‘Topes rock I-Cubs, 18-3

Robinson, Sands and Oeltjen launch homers for Albuquerque

No extra-inning drama tonight — the Isotopes certainly made sure of that.

Albuquerque’s Trayvon Robinson broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the third inning with a three-run homer and triggered what would end up an 18-3 rout of the Iowa Cubs in front of 7,252 at Isotopes Park.

Everybody seemed to get in on the act as I-Cubs starting pitcher Thomas Diamond was chased off after giving up nine runs (all earned) on eight hits over 3 1/3 innings. He was pulled after allowing a three-run homer by Jerry Sands, which itself was preceded by an RBI single from Jay Gibbons that brought home Dee Gordon.

Sands led the team with five RBI on the night, followed by Trent Oeltjen with four RBI — three of which came on a long ball into the Creamland Berm in the eighth inning. Also knocking in runs were John Lindsey, Russ Mitchell, Juan Castro and Justin Sellers.

The Isotopes also got a great showing on the mound from starter Dana Eveland, who improved to 2-0 on the season. The Major League veteran (Brewers, D-Backs, A’s, Blue Jays and Pirates) went seven innings and allowed three runs (all earned) on six hits while striking out five batters. Reliever Jon Huber came on in the eighth inning and held the I-Cubs scoreless over the final two frames.

Albuquerque jumped ahead in the bottom of the first inning. After a leadoff single and stolen base from Gordon, and walks from Castro and Gibbons, Lindsey hit a sacrifice fly to right field that brought in Gordon to make it 1-0. The next batter, Sands, hit into a force out, but Mitchell then made it 2-0 ‘Topes with a single to left, allowing Castro to score.

Iowa answered back in the top of the second with an RBI triple from Bobby Scales and a ground out by Scott Moore that served to get Scales home and tie the contest.

But Albuquerque’s half of the third inning proved to feature the game’s turning point as Robinson, who cranked out a .300 batting average and 57 RBI last year in Double-A Chattanooga, turned on a 1-0 pitch from Diamond and sent it flying 420 feet into the I-Cubs’ bullpen. After that, it was all downhill for the visitors.

For a more detailed recap of tonight’s contest, head over to AlbuquerqueBaseball.com later on tonight.

— Chris Estrada

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