The Salt Lake Bees (37-31) snapped a two-game losing streak against the best-in-the-PCL Reno Aces (42-26) on Friday Night at Smith’s Ballpark, defeating the Aces 13-5. A well-rounded effort on both offense and defense powered the Bees to victory, especially the play of Tony Sanchez and Rey Navarro (eight combined RBIs) and relief pitching — Eduardo Paredes, Huston Street and Drew Gagnon combined to allow only one hit through four innings. Every Bee in the lineup had a hit in the win.
Sanchez, who went 2-for-4 with four RBIs, hit his first home run of the season on Friday, a two-run home run to push the Bees’ lead from 7-4 to 9-4 and give Salt Lake some breathing room.The Miami native has improved his batting average every month, batting .167 in April, .300 in May, and now .333 in June.
“I was terrible the first two months of the season. That’s baseball; hitting’s hard. I just stuck with it, stayed in the cage, worked. I made a couple adjustments that have allowed me to get to some more pitches that I was missing earlier in the season,” Sanchez said. “It’s paying off for me.”
In rehab action, Angels reliever Huston Street worked a one-two-three seventh inning, inducing two flyouts and one pop out to catcher Sanchez.
FRANKLY THE BEST: Friday night was Frank Layden Night at Smith’s Ballpark, honoring the former Utah Jazz coach. Layden has become a fixture at Smith’s Ballpark, singing the seventh-inning stretch whenever he visits the park and always stopping to talk with fans and take pictures. On Friday, Layden threw out the first pitch and Layden bobbleheads were given out as fans entered the ballpark gates. Layden led the seventh-inning stretch, punctuating it with his trademark, “Salt Lake, you’re the greatest!”
Layden was the head coach of the Jazz from 1981 until 1988, amassing a 277-294 record over his tenure. In his career, Layden won two NBA Coach of the Month Awards and took home Coach of the Year in the 1983-84 season. That same season, Layden also coached the West All-Stars in the NBA All-Star game, which featured two of his players — Ricky Green and Adrian Dantley. Layden coached and was the general manager for the 1983-84 “Team with Heart” as they surprised the basketball world by finishing atop the Midwest Division and securing the first playoff berth, first division title and first winning season in Jazz franchise history.
Frank Layden fires in the first pitch. pic.twitter.com/1DCRsSZ3zr— Joe Coles (@JoeAColes) June 17, 2017
SHERMAN SENT DOWN: On Friday, Sherman Johnson was assigned to the Double-A Mobile BayBears. In 2017, Johnson played 56 games for the Bees, batting .235 with a .361 on-base percentage. Johnson has hit two home runs, eight doubles and a triple this season for Salt Lake.
Bees — 13
Aces — 5
In short: Tony Sanchez and Rey Navarro combined for eight RBIs and Eduardo Paredes, Huston Street and Drew Gagnon combined to allow only one hit through four innings as the Bees defeated the Aces, 13-5.
Up next: Salt Lake RHP Luis Diaz (1-3, 7.71 ERA) at Tacoma RHP Felix Hernandez (1-0, 7.71 ERA), Saturday, 8:05 p.m.