PCL • Bees' manager Keith Johnson earns league award.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
A good part of the reason why Baseball-America recently named Keith Johnson as the PCL's best managerial prospect is the way he can make do with a bunch of grinders.
The Salt Lake Bees (67-51) have won 13 of 18 games since July 20, about the same time Johnson started losing production to the disabled list and the parent club Los Angeles Angels.
This includes Tuesday's 3-0 victory against Omaha (59-59) in Spring Mobile Ballpark. The Bees managed just five hits, but bunched three of them in the sixth to score all of their runs.
Pitching did the rest.
In an attempt to give Salt Lake a longer bench, the Angels purchased the contract of former major league infielder Andy Marte from York of the independent Atlantic League.
Marte, who batted fifth Tuesday, takes Grant Green's spot on the Bees' roster. Green was called up to the Angels on Tuesday afternoon.
"It's one of the those things where it will give us a chance to add some depth," Johnson said of Marte. "Losing a guy to the major leagues is always a good feeling, regardless of how it affects our ballclub here. If you lose someone to injuries, then that's a little tough. When you send a guy to the big leagues, that's what we're here for."
Since late July, when Salt Lake made its push to the top of the Pacific Northern Division, the Bees have lost Luis Rodriguez and Trent Oeltjen to the DL, and Kole Calhoun, Tommy Field and Green to the Angels.
That's 55 total homers. As a result, coming into Tuesday, Salt Lake had gone 230 at-bats since July 30 without a home run.
Salt Lake has continued to put up winning numbers by grinding out at-bats and making pitchers work.
"We haven't hit as many home runs as we did when we were going through that really, really hot stretch before losing Tommy and Kole and Chris," Johnson said. "But at the same time, the strength of our ballclub is the ability to put together a string of at-bats. Make pitchers pitch and draw walks."
BaseballAmerica polled PCL managers, who selected Johnson as the league's Best Manager Prospect in its "Triple-A 2013 Best Tools" listing.
Raptors 14, Chukars 5 • Justin Chigbogu hit two home runs and tallied five RBIs as Ogden defeated host Idaho Falls in the Pioneer League game.
Rockies 5, Owlz 3 • In Grand Junction, Colo., the Rockies rallied for three runs in the seventh inning against Orem reliever Elliot Morris for the win.
Storylines Bees 3, Storm Chasers 0
R Salt Lake's Andrew Romine breaks up Omaha pitcher Everett Teaford's no-hit bid in the sixth inning to start a 3-run rally.
• Bees starter Barry Enright throws seven shutout innings, scattering five hits and a walk with four strikeouts.