ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The Albuquerque Isotopes had one last shot to salvage a home opening series split against Tacoma Monday night but, faltered in the 9th to fall 8 to 6. Tacoma won the series 3 games to 1. The visitors rallied for comeback victories in all of their wins. Both teams took turns holding the lead. It slipped away from the Isotopes for good in the 9th when Ji-Man Choi doubled to score the go-ahead run with only one out in the inning. With the loss the Isotopes drop to 5 and 6 on the season. They will begin a four game series with El Paso tomorrow.
In a game that saw both teams take and lose the lead multiple times, the Albuquerque Isotopes (5-6) were eventually outlasted 8-6 by the Tacoma Rainiers (5-5) after a two-run ninth inning sealed the ‘Topes fate.
Each team was touched for a run in the second. The ‘Topes Stephen Fife gave up a one-out walk that came around to score on a groundout, and Albuquerque cashed in on a one-out triple by Nick Buss when Alex Guerrero singled to center.
After the Rainiers tacked on an unearned run in the top of third inning, the Isotopes put a three-spot on the board in the bottom half. Joc Pederson singled with one out and subsequently scored on a Jamie Romak double. Clint Robinson then provided the big hit of the inning, a two-run home run to centerfield to give the ‘Topes a 4-2 lead through three.
Tacoma once again pulled even in the top of the fourth with a two-RBI double from Humberto Quintero, but Guerrero broke that tie in the bottom of the inning with his second home run in as many days. The Isotopes added another run in the bottom of the fifth when Buss singled in Miguel Olivo to widen their lead to 6-4.
Single runs in the sixth and seventh from the Rainiers tied the game back at six, and a Ji-Man Choi double scored the go-ahead runwith one out in the ninth. Choi would later score on a groundout to pad theRainiers’ lead to the game’s eventual 8-6 final score.
Guerrero has only played in two games in Albuquerque but is 6-for-7 with two home runs, five RBI and walk in eight plate appearances. Buss also completed his good series with six RBI in the four games, including a home run, two triples and a double.
The Isotopes will begin a four-game series will the El Paso Chihuahuas Tuesday,April 15, with first pitch set for 6:35 p.m. at Isotopes Park. El Paso will be making their first visit to Albuquerque after moving from Tucson after the 2013 season. Right-hander Zach Lee (0-1, 5.63 ERA) is set to take the hill for the Isotopes, while the Chihuahuas will counter with righty Keyvius Sampson (0-1, 1.08).