SALT LAKE CITY — The Bees were back at it Tuesday night, after a much-needed day off, and the rest appeared to do the life-sustaining insects a wealth of good.
Led by Michael Bourn, who hit a two-run homer as part of a four-RBI evening, and Nolan Fontana, who had a two-run blast of his own, the Bees defeated the Reno Aces 9-5.
Bourn finished the night 2-3 with four RBIs, two walks and two runs scored, in what proved to be his breakout performance with Salt Lake.
As for Fontana, the homer was his seventh of the year, best on the Bees, and put the Florida Gator just one home run away from his career high.
BOURN IDENTITY: Bourn’s homer was his first as a Bee, and first in 2017 period. Truth be told, the former Cleveland Indian has been anything but a power hitter during his career. The most round-trippers Bourn has had in a season came in 2012, when he hit nine homers for the Atlanta Braves.
Tuesday night was his night, however, with said homer, as well as a timely two-run RBI single in the bottom of the sixth.
In nine games with Salt Lake this season Bourn has a .297 batting average, with eleven hits, a homer and a triple. He has played the third least amount of games of any Bee this season, ahead of only Jefry Marte (eight games) and Forrestt Allday (one game).
PLAY BALL, A PLAYER'S PERSPECTIVE: Last Saturday’s MLB sponsored ‘Play Ball’ event was a highlight for many, including Bees second baseman Sherman Johnson.
“Oh man, it was a blast,” said Johnson. “Those kids keep me young. They have endless energy, and I had so much fun.”
Bees players moved from station to station, five stations in all, helping kids practice hitting, fielding and base running.
Johnson began the morning at the hitting station, where he pitched to the kids, and met with unexpected results. “I started out in wiffle ball,” said Johnson. “I was pitching and the smallest girl ever came up. I didn’t expect her to hit the ball. I threw her a terrible pitch, it hit the ground and everything. She swung, squared it up and hit me square in the gut. I was like ‘no more of that’ and quickly moved to a different station.”
Next for Johnson was a stint on the diamond, which brought with it the requisite base running drills.
“I thought I’d mess around a bit, maybe race a kid or two,” said Johnson. “Every kid that went over there wanted to race. One race turned into fifty. I’d go around the bases, take a picture, and do it all over again. It was awesome though. I loved being a part of it.”
Bees - 9
Aces - 5
In short: Michael Bourn and Nolan Fontana each hit two-run homers to lead the Bees to victory.
Up Next: Reno LHP Eric Jokisch (3-3, 6.45) at Salt Lake RHP Parker Bridwell (2-3, 4.28), Wednesday, 7:05 p.m.