The Albuquerque Isotopes will be awfully happy if they never see Mark Appel again. For the second time in a week, the Fresno Grizzlies right-hander was dominant on the mound at the Isotopes’ expense.
Appel struck out eight over eight innings as Fresno rolled to an 8-2 victory over Albuquerque. The Grizzlies have won nine of 10 over the Isotopes this season.
“Early on my slider, usually one of my go-to pitches, wasn’t consistent,” said Appel, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 draft. “I just really tried to pound the zone with the fastball.
“I tried to get some quick outs. I felt I had some good movement on the fastball.”
Back on Aug. 1, Appel (2-2) struck out 10, walked none and allowed just one run on three hits over seven innings against Albuquerque (51-67). This time around he gave up one run on four hits and one ball over eight innings, needing just 91 pitches (62 strikes) to go that deep.
The Isotopes had just three singles against Appel before Angelys Nina hit an RBI triple in the fifth. After that, Appel retired 11 in a row, five by strikeout, to sew up the win for Fresno (69-48).
“I think the strikeouts I had early on were mainly on the fastball, trying to get something elevated and getting them to swing under,” Appel said. “Towards the end I was able to get some swing-and-miss changeups and sliders going.”
Appel’s efficient outing was in sharp contrast to rehabbing Rockies right-hander David Hale (0-3). He needed 90 pitches to get through 4.1 innings, allowing six runs, five earned, on eight hits and three walks while striking out four.
The Grizzlies scored three in the first, one in the fourth and three more in the seventh. Max Stassi went 2-for-5 with three RBI.
The Isotopes got one run in the ninth off reliever Jake Buchanan. Trevor Story singled and later scored on a groundout by Dustin Garneau.
Albuquerque and Fresno will continue their series on Thursday at 6:35 p.m. Left-hander John Lannan (6-6, 5.37 ERA) will start for the Isotopes against Grizzlies right-hander Asher Wojciechowski (6-2, 5.42).
Around the Lab: Prior to the game, the Rockies purchased the contract of first baseman/outfielder Matt McBride. He takes the roster spot of outfielder Drew Stubbs, who was designated for assignment to make room on the 25- and 40-man rosters. McBride hit .328/.380/.549 with 30 doubles, 12 home runs and 49 RBI in 78 games. … Infielder Brock Bond was activated from the disabled list to take McBride’s spot on the Albuquerque roster.