Zach Lee did not have many memorable moments in Albuquerque last season. He certainly had one Sunday night.
Now pitching for the Oklahoma City Dodgers, Lee dominated the current Isotopes in a 9-2 victory. The right-hander improved to 10-5, allowing just two runs on eight hits and no walks while striking out seven in 7.1 innings.
“Today I thought he had a good mix (of pitches),” manager Glenallen Hill said. “One of the things that stood out for me was he had command.”
Albuquerque (55-74), which was officially eliminated from playoff contention with the loss and Las Vegas’ 5-4 win over New Orleans, could not get anything going against Lee until his final inning. The former Isotope had only allowed four hits in seven shutout innings prior to giving up two in the eighth.
Last season, Lee went 7-13 with a 5.38 ERA in 27 starts and one relief appearance for Albuquerque. Pitching at a lower altitude in Oklahoma City, he has more than turned things around and even made his Major League debut earlier this season for Los Angeles.
Lee was the only former Isotope on the Oklahoma City roster to appear in the game. The Dodgers (78-50) did not call upon either reliever Ramon Troncoso or infielder Darwin Barney.
It mattered little as the rest of the Oklahoma City lineup had little trouble getting hits off Albuquerque starter Eddie Butler (2-4). The right-hander allowed five runs on nine hits and two walks while striking out four in seven innings.
Dodgers top prospect Corey Seager started out 0-for-3 before doubling and scoring in the seventh. In the eighth, he crushed an opposite-field, two-out grand slam off reliever Nelson Gonzalez to put the game out of reach.
Tyler Matzek did have another scoreless inning in the ninth. He retired all three batters he faced, striking out one, and has now thrown four innings without a run or a hit since rejoining the Isotopes on Aug. 14.
“He’s a stud, that’s what I see,” Hill said. “He looks very comfortable throwing.”
Albuquerque and Oklahoma City will continue their series on Monday at 6:35 p.m. Left-hander Rudy Owens (1-5, 5.31 ERA) will start for the Isotopes while lefty Ian Thomas (4-1, 5.59) starts for the Dodgers.
Around the Lab: Prior to the game, the Colorado Rockies recalled right-handed relievers Simon Castro and Jairo Diaz. Right-hander Justin Miller was optioned back to Albuquerque and veteran Rafael Betancourt was designated for assignment. … Taking the other open spot on the Isotopes’ roster was right-hander Brooks Brown, who was activated from the Rockies’ disabled list and optioned. He had already been with Albuquerque on a rehab assignment.