Jeff Horn and Ted Corbin are not long for the Salt Lake Buzz roster. By this time next week it's safe to say the duo will be playing for other, lower level, teams in the Minnesota Twins farm system.
But Horn, a catcher, and second baseman Corbin made the most of their final game at Franklin Quest Field. Horn, who appears ticketed for Single-A Fort Myers and Corbin, who will likely be reassigned to Double-A New Britain, were instrumental in the Buzz's 9-6, rain-delayed victory over Phoenix Tuesday night. Salt Lake is now 6-6 on the year.In a game that featured a rain delay of nearly an hour and a half, Horn went 4-for-4 with a pair of RBI, while Corbin made the game's top defensive play and drove in a run for good measure.
"I told (Horn) two days ago that he was going down to Fort Myers. He's trying to keep me from sending him down," Buzz manager Phil Roof said. "He had one of those nights where he hit the ball hard. He had big, key hits for us."
Horn was playing in just his second game of the year in the place of regular catcher Damian Miller. He has known since the season started that he's only filling a roster spot until one of the four catchers training in Florida with the Twins - most likely Buzz veteran Mike Durant - is sent down. In fact, Horn was specifically told by Twins' management not to sign a long-term lease for living arrangements in Salt Lake.
"They told me from the beginning (being with the Buzz would be temporary)," Horn said. "I was just here to give Damian a rest and to handle the pitching staff the best I could and if I hit it was just a bonus. It didn't have any bearing on if I would go down or not. I knew I was going to go down."
Corbin was also told right from the start that his assignment was temporary. He's expected to be sent back to Double-A when a middle infielder, probably Brian Raabe, is sent down prior to the opening day for the majors April 25.
Corbin made the defensive play Roof called "the turning point of the game" Tuesday. The Buzz were leading 7-5 in the seventh inning, but the Firebirds had the bases loaded. Phoenix left fielder Ray Ortiz hit a grounder toward right field that would likely have scored two runs, but Corbin made a diving stop to his left, got up and was able to throw Ortiz out at first to end the threat.
There was no score with two outs in the bottom of the first inning when the umpires called for a rain delay. It continued to rain for about an hour, but the skies cleared, the infield tarp was removed and the game was restarted.
Salt Lake starter Mike Misuraca was done for the night after the delay, so reliever Sean Gavaghan took over in the second inning. The Firebirds promptly scored four runs in the second inning.
The Buzz tied the game with five hits - four of them doubles - in the fourth inning, including an RBI double by Horn. Salt Lake took the lead for good with a three-run fifth inning, including an RBI single by Horn.
After a rocky start, Gavaghan settled down to pitch four innings to earn his first win of the year. Lefty Judd Johnson struck out Ortiz, who represented the tying run, to end the game and earn the save.
BUZZ BRIEFS: Left fielder Riccardo Ingram's 11-game hitting streak came to an end, as he went 0-for-4 with a walk . . . The official attendance was 6,446, but fewer than 1,000 remained following the rain delay . . . First baseman Ben Shelton was scheduled to start, but was a late scratch because of swelling in his left knee - the same knee that caused him to miss all of last season rehabilitating after an ACL tear . . . The Buzz will have today off. Salt Lake will open a four-game series Thursday afternoon at Vancouver.