the Salt Lake City streets. Butera added onto his already big night by blasting a three-run Homer to deep left field to make it a 6-3 lead for the Bees.
The scoring was just getting started. The River Cats would tack on a pair on RBI-single to make it a 6-5 game before the Bees broke it open again with a Marsh triple to right field and a Matt Thaiss RBI-single to left field. Marsh finished the game 2-for-5 with three runs and three RBIs. Butera had a 3-for-4 game with three runs and four RBIs.
Jake Petricka would finish off the game for the Bees and pick up his fourth win out of the bullpen and Tim Peterson recorded his fifth save with a stellar ninth inning. The win would improve the Bees to 28-27. It was their first time over the .500 mark in 2021 and the first time overall since being 1-0 to start the 2019 season. The River Cats would drop to 23-32.
The Bees would score in the first inning for the second straight game on Saturday night as Michael Stefanic hit an RBI-single to right field to get the Bees on the board. Scott Schebler would start off his night with a blast to deep center field in the bottom of the second inning to make it a 2-0 Bees lead before Matt Thaiss hit a two-RBI single a few batters later to make it 4-0 Bees.
Alcantara would homer for the third consecutive game in the top of the fourth inning to get the River Cats on the board. After that, the scoring would stop as the two teams traded off scoreless innings until the top of the ninth. After a single from Alcantara, Bryce Johnson would triple to right field to cut the Bees’ lead in half. After another single, the River Cats would bring the tying run to the plate. One blast out to left field left every Bees fan holding their breath. The ball hung up in the air to give just enough time for a spectacular Scott Schebler leaping grab at the wall for the final out of the night.
The final score was a 4-2 win for the Bees. The Bees have taken the first three games of this six game series and improved to 29-27 and marked the team’s first five-game winning streak since May 2019. The River Cats fell to 10 games under .500 and with a 23-33 record.
The Salt Lake Bees took the field for their Sunday matinee with the Sacramento River Cats with their five game winning streak on the line. Sacramento, who was on a six game losing streak themselves, came out swinging. Mauricio Dubon would hit a sacrifice fly to make it a 1-0 River Cats lead after a lead-off triple. Joe McCarthy would then hit his second home run of the series. This one was a blast to deep right center field. Before the Bees took the plate, they found themselves down 3-0.
Thomas Pannone took the loss for the Bees pitching staff as he gave up six runs in just over three inning. After Ronnie Freeman hit his first home run, he crushed a ball down the left field line. Mitchel Tolam hit a two-RBI single and suddenly the Bees were down seven runs. The Salt Lake bullpen didn’t have much success following Pannone as four relievers finished the game, each one of them giving up at least one run. Sacramento finished the game with 14 total runs, which is the most the Bees have allowed in a single game since they allowed 16 on May 20 at Las Vegas.
Gavin Cecchini would knock three hits, including a double and an RBI-single. Brandon Marsh, Matt Thaiss, Anthony Bemboom and Preston Plamerio each drove in a run. While Bees offense would play well by scoring five runs, it unfortunately just wasn’t nearly enough as they saw their winning streak snapped. 14-5 was the final score. The Bees would fall to 29-28, with the River Cats improving to 24-33.
The Salt Lake Bees took the field in front of their largest crowd of the season so far on Monday night with 8,190 people on hand at Smith’s Ballpark. Unfortunately, before most had even found their seats for the night, the Bees found themselves down 2-0. Braden Bishop tripled to left field and Jason Krizan continued his big series with an RBI-double to right field.
The game stayed at 2-0 until the bottom of the fourth when Anthony Bemboom hit an RBI-single to make it a one-run game. Then, former New York Yankee Mike Tauchman hit a sacrifice fly to center field and Bishop added his second RBI of the night. Suddenly the River Cats were up 4-1 after the fifth. Arismendy Alcantara kept putting on a show as he blasted another towering home run to left center field, This completely blew the game open and made it 7-1 Sacramento.
Brandon Marsh and Jo Adell would each add RBI’s to make the game a little closer, but that would be it for the Bees offense on the night. Marsh led the Bees with a pair of extra base hits off the center field wall. Michael Stefanic also recorded a multi-hit game. 7-3 was the final score as the Bees dropped their second straight game. The Bees would fall back to .500 on the season as they sat at 29-29. The River Cats improved to 25-33.
The Bees struck first on Tuesday night as they got the scoring started on a Matt Thaiss RBI-triple in the first inning. They would then push the lead up to 4-0 behind a Michael Stefanic two-RBI single and an Anthony Bemboom sacrifice fly to center field. Jason Krizan, a player the Bees just couldn’t find a way to contain in this series, doubled down the right field line to get the River Cats on the board in the top of the fifty inning. Mauricio Dubon would tack on an RBI-single in the same inning and the game headed into the fifth with a 4-2 Bees lead.
The lead, which was cut in half in the fifth, completely disappeared for the Bees in the top of the sixth. The River Cats hit three consecutive RBIs-singles with Bryce Johnson, Fabian Pena and Mauricio Dubon all hitting RBI-singles to make it a 6-4 River Cats lead after the sixth. They finished with just two extra base hits, but won the game with old fashioned small ball. They hitting 15 singles in the game.
On the Bees side, eight of the nine Bees batters recorded a hit. Brandon Marsh, Jo Adell and Thaiss, the top of the Bees lineup, each collected a multi-hit game. For good measure, Arismendy Alcantara hit his fifth home run of the series in the top of the seventh. this one once again was a deep blast to right field to make it a 8-4 River Cats lead. Sacramento would add another run in the top of the ninth. The River Cats won with a final score of 9-4.
With this loss the Bees would fall back under .500 with a 29-30 record. This also marked the third consecutive game without a home run for the Bees. That is the longest streak without the longball of the season for Salt Lake. The River Cats improved to 26-33.
Featured image courtesy Deseret News