SALT LAKE CITY — “In this league, you can’t stop getting runs.”
That’s what Bees outfielder Jabari Blash, who has a Minor League Baseball leading 15 homers, said following the Salt Lake Bees’ victory over the Reno Aces Friday night at Smith’s Ballpark.
His Bees teammates took his words to heart Saturday night in front of 12,399 people in the second game of a five-game series against the Aces.
The Bees plated a run in all but two innings, including a four-run eruption in the first inning and a three-run burst in the fourth, and defeated the Aces 11-8.
Jose Fernandez and Rymer Liriano led the way for Salt Lake, finishing a combined 5 for 9 with a homer and seven RBIs.
“I mean we just try to play good baseball,” said Blash. “We were just moving guys over and getting a lot of runs.”
MIRACLE LEAGUE: The most important showing by the Bees Saturday came in the morning at the Gene Fullmer Recreation Center in West Jordan, rather than at Smith’s Ballpark Saturday night.
It was there, at SME Steel Field of Dreams, from 9 a.m. to noon, that relief pitcher Ralston Cash and first baseman Matt Thaiss, as well as the Honeybees and Bumble, participated in The Miracle League.
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Created in Georgia in 1998, the Miracle League is an adaptive baseball program for people ages 3-22 with disabilities. The league was created to give children with disabilities the opportunity to take part in baseball, including wearing uniforms, rounding the bases and being a part of a team.
The Bees players and support staff served as buddies for the Miracle League teams Saturday, signed autographs and handed out vouchers for future Bees games to the Miracle League players.
“It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience,” Thaiss said. “It was awesome. Seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces, how much fun they were having going out and playing a game we all take for granted every day.
“It was truly a remarkable experience and one that I will never forget. I made some special bonds with some special kids. I hadn’t ever done anything quite like this before, nothing that was this rewarding or fun to be a part of.”
MILITARY APPRECIATION: As part of the Memorial Day weekend, the Bees made a concerted effort to honor our nation’s armed forces, including a special edition of the national anthem that included a bald eagle and a flock of doves.
The organization also had a special ceremony on the field between the top and bottom halves of the fifth inning, recognizing the service of Hal Baird, a retired colonel in the Army National Guard.
Just before the seventh-inning stretch, the Bees had another display of support for the military, a moment of silence throughout the ballpark, with boots on the pitcher’s mound.
In attendance at the game was Utah senatorial candidate, former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, alongside his wife Ann.
The pair cheered on the Bees through the first 4½ innings, with Salt Lake plating 10 runs during that span, to just one by Reno.
Perhaps not so coincidentally, the Aces had their best half inning of the contest in the top of the sixth, in which they scored three runs, immediately following the departure of the Romneys.
Bees — 11
Aces — 8
In short: The Bees scored at least a run in six of eight innings, led by Jose Fernandez and Rymer Liriano.
Up next: Reno RHP Kris Medlen (0-5, 5.03) at Salt Lake RHP Felix Pena (0-1, 4.35), Sunday, 6:35 p.m.