Minnesota Twins first baseman Scott Stahoviak, on a rehab assignment for a broken pinky finger suffered on opening day, is on the mend. The Salt Lake Buzz may be as well.
Stahoviak hit the team's first grand slam this season in powering the Buzz to a 13-7 victory over Edmonton Wednesday at Franklin Quest Field. The victory snapped a three-game losing skid and pulled the Buzz (19-20) to within four games of the Northern Division-leading Trappers."Things were a whole lot better tonight," said Buzz manager Phil Roof, whose team finished with 14 hits. "I was pleased for Dave Stevens (who improved his record to 5-1 with six innings of work). What a game he pitched. And it was neat to see Stahoviak get a hold of one. He's been struggling a little bit."
Stahoviak joined the Buzz on May 8 and quickly drove in six runs before becoming mired in a 0-for-10 batting slump prior to his base-clearing shot.
Salt Lake took the lead for good in the first inning when Ryan Radmanovich belted a two-run homer, Chris Latham added an RBI single and the Buzz scored on an error to make it 4-0. Edmonton closed the gap to one over the next two frames by scoring on a Salt Lake miscue in the second and consecutive run-scoring hits, a double and a single, by Patrick Lennon and Scott Sheldon in the third.
Leading 4-3, Salt Lake turned the tide with Stahoviak's blast in the fourth. The first Buzz grand slam this season made it 8-3 with two outs. Mitch Simons singled, Radmanovich walked and Castellano reached on an error as Salt Lake loaded the bases for the Twins' slugger.
Edmonton reduced the deficit with run-scoring hits by Webster Garrison in the sixth and Mark Bellhorn an inning later. Salt Lake countered in the bottom of the seventh when Damian Miller knocked in a pair of runs with a two-out single. The Buzz capped their scoring with three more in the eighth - one off an RBI single by Darrin Jackson and two more on a hit by Kevin Baez.
Salt Lake scored eight of its runs in the contest with two outs, something that pleased Roof.
"We made that adjustment," he said. "To be smart, aggressive and stay within the strike zone in those situations."
Edmonton's last at-bat added a cosmetic finish with Lennon driving in two runs with a single.
The four-game homestand concludes tonight at 7 with Salt Lake LHP Travis Miller (4-2), who leads the Pacific Coast League with a 2.86 ERA, facing Edmonton RHP Brad Rigby (2-3, 5.57).
BEE LINES: The Buzz play 12 of their next 16 games on the road. After visiting Tacoma (May 16-19), Salt Lake plays host to Tucson (May 20-23). The rugged stretch concludes with four-game sets at Vancouver (May 24-27) and Edmonton (May 28-31) . . . Roof picked up his 598th career victory as a minor league manager . . . The Buzz have been outscored 12-0 in the ninth inning and 51-9 in the last three innings at Franklin Quest Field this season . . . Edmonton relief pitcher Richie Lewis was ejected in the eighth inning after a heated discussion with the umpire.