SALT LAKE CITY — The Bees and Aces battled back and forth into extra innings Monday night, all the way to the 12th inning. It was in that late frame, tied at five runs apiece, that Salt Lake completed a comeback begun as early as the second inning.
Michael Bourn hit a leadoff single, Nolan Fontana brought him home with the game-winning sacrifice fly, and Salt Lake defeated Reno 6-5.
Bourn finished the night 2-for-5 with a home run, an RBI and two runs scored. Cesar Puello was excellent as well, going 3-4 with a homer and three runs scored.
BY CROM!: Perhaps the only thing more American than baseball is a nostalgic view of the past, and on Monday night the Bees combined the two beloved traditions. It was '80s night at Smith’s Ballpark and the Salt Lake club transformed themselves, for a few hours at least, into the Salt Lake Trappers.
The Trappers were an independent Pioneer League team in the late 1980’s, from 1985-1992. The club called Derks Field home (Derks Field sat on the plot of land that eventually became the site of Smith’s Ballpark) and was quite the success story. The Trappers claimed the Pioneer League title in 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1991, and finished as runners-up in 1990 and 1992. The 1987 incarnation of the team reeled off a historic 29 wins in a row, setting the all-time record in professional baseball.
In 1994 the Buzz arrived in Salt Lake, bringing the PCL back to the Beehive State capital, and the Trappers subsequently relocated to Ogden, Utah, where they became the Raptors.
EXCLUSIVE CLUB: On Sunday, June 25, the Bees defeated the Las Vegas 51s by a score of 4-3, improving their record to 42-34. More importantly, the victory secured veteran skipper Keith Johnson a spot in the minor league record books. Johnson has now managed 600 minor league wins, 378 of which have come while leading the Bees.
The former Angel racked up his first 11 wins in 2006 as the interim manager with the Angels Double-A affiliate, the Arkansas Travelers. Johnson added to his total in 2008, when he managed Cedar Rapids to 72 victories. 139 of Johnson's triumphs came with Rancho Cucamonga, from 2009-2010.
KJ, as he is affectionately known, currently is the second winningest manager in Salt Lake Bees history, trailing only Phil Roof (471-387).
SLOW COOKED: John Lamb made his first appearance of the 2017 campaign Monday, an outing that doubled as his first with the Bees. Since signing with the Angels on December 3, 2016, Lamb has been beset with injuries, injuries that have severely limited his pitching opportunities.
Lamb spent much of the 2016 season with the Cincinnati Reds and posted a 6.43 ERA in 14 appearances.
Lamb gave up two runs on five hits in four innings pitched Monday, a decent if unspectacular debut.
Bees - 6
Aces - 5
In short: The Bees overcame an early three-run deficit, thanks to homers by Cesar Puello and Michael Bourn and a game-winning sacrifice fly by Nolan Fontana.
Up Next: Reno RHP Braden Shipley (5-3, 4.58) at Salt Lake RHP Luis Diaz (2-4, 6.14), Tuesday, 7:05 p.m.