The Salt Lake Bees return from the All-Star break to host a four-game series against the Sacramento River Cats, beginning Thursday night at Smith's Ballpark.
Salt Lake finished the first half with a 49-41 record, four and one-half games ahead of Albuquerque in the Pacific Coast League's Pacific Southern division. The Bees' 49 first-half victories are the most since 2013, when Salt Lake won 54 games before the All-Star break. In the first half, the Bees led the PCL with a .369 team on-base percentage, 110 stolen bases, and 370 walks. Kaleb Cowart ranks second in the PCL with 18 stolen bases, while Nolan Fontana's 44 walks are second-most in the PCL. Shane Robinson's .333 batting average ranks eighth among qualified PCL batters, and Troy Scribner leads the league with nine victories. Scribner, whose 86 and two-thirds innings pitched and 90 strikeouts lead the Bees, represented Salt Lake at the AAA All-Star game Wednesday in Tacoma. Scribner worked a scoreless third inning, allowing one hit and striking out three.
After playing eight of their first 16 games against Sacramento, the Bees face the River Cats for the first time since April 21. Salt Lake won six of the eight early April meetings between the clubs, splitting a four-game series at Smith's Ballpark and sweeping a four-game set at Sacramento's Raley Field. Cowart led the Bees offense against River Cat pitching, posting a team-best 16 hits, seven RBIs, eight runs scored, and five stolen bases against Sacramento.
Cowart homered in three consecutive games on the Bees' last road trip, and leads the team with 10 RBIs over the last five games. Robinson enters the second half on an 11-game hitting streak, and has recorded multiple hits in nine of the 11 games during the streak and 12 of his last 16 games overall. Robinson's 33 hits since June 20 are second-most in the PCL during that time. Carlos Perez is riding a nine-game hitting streak, with multiple hits in six of the nine games. Perez leads all Bees with at least 40 games played this season with a .392 batting average and a 1.017 OPS.
The four-game series features a pair of exciting themed nights at Smith's Ballpark. Friday, July 14 is Bee Healthy night and will feature Bee Healthy Tips presented by University of Utah Health throughout the game, and Saturday, July 15 is Angels Night. The Bees will wear special Salt Lake Angels uniforms on Saturday to mark the 15-year anniversary of the Angels 2002 World Series victory over the San Francisco Giants, and early-arriving fans will receive a 2002 Angels World Series Champion Commemorative Ring. For tickets and additional information, visit slbees.com.
At a Glance: Salt Lake Bees (49-41) vs. Sacramento River Cats (35-54), July 13-16 at Smith's Ballpark.
Game Times and Probable Pitchers:
Thursday, July 13: Salt Lake's John Lamb vs. Sacramento's Matt Gage at 7:05 p.m.
Friday, July 14: Salt Lake's Luis Diaz vs. Sacramento's Tyler Beede at 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, July 15: Salt Lake's Alex Meyer vs. Sacramento's Chris Stratton at 7:05 p.m.
Sunday, July 16: TBA vs. Sacramento's Andrew Suarez at 1:05 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.