After completing a three-game sweep of Fresno in Salt Lake City, the Bees hit the road and took four straight from the Sacramento River Cats (AAA affiliate of the San Francisco Giants) to improve to 10-6 on the season and take a two-game lead in the PCL’s Pacific Southern division. After a dominating victory in game one Tuesday, Salt Lake would mount comebacks in games two through four, scoring 16 runs in the eighth inning or later to complete just the second sweep in Sacramento in franchise history. Next up for Salt Lake is another four-game road series against the Fresno Grizzlies before heading home for a five-game series against the El Paso Chihuahuas starting April 27th.
Game 1: Salt Lake 8, Sacramento 2
— Salt Lake Bees (@SaltLakeBees) April 19, 2017
The Bees outhit the River Cats 12-4 in game one of the four-game series to jump their winning streak to four Monday night in Sacramento. With the River Cats leading 2-1 heading into the top of the fourth, Sherman Jonson drove in three of his five RBI’s on the night with a three-run homer to right field to give Salt Lake their first lead of the game at 4-2. After Bees Starter Daniel Wright completed his powerful night on the mound by retiring three straight River Cats in the bottom of the fifth, Johnson would bat in another run in the top of the sixth to increase the lead to 5-2. Rey Navarro would drive in Kaleb Cowart in the top of the seventh, Matt Williams would score on a fielding error and Johnson would make it home off a Dustin Ackley grounder in the top of the eighth to clinch an easy victory for the Salt Lake to improve to 7-6 on the season.
Game 2: Salt Lake 7, Sacramento 4
Don't call it a comeback! Bees rally from 3 down in the 8th to win their 5th straight. pic.twitter.com/4AMmKr7AGf
— Salt Lake Bees (@SaltLakeBees) April 20, 2017
Salt Lake scored six runs in the eighth inning Wednesday night to stun the River Cats and bump the current winning streak to five straight games. After Sacramento’s Christian Arroyo sent a ball over the left field wall give the River Cats an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first, the Bees struggled to make good contact on the pitches of Sacramento starter Tyler Beede. The 6-foot-3 right-hander went six and two-thirds innings, allowing a mere four singles from Salt Lake bats with four strikeouts before being relieved by Roberto Gomez. Now trailing 3-0 entering the top of the eighth, the Bees got off to a decent start at the plate with a single by Eric Young Jr. and a walk by Kaleb Cowart. After Josh Osich replaced Gomez on the mound, Salt Lake manager Keith Johnson decided to test the new pitcher by sending Young Jr. and Cowart on a double-steal. Both advanced safely, putting two runners in scoring position with Dustin Ackley at the plate. Ackley would then single to bring home Young Jr. to give the Bees their first run of the game with nobody out. Nolan Fontana would then bring home a run on a sacrifice bunt before Osich walked Shane Robinson and Rey Navarro to load the bases. Ramon Flores then added to Osich’s struggles with a two-run single to give Salt Lake its’ first lead of the game at 4-3. Sacramento would make another pitching change in the eighth, bringing in left-hander Kraig Sitton to face lefty Francisco Arcia. After walking Arcia and getting a force out at home off a Matt Williams grounder, Young Jr. would then continue his hot streak at the plate with a two-run double to increase the lead to 6-3 before Cowart would ground out to end the woeful inning for the River Cats. After a three-up, three-down inning for Sacramento in the bottom of the eighth, Flores would add another run with an RBI single in the top of the ninth just to make it that much more difficult for Sacramento to come back. Christian Arroyo would drive in a run on a line-drive double in the bottom of the ninth, but that would be all the River Cats could muster as the Bees completed the late comeback to win game two.
Game 3: Salt Lake 5, Sacramento 2
— Salt Lake Bees (@SaltLakeBees) April 21, 2017
The Bees continued their hot run of form Thursday night with a series-clinching 5-2 win over the River Cats in game three. Once again, pitching was the key to the team’s sixth victory in a row as the Salt Lake pitching staff allowed a mere three hits and three walks with 10 total strikeouts on the night. Salt Lake starter Alex Blackford had a strong outing in his first start in a Bees uniform, going five and a third innings deep and striking out six before being relieved by Jose Valdez. Brooks Pounders and Kirby Yates also entered the game for Salt Lake as the relieving trio retired all 12 batters they faced to end the game. The Bees took the initial lead in the top of the third after Eric Young Jr. continued his blistering-hot offensive series with a two-run homer. Kelby Tomlinson’s ground-ruled double would score Drew Stubbs in the bottom of the third to reel one back for Sacramento, but Caleb Cowart would respond with a sac-fly in the top of the fifth to regain a two run lead at 3-1. The River Cats were looking to jump on top in the bottom of the sixth after Austin Slater cut the deficit to 3-2 with a sac-fly, but Valdez would come in and strikeout Jae-Gyun Hwang to end the threat. As they had done the night before, Salt Lake would take control of the game late as the Bees scored two runs in the top of the ninth off the bats of Dustin Ackley and Shane Robinson before forcing a one-two-three inning from Sacramento to improve to 9-6 and claim their first lead in the Pacific Coast League’s Pacific Southern Division.
Game 4: Salt Lake 9, Sacramento 5
6 runs in the 8th = 7th straight win! pic.twitter.com/RkA1KuMOAe
— Salt Lake Bees (@SaltLakeBees) April 22, 2017
For the second time in three games, the Bees scored six runs in the eighth inning as Salt Lake once again pulled away from the River Cats late to complete only the second Sac-Town sweep in franchise history. After the Bees took an initial 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth, the River Cats responded with four runs in the bottom half of the frame thanks largely to Drew Stubbs’ three-run homer over the left field wall. Salt Lake’s Matt Williams would send a solo shot into left field to cut Sacramento’s lead to 4-3 in the top of the seventh, but the River Cats would get their insurance run back in the bottom of the inning thanks to another home run from Ryder Jones. As they had done during the entire four-game series, the Bees saved their best offensive performance for late in the game as the eighth inning got started with three straight singles off the bats of Kaleb Cowart, Rey Navarro and Nolan Fontana. Sacramento pitcher Roberto Gomez would then walk Ramon Flores and Matt Williams to bring in Navarro to tie the game at 5-5. After a pop out from Tony Sanchez, Sherman Johnson would then line an RBI single into right field to take the lead at 6-5. After Gomez was replaced by Tyler Rogers on the mound, newly promoted Bo Way (AA-Mobile) would reach first on a fielder’s choice that also scored Williams. The final Salt Lake run of the eighth came off the bat of Carlos Perez on a sac-gounder before Cowart grounded out to end the long inning for the River Cat defense. Sacramento then failed to even sniff a run in the eighth and ninth innings as all six batters were retired before they could even get into scoring position. The Bees completed their second straight sweep of the season and roll into a four-game series at Fresno with a seven-game win streak in tow.
— Salt Lake Bees (@SaltLakeBees) April 22, 2017