The Bees look to continue their winning ways in inter-conference play as they begin an eight-game road trip with four against the newly named New Orleans Baby Cakes.
Salt Lake remains in first place in the Pacific Coast League's Pacific Southern Division after a 6-2 homestand featured series victories against American Conference foes Omaha and Iowa. Last season, New Orleans took three of four from the Bees in Salt Lake, with Troy Scribner earning the Bees' only victory of the series. Scribner is slated to get the ball for Salt Lake in the first game of this year's series against New Orleans, and he's been one of the Bees' best starting pitchers early this season. Scribner leads all Salt Lake pitchers with 29 strikeouts, his 1.33 WHIP is the lowest among Bees with at least three starts, and the Bees are 5-0 this season when Scribner takes the mound.
At the plate, Salt Lake continues to come through in the clutch. The Bees lead the Pacific Coast League with a .359 team batting average with runners in scoring position and have outscored opponents 48-22 in the eighth inning. Lately, Carlos Perez and Matt Williams are swinging hot bats. Perez has recorded a hit in 14 of 15 games since joining the Bees, and Williams has reached base in all nine of his May starts and is batting .419 (13-for-31) so far this month.
New Orleans features two prospects ranked among the top 30 in the Miami Marlins' farm system according to mlb.com: relief pitcher Drew Steckenrider and outfielder Destin Hood. Steckenrider ranks fourth among PCL relievers with a .153 batting average against and has posted a 1.59 earned run average in 13 relief appearances. Hood leads the Baby Cakes with 19 walks and ranks second on the team with 18 runs scored, 31 hits, four homers, and 20 RBIs. Beyond the two top prospects, Salt Lake baseball fans will recognize several familiar faces on the Baby Cake roster and in the Marlins farm system. Former Bees Javy Guerra (12 saves, 43 appearances for Salt Lake in 2016) and Chris O'Grady (29 appearances for Salt Lake from 2015-2016) are in the Baby Cake bullpen, and former Utah Ute and 2008 first-team all-Mountain West performer Stephen Fife is a member of New Orleans' rotation. Additionally, former Bees Cal Towey (2016) and Alex Yarbrough (2015-2016) are in the Marlins' farm system at double-A Jacksonville, a phone call away from joining the Baby Cakes and facing their former team during this series.
After four games in New Orleans, the Bees travel to Round Rock for a four-game series against the Express before returning home to face El Paso on Tuesday, May 23. For tickets and additional information, visit slbees.com.
At a glance:
Salt Lake Bees (21-16) vs. New Orleans Baby Cakes (23-13), May 15-18 in New Orleans
Game Times and Probable Pitchers:
Monday, May 15: Salt Lake's Troy Scribner (4-0, 3.76 ERA) vs. New Orleans' Adam Conley at 6:00 P.M.
Tuesday, May 16: Salt Lake's Parker Bridwell (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. New Orleans' Scott Copeland (3-3, 5.74 ERA) at 6:00 P.M.
Wednesday, May 17: Salt Lake's Daniel Wright (1-1, 12.41 ERA) vs. New Orleans' Odrisamer Despaigne (0-2, 4.15 ERA) at 10:00 A.M.
Thursday, May 18: Salt Lake's Vicente Campos (0-1, 8.71 ERA) vs. New Orleans' Stephen Fife (1-2, 5.05 ERA) at 6:00 P.M.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.