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Bees inflict pain, pepper 51s for 21 hits in 16-2 win

Salt Lake started Thursday’s game with three straight hits, and there were plenty more to come.

When the Bees were done, they racked up 21 hits and blew out Las Vegas 16-2 in the series opener at Cashman Field.

Second baseman Kaleb Cowart led the charge for the first-place Bees (40-33), going 6-for-6 for and completing the cycle in the eighth inning with a triple off of Hansel Robles.

“I wasn’t sure if he was going to catch it,” Cowart said of center fielder Victor Cruzado. “I hit it pretty well but you never know. It’s a big center field here. I was just hoping it got down and I wasn’t stopping.”

Three of Cowart’s six hits were doubles. He also drove in five runs and score five runs for the Bees.

Cowart said that was the first time he hit for the cycle at any level. He said he had gone 5-for-6 before but never 6-for-6.

“It feels great,” Cowart said. “That’s the my first one in my career so it’s a huge honor and I’m just excited.”

After two hits to begin the game, Cowart put the Bees on the board with a two-run double off Las Vegas (28-45) starter Donovan Hand.

He later scored in the three-run inning. Hand wound up giving up nine runs — eight earned — in five innings.

“Everything that he threw was up in the zone,” manager Pedro Lopez said. “(He) worked behind and he just got hurt.”

The Bees scored runs in every inning except for the second, adding two against Hand in the third, one in the fourth and three in the fifth before his night ended.

“I think hitting is contagious for sure,” Cowart said.

Every Salt Lake starter had a hit. Along with Cowart’s six hit night, Shane Robinson, Rey Navarro and Tony Sanchez each had three while Jefry Marte added two.

Sanchez and Marte added four and three RBIs respectively.

Kevin McGowan threw two innings, giving up a run each in both of them.

Robles, who came in for the eighth, was hit hard, giving up three runs on four hits.

And Ben Rowen, in the ninth, gave up a pair of runs to cap off a difficult night on the mound for the 51s.

Salt Lake starter Luis Diaz limited the 51s to just two runs on six hits in seven innings of work. He gave up a run in the second inning on a Travis Taijeron single and one more in the sixth on a home run from Phillip Evans.

“It’s one of those nights,” Lopez said. “Everything that we threw missed over the middle of the plate. Everything they hit found holes. It’s just a good offensive night for them and they did a good job pitching, too.”

Up next

Who: Salt Lake Bees at Las Vegas 51s

When: 7:05 p.m. today

Where: Cashman Field

Starters: Troy Scribner (7-2, 4.87 ERA) vs. Wilfredo Boscan (3-4, 4.47 ERA)

Next five

Saturday: Salt Lake at Las Vegas, 7:05 p.m.

Sunday: Salt Lake at Las Vegas, 12:05 p.m.

Monday: Las Vegas at Tacoma, 6:05 p.m.

Tuesday: Las Vegas at Tacoma, 6:05 p.m.

Wednesday: Las Vegas at Tacoma, 7:05 p.m.

Update

Las Vegas native and reliever Chasen Bradford was called up by the Mets on Thursday. Starter Tyler Pill was sent back down to Triple-A, and Tommy Milone was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Bradford on the 40-man roster.

Contact Betsy Helfand at bhelfand@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BetsyHelfand on Twitter.

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