Salt Lake won 83 games in 2006 and claimed the Pacific Coast League Pacific Northern Division crown, and six games into the 2007 season, Salt Lake manager Brian Harper sees a lot of the similar qualities in this team.
"I like what I see," Harper said. "We had two bad games before (Tuesday), but we bounced back, and that was real typical of us last year. When we had a bad game or two (last year), we would bounce back and play well."
That's exactly what the Bees did Tuesday.
With solid pitching, flawless defense and timely hitting, the Bees snapped a two-game losing streak with a 7-2 victory over the Tucson Sidewinders.
Early in the year, the Bees are 4-2 and are in first place in the division.
"I think we're going to win some ball games," Harper said.
Salt Lake starter Kasey Olenberger threw seven strong innings and allowed two runs on nine hits to lead the Bees.
"We needed Kasey to pitch deep into the game because the bullpen the last few days has been used a lot," Harper said.
Jonathon Rouwenhorst, who had given up eight hits and seven runs in 2 1/3 innings this year, allowed just one hit in two innings in relief.
Defensively, the Bees, who didn't commit an error, turned three double plays, and an unconventional twin-killing came in the fourth after the Sidewinders got the first two runners on to start the inning.
Salt Lake right fielder Terry Evans gunned down Jamie D'Antona, who singled to start the inning, at the plate to stop a potential rally, and essentially take the life out of the Sidewinders.
Tucson scored just one run on five hits in the final five innings, and three hits and one run came in the sixth inning.
In the final three innings, Olenberger and Rouwenhorst combined to face just 11 Tucson hitters — two over the minimum.
After Tucson took the early 1-0 lead on an RBI double by D'Antona in the first, Salt Lake's Nathan Haynes hit a three-run, inside-the-park homer to give Olenberger all the runs he would need to pick up his first win of the year.
The Bees didn't stop there, though.
Evans hit a solo homer in the third, and Brandon Wood belted a two-run homer in Salt Lake's three-run seventh.
Haynes led the Bees with three RBIs, while Wood and Evans had two each. D'Antona had three hits and drove in both of Tucson's runs.
The two teams square off the Game 3 of the four-game set today at 1 p.m. at Franklin Covey Field.
BEE LINES: Haynes's inside-the-park homer was the sixth in franchise history and first since Ryan Budde's against Tacoma on Aug. 12, 2005 ... The Bees have won just three of the last 15 games played against the Sidewinders ... RHP Henry Bonilla opposes Tucson' LHP Evan MacLane in today's afternoon tilt ... Attendance was announced at 2,884.