by Porter Marsh
The Sacramento River Cats hosted the Salt Lake Bees at Sutter Health Park from May 24-29. It was an exciting series as the Bees looked to stay on top in their conference, while the River Cats played to make their presence known.
Before the series against the River Cats, David MacKinnon was honored with being named the MiLB Player of the Week from May 16-22. He had a .450 batting percentage against the Albuquerque Isotopes. Four home runs and eight RBIs supported MacKinnon’s candidacy for the award.
Game 1 – River Cats win 3-2
MacKinnon, at the top of the fourth inning on a 0-0 count, sent a home run ball out to left field. At the top of the sixth, shortstop Jack Mayfield singled and batted in Juan Lagares for the second run for the Bees. By the ninth inning, the River Cats held a 3-2 lead and were able to hold on for the win. The Bees had a flyout and base hit single, followed by two strikeouts.
The Bees were ultimately unable to rally on the road to win their first game against the Sacramento River Cats.
Game 2 – Bees win 5-1
Jo Adell got an ill-timed stomach bug and was unable to play in this series until the final game. The Bees would need a strong outing to recover from missing his skillset. The Bees had just that on Wednesday, May 25, 2022.
David MacKinnon and Dillon Thomas got on base in the first inning and were sent home off a shot from catcher Matt Thaiss. The Bees took an early 3-0 lead in the first inning with no scoring from the River Cats until the bottom of the ninth. It took just seven batters and three mound visits from Salt Lake to close out game two.
Game 3 – Bees win 7-3
At the middle of the fourth inning , the game was tied 1-1. The m Salt Lake Bees would then speed ahead by scoring four runs via RBIs. MacKinnon hit into right field to triple, while Dillon Thomas hit a solo homer.
The Sacramento River Cats would not give up without a fight and notched a two-run homer courtesy of Bryce Johnson in the bottom of the ninth. However, the game would be over with the 7-3 final score on the next out.
Game 4 – Bees 10-4
The Salt Lake Bees went through their entire batting order in the second inning with ten total batters, starting and ending with MacKinnon. They would run in six batters. MacKinnon’s two at-bats included being hit by a pitch and getting struck out.
The River Cats would show resiliency, following up with a three-run inning in their attempt to keep the game within reach.
However, being resilient does not mean they overcame the Bees. In innings four and five the Bees would bat in four more runs to put the game out of reach.
Game 5 – River Cats 7-1
By game five, the River Cats again found momentum in their swings with seven runs on eleven hits. The Bees were held to one run on six hits. With more hits, more runs naturally came.
Aside from the fourth inning, the Bees could not get more than one person on base at a time. Traveling on the road can be hard enough, but it was even tougher in this game because the Bees weren’t able to score.
Game 6 – Bees 4-2
Ramos came to bat with one out and one on first base. With a 2-2 count, Ramos would hit a two-run home run, scoring for the first time in the game for either team.
It was a hard-fought game. The outcome was in doubt until the end. It was quiet until the bottom of the sixth inning when Elliot Ramos, River Cats’ center fielder, was at bat.
The Salt Lake Bees reacted with four runs of their own at the top of the fifth. There was a series of walks and singles from the team, including a free trip to first base for MacKinnon. It doesn’t matter how the Bees score; it matters that they do score.
David MacKinnon reached at least first base in each game against the Sacramento River Cats. His performance ended up being .350 at-bat, which was pivotal in helping the Bees win the series 4-2.
Featured image courtesy OurSportsCentral.com