CALGARY, Alberta — The Calgary fans have seen enough, and who can blame them?
With their team being pounded into submission again Wednesday by a merciless Salt Lake batting order at Burns Stadium, some fans from a crowd of 4,118 adopted the Buzz, lustily rooting for the visitors.
Others warmed up for hockey season, chanting: Go Flames Go!
A few others in the cheap seats rode Cannons' left fielder Mike Gulan, who got into a heated exchange with them and threatened to bean them with a ball.
The Buzz hammered Calgary starter Vladimir Nunez for six runs in the third and breezed to another lopsided Pacific Coast League win,12-4. It was Salt Lake's sixth straight victory during the Alberta swing.
"It doesn't matter what park we're in, this team just loves to hit," said ex-Chicago Cub Robin Jennings of a team that has scored 59 runs in their last four games in Calgary. "A lot of us have a point to prove (to the parent Minnesota Twins). And we have good camaraderie on this team."
Jennings, at 28 the elder statesman of a youthful batting lineup, led the latest hit parade with a three-run triple that capped the six-run uprising and a two-run homer. The Singapore native is 7-for-15 with 10 RBIs after three games in the four-game series.
"This is the best hitting team I've been on," said Jennings, who spent the previous eight seasons in the Cubs' system. "We're consistent, and we have patient and disciplined hitters."
"I'm pleased we're not sitting on our laurels," said manager Phil Roof of the Buzz, who boast the PCL's best record (61-37) and a runaway lead atop the North Division. "Billy (hitting coach Springman) has the hitters on a mission — to win it all. These hitters know how to work the count in their favor, and they're an unselfish bunch. And we're tough from one to nine in the batting order."
Salt Lake has boosted its league-leading team average to .313, but a realistic Roof doesn't believe his charges can challenge the all-time PCL record of .327, set by the defunct 1923 Salt Lake franchise.
"That's unlikely when you factor in the heat and longevity of the season," said the sixth-year Buzz skipper.
The recent tear has been accomplished without the luxury of a bench. When the Buzz lost Todd Walker and Butch Huskey in Sunday's trade, the club played three straight games without an extra bat. Shortstop Mike Moriarty finally returned from an injury Wednesday, but then outfielder John Barnes was sidelined with a thigh injury.
The Buzz have also been getting consistency from their starting rotation. J.C. Romero allowed one run on four hits in seven innings Wednesday to improve to 4-2.
The series finale at 12:05 today pits Salt Lake's Mike Romano (3-1, 5.97 ERA) against A.J. Burnett, who hurled five shutout innings in his first start with Calgary on injury rehabilitation from the Florida Marlins.