Memphis holds off 'Topes
The Memphis Redbirds (41-35) held off the Albuquerque Isotopes (37-37) with a two-run ninth inning and stole game one of a four game series 6-3, Saturday night at Isotopes Park.
With the Redbirds clinging to a one-run lead In the top half of the ninth, Daniel Descalso singled to left field against Topes pitcher James Adkins that scored Jim Rapoport and Joe Mather to ultimately seal Albuquerque's doom. Adkins threw only 11 pitches that allowed two runs on two hits.
Descalso had two hits with two RBIs and the Redbirds shortstop, Tyler Greene, had a solo home run over the left-field wall in the top of the fifth inning.
The Redbirds opened up the game with a two-run first inning against Topes starting pitcher Bobby Blevins. With the bases loaded and no out, Blevins beaned Redbirds left fielder Allen Craig, allowing Jon Jay to score and put the Birds on the board 1-0. Bryan Anderson followed with sacrifice fly ball to score Tyler Greene and extend the visitor's first-inning advantage to 2-0.
After a fourth inning solo shot by Anderson put the Topes down 3-0, Albuquerque found a little bit of offense in the bottom of the frame. Timo Perez singled in front of a perfectly executed hit-and-run single by Ivan De Jesus Jr. that sent Perez scampering to third. The Isotopes center fielder Jamie Hoffmann then laced an infield single to Redbirds third baseman Rueben Gotay that easily scored Perez, but Gotay made a bad throw to first that allowed De Jesus Jr to score as well and trim the lead to 3-2 Memphis.
Both teams would trade homers in the fifth, with Greene belting a solo shot in the top of the frame before Russ Mitchell blasted a monstrous solo homer in the bottom of the inning to make the score 4-3 Redbirds.
Blevins (0-1) earned his first Triple-A loss of the season going five innings and allowing six hits and four-earned runs. He did walk two batters and struck out two. Memphis starter Brandon Dickson (8-4) earned the win and Fernando Salas (12) who had just arrived after being sent down from the parent St. Louis Cardinals, got the save.
The Isotopes will look to snap a two-game losing streak on Sunday behind big-league veteran right-hander Claudio Vargas (0-1, 1.35) who will take the mound for the Topes against Birds lefty Evan MacLane (4-7, 4.62) in a 6:05 PM start from Isotopes Park.
Albuquerque continues its special "Dodgers Weekend" on Sunday with a Manny Ramirez replica batting practice jersey to the first 1,500 kids (17 and under) and a pre-game autograph session with Topes stars Ivan De Jesus Jr. and Xavier Paul courtesy of Cottonwood Printing. 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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