Portland Overcomes Albequerque
Squandering an early five-run lead, the Albuquerque Isotopes (62-52) allowed the Portland Beavers (50-64) to mount a comeback to which the Â‘Topes had no reply as the Beavers pulled out a gut-wrenching 7-5 win Friday night at Isotopes Park.
After putting up five runs in the first two frames, the usual formula for success, Albuquerque averted any response as the Beavers charged back with seven unanswered tallies.
Chin-Lung Hu led off the game with a single to left before Blake DeWitt pushed him to third with another single. A fielder's choice from Jamie Hoffmann plated Hu while Brett Harper sent a two-out double to left, scoring Hoffman to put the Â‘Topes up 2-0 after the first.
Albuquerque added three more via the long ball in the bottom of the second. Luis Maza, fresh off the disabled list, deposited a bomb to left-center. After Hu worked a walk, DeWitt rocketed his first home run since May 26 for another two runs, making it 5-0 Isotopes.
The beginning of the end started for the Â‘Topes when sensational starter Charlie Haeger was removed after just four innings of work, only the third time Haeger has tossed four innings or fewer in 22 starts. Undoubtedly dialed in, Haeger had surrendered just four hits for one run and fanned five.
Henry Bonilla took over with a 5-1 advantage in the top of the fifth, allowing one run in his first frame of work before going two more scoreless innings to keep it to 5-2 Albuquerque.
Beavers starter Wade LeBlanc settled in starting in the third, shutting down the Â‘Topes until his exit after the sixth. LeBlanc, who is riding a three-game losing streak, retired 12 of 13 batters from the third to the sixth including sitting down the last 10 he faced.
Bonilla's effort was suddenly spoiled in the eighth as the Beavers scored four straight runs on two home runs. First, former Â‘Tope Valentino Pascucci, who has already crushed a solo shot in the past two games against his former team, quickly made it three with a long ball to left to bring Portland within 5-3. With two runners aboard, Bonilla served up another dinger, this one of the three-run variety to Yamid Haad, his first of the season, to quickly give Portland the lead 6-5.
Pascucci added a run with an RBI double in the top of the ninth, scoring Mike Baxter to make it 7-5.
While the Beaver offense pieced together the late comeback, the Â‘Topes fared no better against the Beaver bullpen arms as Eugolio De La Cruz shut down the seventh before Adam Russell, who was acquired in the Jake Peavy trade, picked up his second save in his third appearance with two innings of scoreless relief to wrap up the win for Portland. De La Cruz took the win while Bonilla dropped to 3-8.
Albuquerque will look to get back on the winning track behind right-hander Dwayne Pollok (2-4, 5.81), who will face Beavers righty Cesar Carrillo (0-1, 6.00) in a 7:05 PM MT start from Isotopes Park.
The Isotopes' big homestand rolls on with an Orbit Bank Giveaway tomorrow and the always popular Cowbell Night on Sunday! 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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Pacific Coast League Stories from August 7, 2009
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