The Albuquerque Isotopes pitched well for seven innings. It was the eighth inning that doomed them to defeat.
Visiting Colorado Springs struck for four runs against reliever Tommy Kahnle and cruised to an 8-2 victory Friday night. Kahnle had just been optioned back to Albuquerque prior to the game.
“Yeah, the wheels got a little wobbly there,” manager Glenallen Hill said. “Obviously he didn’t command the ball like he typically does. The first time we’ve seen him (struggle) in person.”
The Isotopes (58-76) led 2-0 after finally snapping a scoreless tie in the sixth inning on Roger Bernadina’s two-out RBI double and Tommy Murphy’s RBI single. Kahnle came in for the eighth and promptly gave up a leadoff walk and a double.
Juan Centeno’s sacrifice fly to left drove in Kyle Wren and moved Luis Sardinas to third. Kahnle then uncorked a wild pitch, enabling Sardinas to score the tying run.
After Matt Clark walked, Matt Dominguez crushed a go-ahead two-run homer to left field. Dominguez, who was celebrating his 26th birthday Friday, had grounded into two double plays earlier in the game and was 0-for-3 until the blast.
The Sky Sox (57-76) added four runs in the ninth. Sardinas had an RBI single, Wren scored on an error, Dominguez added an RBI double and Matt Long capped it with an RBI single.
Albuquerque starter Eddie Butler had a mixed outing. On one hand, he scattered four runs over 6.1 scoreless innings.
Butler also walked five batters and threw just 58 of 105 pitches for strikes. He had no strikeouts though he did go 2-for-2 at the plate.
The Isotopes survived Butler’s wildness by turning four double plays in the second, fourth, fifth and sixth innings. They just could not generate any offense until late and then it was not enough.
“He had five walks but he got the groundballs when he needed to and we were able to turn them into double plays,” Hill said. “Minimizing the damage and getting the right result in those situations, you can’t take away from that.”
Albuquerque and Colorado Springs will continue their series Saturday at 7:05 p.m. Left-hander Rudy Owens (1-5, 5.40 ERA) will start for the Isotopes while left-hander Brent Suter (3-0, 2.59) starts for the Sky Sox.
Around the Lab: Prior to the game, left-handed reliever Jason Gurka was called up by the Colorado Rockies to make his Major League debut and take Kahnle’s spot in the bullpen. To make room for Gurka on the 40-man roster, Isotopes left-hander Ken Roberts was designated for assignment. … Right-hander Jair Jurrjens, who had been on Albuquerque’s inactive list since Aug. 18, was given his outright release. He went 2-5 with a 6.88 ERA in 17 games (14 starts).