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Daniel Wright and Bees shut down Adrian Gonzalez and Dodgers in 5-1 victory

SALT LAKE CITY — It was a game of firsts Monday night at Smith’s Ballpark. The Bees' Michael Hermosillo hit his first Triple-A home run and starter Daniel Wright struck out nine batters for the first time this season. As for the visiting Dodgers, Adrian Gonzalez played in his first game against Salt Lake in over 10 years. Thanks largely to Hermosillo, who finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Wright, who pitched five innings of one-run baseball, the Bees defeated the Dodgers 5-1.

The victory ended a four-game losing streak for Salt Lake, keeping the club squarely in first place in their division.

Hermosillo gave the Bees an early lead, with his third-inning round-the-baser.

“I thought I missed it,” said Hermosillo. “I thought I hit a deep fly ball. As I rounded first I saw them going back to the wall and it just barely got over.”

Wright took over from there and had his way with the Oklahoma City lineup, a fact that Hermosillo and the Bees appreciated.

“He set the tone,” said Hermosillo. “(His pitching) got us fired up.”

TITAN: Adrian Gonzalez, otherwise known as A-Gon or Titan, made a rehab start at first base for the Dodgers as part of his recovery from a herniated disk. Put on the 60-day disabled list on July 29, Gonzalez has made five minor-league appearances. Through his first four outings, Gonzalez was excellent, with five hits in just 10 at-bats. His fifth outing, Monday night at Smith’s Ballpark, was a different story.

Facing off against Wright, the Bees' 25th man, Gonzalez struggled mightily, going 0-for-3 with a strikeout.

25TH MAN: A-Gon’s strikeout was particularly noteworthy, at least as far as Wright was concerned. The Bees starter had faced off against Gonzalez prior to Monday’s contest, in his first major league appearance in fact. On that day, the former Phillie ushered Gonzalez back to the dugout with an at-bat ending 2-2 changeup for his first major league strikeout. Wright turned to his trusty changeup again Monday, in a 2-2 count no less, and again Gonzalez went down swinging.

THE WALK: It isn’t often that the Bees' small-ball, or Honeyball, approach produces highlight reel material, but that exact thing occurred Monday night thanks to Nolan Fontana. With Eric Young Jr. on base, having reached on an A-Gon error, Fontana laid down a flawless bunt down the third base line. The ball repeatedly edged its way to the chalk, seemingly destined to cross over, and yet each time it found a way to remain fair, resulting in an infield single much to the delight of Bees fans.

Fontana’s night wasn’t over as he went on to score one of three vital insurance runs (Dustin Ackley and Tony Sanchez also scored) plated by Salt Lake in the bottom of the seventh.

PLAYOFF PICTURE: The race for first place in the Pacific Southern division of the PCL, with which comes a playoff berth, is a heated one. Thanks in part to the Bees' recent four-game losing streak, the clubs were separated by just a game heading into Monday’s night's contests. The Salt Lake victory, coupled Albuquerque's 6-5 extra-inning loss to New Orleans, gives the first-place Bees a two-game lead and a little breathing room.