Isotopes Steal 3-2 10-Inning Win Over Omaha
The Albuquerque Isotopes (10-8) plated two runs in the top of the 10th inning without a hit, including one on a double-steal that provoked a throwing error, to out-pace the Omaha Royals (8-11) in extra-innings 3-2 Tuesday afternoon at Rosenblatt Stadium. The 'Topes leave their rain-truncated series with the Royals having taken two of three.
With the game knotted at 1-1 in the top 10th, the 'Topes got a break thanks to a couple of walks from Omaha reliever Blake Wood. Lucas May started the rally with a lead-off walk and was immediately sacrificed into scoring position thanks to a perfect bunt by Jamie Hoffmann. After Nick Green then drew a walk to put a pair of Isotopes on base, the duo took off on a double-steal with Chin-lung Hu at the plate. As May streaked for third, Royals catcher Cody Clark threw wildly to the bag, allowing May to scamper home with the go-ahead run and Green to advance 90 feet into third base. Hu then bounced a roller to first base that scored Green and gave Albuquerque a 3-1 lead without the benefit of a single hit.
Omaha wouldn't go quietly in the bottom of the 10th, however, off Isotopes reliever Luis Ayala. Irving Falu and Marc Maddox drew back-to-back one-out walks in front of Scott Thorman, who laced a single to right, scoring Falu and cutting the lead to 3-2. With runners on the corners and just one down, Ayala (2) coaxed a pop-out to short and a groundout to second to escape the threat and record his second save of the season.
Prior to the 10th-inning dramatics, the contest was a classic pitcher's duel, with Isotopes starter Josh Towers and O-Royals starting pitcher Anthony Lerew battling through six strong innings apiece before departing the game in a 1-1 tie.
Towers was typically excellent, allowing one unearned run on six hits in six frames while walking none and striking out two. The only run on the right-hander came in the second when David Lough and Jordan Parraz started the inning by reaching on back-to-back 'Topes errors, advancing into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt and having the lead-runner Lough score on a sacrifice fly that gave the home team a 1-0 lead.
Albuquerque would answer immediately in the top of the third when Hu walked, motored to third on a single by Timo Perez, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Ivan De Jesus, Jr. to knot the game at 1-1.
After that it was all pitching as Towers gave way to Brent Leach, who tossed a scoreless seventh and eighth before Travis Schlichting (1-0) came on and authored a scoreless ninth to ultimately secure his first win of the year.
Albuquerque will take a day off before welcoming the Round Rock Express to Isotopes Park on Thursday. Right-hander James McDonald (0-0, 4.97) will make his first start since going on the DL with a broken fingernail on his pitching while taking on Express righty Josh Banks (1-2, 3.65) in a 6:35 PM start from The Lab.
The 'Topes return home this Thursday for a four-game set against the Round Rock Express, Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros. On-tap for the short homestand is an Isotopes hat giveaway and the first post-game fireworks show of the season. Tickets for any Isotopes game may be purchased at the Isotopes Park Box Office, at Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 1-800-745-3000, or on-line at www.albuquerquebaseball.com or www.ticketmaster.com .
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