The Isotopes (68-67) opened up a tight affair with two runs in the sixth inning and four runs in the seventh that proved helpful in an 8-3 victory over the Round Rock Express on Saturday night at Isotopes Park.
Albuquerque went up 1-0 in the first on a RBI single from Jerry Sands, and after the Express pulled even with a run of their own in the top of the second, the ‘Topes went ahead again, 2-1, in their half of the second as a Kyle Russell walk and Damaso Espino single set up Ivan Ochoa, who hit into a double play that still plated Russell.
The ‘Topes stretched their lead to 4-1 in the sixth as Russell socked a one-out, solo home run (his first Triple-A dinger) and Ivan De Jesus, Jr. singled with two away to score Espino. Then in the seventh, Albuquerque sealed the game with a four-run burst that featured back-to-back RBI doubles from Jay Gibbons and Russ Mitchell, a RBI single from Jerry Sands, and another RBI double from Russell. Round Rock scored two in the eighth to cut the ‘Topes’ edge to 8-3, but that would be as close as they’d get.
Here are Saturday’s Three Stars of the Game for your Isotopes:
1. Kyle Russell, RF (2-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, BB, two runs scored)
The solo homer from the Isotopes’ newest member triggered a six-run outburst over the next two frames for Albuquerque.
2. Alberto Bastardo, P (6 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 7 H, 4 BB, 4 K)
It’s not easy to chain down Round Rock’s strong offense, but Bastardo did the job and improved to 4-2 on the season, lowering his ERA to 5.59 (it was at 6.03 going into Saturday).
3. Jerry Sands, 1B (2-for-4, 2 RBI, one run scored)
Sands is now at 81 RBI on the season after his two RBI base hits on Saturday.
For a full recap of tonight’s game, head over to AlbuquerqueBaseball.com!