April 2011

April 30 Game Notes

April 30 Game Notes

Albuquerque Isotopes (13-8) at Nashville Sounds (8-13)  

Probable Pitchers:
ALB- RHP Francisco Felix (1-0, 4.00)
NVL- RHP Frankie De La Cruz (0-1, 1.85)

Click here for 4-30-11_Notes

April 29 Game Notes

April 29 Game Notes

Albuquerque Isotopes (12-8) at Nashville Sounds (8-12)  

Probable Pitchers:
ALB- LHP Alberto Bastardo (1-0, 4.70)
NVL- RHP Zack Greinke (0-0, 6.75)

Click here for 4-29-11_Notes

April 28 Game Notes

April 28 Game Notes

Albuquerque Isotopes (11-8) at Nashville Sounds (8-11)  

Probable Pitchers:
ALB- RHP Tim Redding (0-2, 13.14)
NVL- RHP Amaury Rivas (3-1, 2.59)

Click here for 4-28-11_Notes

Espino’s electric in Isotopes’ 13-8 win

Catcher goes 4-for-5, drives in five runs to lead Albuquerque

For the second time in as many days, Damaso Espino contributed to an Isotopes victory. But today, the difference was there were no run-ins with any wayward pitches.

On Monday night, Espino got plunked to load the bases in the ninth inning and set up J.D. Closser‘s game-winning sacrifice fly. Tuesday was likely more pleasant for the Panama City, Panama native, as he went 4-for-5 and drove in five runs to pace Albuquerque in a 13-8 win over the New Orleans Zephyrs.

Espino started a three-run burst by the ‘Topes in the bottom of the eighth that gave them some insurance. With his team nursing a 10-8 lead, he came up to bat with two outs and Jamie Hoffmann just ninety feet away (he had doubled and moved to third on a ground out earlier). Espino then hit a grounder to New Orleans second baseman Jesus Merchan, but the infielder’s throw got away from first baseman Ruben Gotay, allowing Hoffmann to score.

Another critical error hurt the Z’s on the next at-bat. Shortstop Ryan Klosterman was unable to stop a grounder by Albuquerque’s Wilberto Ortiz, who managed to stretch it into a double. With him on second and Espino at third, Closser came up to bat and knocked a single to center field to bring in both Ortiz and Espino for a 13-8 ‘Topes lead.

That bottom half of the eighth effectively finished the game, as Roman Colon came on to pitch for the ‘Topes in the ninth and took down the Z’s in 1-2-3 fashion to clinch the contest.

Albuquerque spotted the Z’s a pair of runs in the top of the first, then took the lead back with three runs in their half of the inning. After a scoreless second for both sides, the ‘Topes tacked on three runs in the third and another four runs in the fourth for a 10-2 lead.

In the third, Espino cracked a two-out single to bring home Hoffmann. Ortiz followed with a double to right-center (scoring Espino) and then starting pitcher Dana Eveland got in the act with a single down the left-field line (scoring Ortiz).

In the fourth, Corey Smith hit a double down the left-field line to bring in Trayvon Robinson and make it 7-2 ‘Topes. Shortly after, Frank Mata took over for New Orleans on the mound, but it didn’t stop Russ Mitchell from hitting a sacrifice grounder to short that scored Trent Oeltjen. Espino then struck again with a single to center, scoring Smith and Hoffmann (who had walked to get on base) to make it 10-2 Albuquerque.

New Orleans wouldn’t go quietly, though. The Z’s tagged Eveland for two runs in the top of the fifth to cut the gap to 10-4, and then scored a run off reliever Jon Link in the sixth to make it 10-5 ‘Topes. But the big bite came in the top of the eighth.

With Scott Elbert now on the mound for Albuquerque, Merchan got on base with a single and then moved to second on a wild pitch. Aaron Mathews then drew a walk to bring up Bryan Petersen, who rocked a 1-1 pitch over the wall in right-center field and brought the Z’s to within 10-8.

But Elbert managed to stop the bleeding two batters later by inducing a ground out from Gotay, setting up the critical bottom of the eighth for Albuquerque.

Eveland took the win for the ‘Topes, improving to 3-1 on the season. He went five innings and gave up four runs (two earned) on six hits. Taking the loss for the Z’s was Adalberto Mendez (1-2), who gave up 10 runs (all earned) on 11 hits over three innings.

For more details on today’s contest, check out AlbuquerqueBaseball.com later tonight.

-Chris Estrada

April 26 Game Notes

April 26 Game Notes

New Orleans Zephyrs (9-10) at Albuquerque Isotopes (10-8)  

Probable Pitchers:
NO- RHP Adalberto Mendez (1-1, 7.02)
ALB- LHP Dana Eveland (2-1, 3.93)

Click here for 4-26-11_Notes

‘Topes take it in the ninth

J.D. Closser’s sac-fly earns a 7-6 win for Albuquerque

After dropping a narrow game on Easter Sunday, the Isotopes (10-8) came out on top of another tight one as J.D. Closser‘s bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth clinched a 7-6 victory over the New Orleans Zephyrs (9-10).

After reliever Merkin Valdez made the Z’s go 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth, Corey Smith — who had given the ‘Topes a short-lived 6-5 lead with a solo home run in the seventh — started the bottom half of the frame with a single to center field. Trent Oeltjen followed up with another single to center. Pinch-hitter Damaso Espino then came up to bat, and after Oeltjen was able to make it to second base on defensive indifference from the Z’s, New Orleans pitcher Steve Cishek tagged Espino in the back to load the bases.

That brought up Closser, who hit a big fly ball to the warning track in center field — giving Smith plenty of time to come home from third base and score the winning run.

Albuquerque opened the game with a pair of runs in the first inning. After Dee Gordon led off with a single and was subsequently thrown out on a steal attempt at second base, Trayvon Robinson and Jay Gibbons provided back-to-back base hits. Smith then hit one to center field to bring home Robinson. Oeltjen followed with another base hit to load the bases and bring up Russ Mitchell, who popped a sac-fly to get Gibbons home for a 2-0 Isotopes lead.

The Z’s tallied a run in the top of the second to cut the lead to 2-1, but the Isotopes put up another pair of runs in their half of the inning. Gibbons smacked a double through the hole at second base to bring in both starting pitcher John Ely and Gordon for a 4-1 lead.

However, in the fifth inning, New Orleans started to get to Ely, who had performed well up to that point. RBI singles from Ruben Gotay and Joe Thurston brought the Z’s within 4-3 before Ely induced a ground out with the bases loaded to keep Albuquerque’s edge.

The Isotopes pushed the lead to 5-3 in their half of the fifth with a solo shot from Mitchell, but two innings later, the Z’s finally managed to tie the game. Ely gave way for Ramon Troncoso in the seventh, but he was unable to hold on to the lead as New Orleans tagged him for a pair of runs thanks to an RBI double from Thurston and a two-out RBI single from Chris Aguila, a former Isotope. Troncoso then managed to force a fly out to preserve the tie.

Smith’s second home run for the Isotopes gave them the lead, 6-5, in the seventh, but the top of the eighth saw the Z’s tie the game right back. New Isotopes reliever Merkin Valdez shook it off and induced a double play ball to get out of trouble, but Albuquerque was held scoreless in their half of the eighth by Cishek.

Valdez wound up with the victory for the Isotopes, going 1 2/3 innings and striking out two batters. Cishek took the loss for New Orleans, going 1 1/3 innings and allowing one run (earned) on four hits.

For a more detailed recap of tonight’s contest, check out AlbuquerqueBaseball.com later tonight.

— Chris Estrada

April 25 Game Notes

April 25 Game Notes

New Orleans Zephyrs (9-9) at Albuquerque Isotopes (9-8)  

Probable Pitchers:
NO- RHP Tom Koehler (2-0, 1.00)
ALB- RHP John Ely (1-1, 3.46)

Click here for 4-25-11_Notes

April 24 Game Notes

April 24 Game Notes

New Orleans Zephyrs (8-9) at Albuquerque Isotopes (9-7)  

Probable Pitchers:
NO- RHP Dallas Trahern (1-0, 3.18)
ALB- RHP Francisco Felix (1-0, 1.80)

Click here for 4-24-11_Notes

A dozen does it for Albuquerque

Robinson’s five RBI lead Isotopes in 12-8 victory over New Orleans

Five-run spurts in the sixth and seventh innings each proved to be enough for the Isotopes to withstand a ninth-inning rally by the New Orleans Zephyrs and win, 12-8, in front of a crowd of 12,171 at Isotopes Park.

Albuquerque went into their bottom half of the sixth down 4-2, but a two-run, bases-loaded single up the middle from Trayvon Robinson plated Jay Gibbons and Corey Smith to tie the contest. That was followed by another big hit from J.D. Closser, who brought home Jamie Hoffmann and Robinson with a two-run single. A few batters later, pinch-hitter Trent Oeltjen hit a sacrifice fly to get Closser in for a 7-4 ‘Topes lead.

In the seventh, ‘Topes reliever Merkin Valdez took over for starting pitcher Alberto Bastardo and forced the Z’s into a 1-2-3 top of the inning to set up another offensive surge. Russ Mitchell started the bottom half of the inning with a solo home run to left field, making it 8-4 Albuquerque. Singles from Smith, Gibbons and Hoffmann followed, and then Robinson cleared the bases with a long three-run triple to right-center field.

The ‘Topes weren’t done as Closser followed Robinson’s triple with a sacrifice fly that got in Robinson to push the lead to 12-4.

Valdez put up a scoreless eighth and was then replaced by Roman Colon in the ninth inning. Colon had a bit of a tough time in the final frame as New Orleans tagged him with four runs (three of which came off a two-out home run from Ruben Gotay). But he finally stopped the rally with a strike-out of Joe Thurston, bringing on the post-game fireworks for the big Saturday night crowd.

Bastardo (1-0, 4.70 ERA) picked up his first victory of 2011 for Albuquerque, going six innings and giving up four runs (all earned) on eight hits while striking out seven batters. For the Z’s, reliever Burke Badenhop (0-1, 8.38) took the loss after getting shelled in the sixth and seventh innings for nine runs (seven earned) on eight hits.

The Z’s are expected to have right-hander Dallas Trahern (1-0, 3.18) on the mound tomorrow, while Albuquerque’s probable starting pitcher is Francisco Felix (1-0, 1.80). Game time is at 1:35 p.m.

For a more detailed recap of tonight’s game, check out AlbuquerqueBaseball.com later on tonight.

— Chris Estrada

April 22 Game Notes

April 22 Game Notes

Albuquerque Isotopes (8-6) at Iowa Cubs (8-6) 

Probable Pitchers:
ALB- RHP Tim Redding (0-1, 14.04)
IOWA- LHP J.R. Mathes (0-0, 4.50)

Click here for 4-22-11_Notes