August 22, 2007 - Pacific Coast League (PCL) - Albuquerque Isotopes
Andrew Beattie helped stir up a seven-run Albuquerque ninth inning with a three-run home run, but the Memphis Redbirds (53-79) had already established an ample lead on their way to a 20-12 victory over the Isotopes (67-63) in a series-opening slugfest Wednesday night at Isotopes Park.
The loss halts a seven-game winning streak for the Isotopes, but Albuquerque will enter play tomorrow still clinging to a piece of first place. The Isotopes defeat, coupled with an Oklahoma win over Nashville on Wednesday night, puts Albuquerque and the RedHawks in a tie for first in the Pacific Coast League\'s American Southern Division with just 12 games remaining in the regular season.
Albuquerque fell behind big early, and never really recovered, despite a valiant effort in the ninth inning. The Redbirds scored six times in the first inning, then went on to post at least two runs in five of their final eight at-bats to cruise to the victory.
Isotopes starter Kenny Baugh, who was scratched from his regularly-scheduled start on Tuesday with an illness, lasted just an inning. Baugh allowed six runs-five earned-on four hits. He walked one and didn\'t strike out a batter. After Baugh\'s exit, the Birds continued the offensive outburst on the Albuquerque bullpen. Jimmy Serrano surrendered seven runs-four earned-over four innings, Craig Molldrem allowed three unearned runs over two frames, and Harvey Garcia gave up four runs in one inning of work. Entering the ninth inning down 15 runs, the Isotopes turned to infielder Josh Labandeira to pitch the ninth. Labandeira tossed a shutout inning, allowing just a hit.
After keeping the Redbirds silent in the ninth, the Isotopes put up a fight in the bottom half of the inning. Paul Hoover, inserted as a defensive replacement in the ninth, knocked in the first two Topes runs of the frame with a single up the middle. After Brett Carroll induced a walk, Beattie stepped up and crushed his 12th home run of the season, a three-run blast that pushed the score to 20-10. After John Baker singled and Robert Andino reached on a fielding error, Reggie Abercrombie cleared the bases with a triple, pulling Albuquerque to within eight at 20-12. Joe Borchard followed with a groundout to first, though, to end the ballgame.
Aside from Beattie\'s three-run shot in the ninth, Albuquerque also benefited from solo home runs for Borchard, Andino, Abercrombie and Carroll in the ballgame.
The win went to Memphis starter Blake Hawksworth (4-13), who allowed three runs on six hits over five innings pitched. Hawksworth walked two and punched out six. Mark Worrell allowed a run over two innings, while Troy Cate surrendered eight runs-five earned-in 1.2 frames. Kelvin Jimenez was brought on in the ninth to secure the final out.
The series continues on Thursday night, with a 6:35 first pitch at Isotopes Park. Albuquerque left-hander Chris George (6-10, 5.68) will take on Memphis righty Chris Lambert (1-3, 7.95).
Still to come this homestand are fireworks, a Breast Cancer Awareness Weekend Pink Jersey Auction and several giveaways. Tickets can be purchased at Isotopes Park or any Ticketmaster outlet, www.ticketmaster.com, or Ticketmaster by phone 505-883-7800. For more information, visit www.albuquerquebaseball.com or call 505-924-2255.