The Albuquerque Isotopes took it on the chin again Friday night. This time they tried to get up off the canvas and fight back late, only to be knocked out for good in the ninth.
Visiting Tacoma built a huge lead, fended off an Albuquerque rally and struck again late in a 15-10 victory. Jesus Montero belted two home runs for the Rainiers (34-35).
“That wasn’t much of a game until we made it interesting (late),” manager Glenallen Hill said. “It was a really bad game, actually.”
Starter Yohan Flande (2-3) was hit hard and hit often. The lefty surrendered 10 runs on 14 hits in six innings of work, with Tacoma scoring eight of those runs with two outs.
“Flande just could not miss the barrel,” Hill said. “Sometimes you’ve just got to say what it is. It was just not a good performance from him tonight.”
Matt McBride had actually put the Isotopes (30-39) ahead 2-0 in the first inning with a towering home run to left field. Montero tied it up with the first of his pair of two-run shots in the third.
The Rainiers racked up three runs in the fourth and got a monstrous two-run bomb into the center field trees off the bat of Patrick Kivlehan in the fifth that made it 7-2.
Montero then followed Shawn O’Malley’s RBI triple with his second two-run homer in the sixth. That would mercifully be the end of the night for Flande.
“He didn’t have command of his fastball, he didn’t have command of his changeup, so a lot of those balls didn’t end up in the lcoation he wanted to,” Hill said. “They didn’t get missed.
“And this was the first time I’ve actually seen the baseball really carry here early in the day. Maybe it was the heat, maybe it was the wind going out to left field.”
Albuquerque strung together a series of hits in the seventh, including Drew Stubbs’ two-run single to ultimately cut the deficit to 10-7. The Isotopes would get no closer, however, as Simon Castro gave up one run in the eighth before things got ugly again in the ninth.
Rex Brothers loaded the bases on two walks and a single. After an error let in one run, Brothers walked the next two batters to force in two more runs and the final run would score on a double play.
“That wasn’t characteristic of the Rex we’ve seen over the last couple of weeks,” Hill said. “Players can have outings like that. I think the most important thing is how he bounces back (Saturday) or the next day. I expect he’ll be right back on track.”
Albuquerque will face Tacoma again on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. Right-hander Jair Jurrjens (1-0, 2.60 ERA) will start for the Isotopes against Rainiers right-hander Jordan Pries (3-1, 5.67), who will have to be activated from the disabled list.
Around the Lab: The Colorado Rockies activated left-handed reliever Ken Roberts from the disabled list and optioned him to Albuquerque. Roberts had pitched two games on rehab with the Isotopes this week. … Eight of the nine starters for the Isotopes played a different position than the night before. Only Dustin Garneau remained at catcher from Thursday’s game.