Albuquerque aiming for series sweep tomorrow
Trent Oeltjen paced another solid offensive outing for the Isotopes tonight, going three-for-five and hitting two home runs to help Albuquerque defeat the Iowa Cubs, 10-7.
Oeltjen hit a solo shot in the third inning and a two-run homer in the fourth inning off I-Cubs starter Austin Bibens-Dirkx. He also hit an RBI single in the sixth inning for a four-RBI night.
Albuquerque took a 3-0 lead in the second inning when Trayvon Robinson hit a three-run blast into the Creamland Berm, bringing home Jerry Sands and J.D. Closser. The ‘Topes then made it 4-0 in the next inning on Oeltjen’s first home run of the night.
Iowa plated a pair of runs in the top of the fourth to cut the lead to 4-2, but Albuquerque responded with five runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Closser and Robinson opened with back-to-back singles, which was followed by Justin Sellers getting hit in the hand with a pitch. With pinch-runner Joe Becker taking Sellers’ place at first, pitcher Francisco Felix stepped up and singled to left field, scoring Closser and Robinson.
Dee Gordon then grounded out to bring home Becker from third base for a 7-2 ‘Topes lead. One batter later, Oeltjen turned on a 2-1 pitch from Bibens-Dirkx and sent it into the Berm to make it 9-2 ‘Topes.
That five-run outburst effectively put the game out of reach, even though Iowa tried to rally by scoring four runs over the final three innings.
Taking the win for Albuquerque was Felix, who stepped in for starting pitcher Jon Link with two outs in the fourth inning. Felix gave up one run on two hits over 2 1/3 innings. Getting the save was Roman Colon, who pitched 1 2/3 innings and struck out the I-Cubs’ Chris Robinson to seal the victory in the top of the ninth.
Bibens-Dirkx took the loss for Iowa after getting rocked for nine runs (all earned) on nine hits over four innings of work.
Several ‘Topes suffered some injury trouble tonight. Sellers wound up with a contusion on his right hand after getting hit in the fourth inning, while Juan Castro sustained a left oblique strain while batting. Also, Closser received a black eye after a ground ball bounced up and hit him. Evaluations are pending on all three players.
For a full recap of tonight’s game, check out the game story on AlbuquerqueBaseball.com later tonight.
— Chris Estrada