‘Topes come from behind, win in 10th inning

Castro ties it, then Gibbons wins it for Albuquerque, 6-5

In the bottom of the ninth inning, with the score tied, and with the bases loaded, the Isotopes had a chance to win it. They came up short.

One inning later, they were back in the same situation. But this time, they didn’t miss out on the opportunity.

Trailing 5-4 going into the 10th, the ‘Topes drew even on an RBI double from Juan Castro and then, with the bags full again, sealed a 6-5 victory over the Iowa Cubs thanks to a RBI single to center from Jay Gibbons.

After a leadoff walk from Trayvon Robinson — who then moved to second on a subsequent sacrifice bunt from Damaso Espino — Castro was called in to pinch-hit for pitcher Scott Elbert. The decision paid off as Castro hit a deep ball to right-center field, allowing Robinson to score and tie the game at 5-5.

The next batter up, Dee Gordon, was hit by I-Cubs pitcher Scott Maine, who then walked Ivan DeJesus, Jr. to load the bases. That set the stage for the heroics of Gibbons, who is currently on a rehab assignment from the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Iowa took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth, but the ‘Topes took the lead back in the bottom of the sixth as Jerry Sands continued his hot start in Triple-A with a two-run homer into the Creamland Berm.

The I-Cubs and ‘Topes then traded a pair of runs each in the seventh inning. Iowa led 3-2 going into the ‘Topes half of the seventh, but an RBI single from DeJesus, Jr. and a sacrifice fly from Sands gave Albuquerque a 4-3 lead.

The lead proved to be short-lived as Iowa tied it back up, 4-4, in the top of the eighth. Elbert took over for Travis Schlichting with two outs in the top of the ninth, but managed to induce a fly ball to end the I-Cubs’ threat.

As for the ‘Topes in their half of the ninth, Gibbons knocked a single up the middle to move DeJesus, Jr. from first to third. Sands was intentionally walked to load the bases, but Russ Mitchell flew out and Justin Sellers lined out to send the game into extras.

Elbert (1 1/3 innings pitched, one run, one hit, three strikeouts) was credited with the victory for Albuquerque, while Maine (1 1/3 innings pitched, two runs (all earned), three hits, one strikeout) took the loss for Iowa.

For more details on tonight’s game, check out AlbuquerqueBaseball.com later tonight for a full recap.

— Chris Estrada

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