After relying on big-time offense during their first two wins against the Iowa Cubs in this series, the Albuquerque Isotopes grabbed their third win out of four today against the visitors from Des Moines (a 4-3 triumph) with a combination of timely hitting and strong pitching. It’s nice to win with big bats, but as the second half of the Pacific Coast League season starts tomorrow, it’s going to be critical to take these close ones.
Fortunately, the ‘Topes know how to do the job. They’re now 18-6 in one-run contests.
Let’s check out today’s three stars of the game:
1. Ivan De Jesus Jr. (2-for-4, 2 RBI), Albuquerque
The red-hot third baseman continued his solid work as of late with a pair of RBI doubles, including what would be the game-winning two-bagger that broke a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the seventh inning. De Jesus has extended his current hitting streak to eight games overall, but even better for him, he’s tallied five straight games with multiple hits. In those five multi-hit contests, he’s gone 12-for-22 at the dish for a smokin’ .545 average.
2. Trayvon Robinson (2-for-4, HR (16), 2 RBI), Albuquerque
After a bit of a cold spell, Robinson has managed to climb back into the .300 range in recent times and he kept up his momentum with a monster two-run homer to center field that helped the ‘Topes jump ahead of the Cubs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Robinson also singled in the sixth inning on Monday afternoon.
3. Dana Eveland (7 IP, 10 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K), Albuquerque
Both Eveland and Iowa starting pitcher Ramon Ortiz (7 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K) had solid outings, but the Isotopes’ ace comes away with the third star after getting his seventh win of the year. Eveland had a couple of big moments on Monday. He got out of a two-out bases-loaded jam in the Iowa half of the fifth by inducing a pop out from the Cubs’ Scott Moore. Then in the seventh inning, after Iowa tied the game, 3-3, with one gone, he managed to collect a fly out from Bryan LaHair and then struck out Moore to keep the game tied.
Honorable Mentions: Reliever Travis Schlichting and closer Jon Link managed to preserve the one-run lead after Eveland’s exit. Schlichting recorded a 1-2-3 eighth inning and Link shut down the Cubs in the ninth for his seventh save of the year.
Valentin fills in for Bundy
Isotopes hitting coach John Valentin served as Albuquerque’s acting manager for today’s game, as skipper Lorenzo Bundy went to Los Angeles to fill in as the Dodgers’ third base coach for their game tonight against the Detroit Tigers (8:10 p.m. MT). Regular Dodgers third base coach and former Isotopes manager Tim Wallach is currently absent from the team after his father passed away on Saturday.
The Isotopes made two additions to their roster on Monday, as left-handed pitcher David Pfeiffer was called up to Albuquerque from Double-A Chattanooga and infielder Joe Becker came over from Single-A Great Lakes.
Pfeiffer joins the ‘Topes after making 23 appearances for the Lookouts, in which he attained a 4-1 record and a 3.50 ERA. The Florida native had 46.1 innings pitched, struck out 31 batters and walked 11.
As for Becker, he returns to the Duke City following an 18-game stint with the ‘Topes earlier in the season. He batted .297 in that period for Albuquerque.
Infielder Charlie Mirabal has been moved to the roster for Rookie-Level Ogden.