SALT LAKE CITY — Pregame rain did little to dampen the enthusiasm of more than 12,000 fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders who spent the school day at Spring Mobile Ballpark instead of the classroom on Tuesday. They kept things at a dull roar throughout the Utah State Office of Education's annual "Prevention Dimensions Day" with the Salt Lake Bees.
"It's a great day. It's a lot of fun. The kids, I think, really enjoy the day," said Bees general manager Marc Amicone. "They get to hear a really nice message from the Prevention Dimension program and be involved with that. I think it's fun to hear that outside of the classroom."
Utah governor Gary Herbert threw out the ceremonial first pitch and former American Idol finalist Carmen Rasmusen Herbert sang the national anthem. Olympic gold medalist Jim Shea, Ashly Costa of "Dancing with the Stars," and Utah first lady Jeanette Herbert also participated in the program, which promotes drug and alcohol prevention.
The presentation, as it turned out, gave the kids more to cheer about than the game did.
Memphis scored six times in the second inning en route to an 8-1 victory.
"Obviously, we would have liked to have had a better showing today," said Salt Lake manager Keith Johnson.
The Redbirds did most of their damage against Bees starter Scott Kazmir, who is on a major league rehab assignment after being on the disabled list with lower back spasms since April 8. The Los Angeles Angels pitcher started off strong, but acknowledged getting more out of sync as he approached his mandated pitch count of 50.
Kazmir took the loss after walking four and hitting a batter in 12?3 innings. He did, however, have three strikeouts and was an out away from getting out of trouble.
"I'm not consistent at the plate. That's for sure," Kazmir said. "It's something where I'm just going to have to keep at it, keep working and hopefully I'll be able to get something behind the ball a little bit better and have good direction."
Kazmir was relieved by Amalio Diaz after giving up bases-loaded walks to Nick Derba and Jim Rapoport, as well as a two-run single to Aaron Luna.
Leading 4-0, Memphis added two more scores — off a single from Mark Hamilton — after Diaz entered the game.
The Redbirds made it 7-0 in the fourth when Andrew Brown singled in a run.
Salt Lake's lone score came in the bottom of the inning when Dwayne Bailey drew a bases-loaded walk.
The 7-1 deficit remained intact until the eighth. That's when Matt Carpenter capped all scoring with an RBI triple for Memphis.
GAME NOTES: The series continues tonight at 6:35. Salt Lake RHP Matt Palmer (0-4, 12.96 ERA) and Memphis RHP Adam Ottavino (1-3, 3.26 ERA) are the scheduled starters. ... Attendance was a season-high 15,207. ... Salt Lake is now 9-17 at home this season and 12-8 on the road. ... Rain delayed the start of the game by 30 minutes.
Redbirds 8, Bees 1
Top performance: Memphis starter Lance Lynn recorded seven strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. He scattered five hits while earning the win.
Up next: today vs. Memphis, 6:35 p.m.
Next homestand: June 9-12 vs. Fresno