The Albuquerque Isotopes did not actually douse themselves with gasoline and light a match. It just seemed that way in a 17-6 loss to the visiting Fresno Grizzlies on Wednesday night.
The part of the match was played by Fresno first baseman Jon Singleton. All he did was go 4-for-6 with two home runs and 10 RBI.
“No, this is the first time,” a smiling Singleton said of 10 RBI in a game, which fell one short of the Pacific Coast League record. “The most I think I’ve had up to this point was six. I think I was in High-A in Clearwater (in 2011). Today was pretty successful, though.”
Singleton was a hyped prospect who reached the Majors last season with Houston. He hit 13 home runs in 95 games but hit just .168/.285/.335 with 134 strikeouts in 310 at-bats.
This spring he lost out on the starting job with the Astros to Chris Carter. Sent down to Fresno, he was batting .248/.362/.550 with eight home runs entering the series in Albuquerque.
He went 1-for-2 with a three-run homer Tuesday and picked up where he left off Wednesday for the Grizzlies (18-15). Singleton had a two-run single in the first, a grand slam in the second, a two-run homer in the third and a two-run single in the sixth.
“I’m just trying to take it pitch by pitch,” Singleton said. “I know I can get to the balls usually, that’s not a problem. It’s just me sticking to my game and sticking to my plan and knowing what I’m successful and going for it, too.”
The other Fresno players were no slouches at the plate. Top prospect Carlos Correa had two walks, a double and three runs scored in his first three plate appearances.
L.J. Hoes was only 1-for-2 but finished with five runs scored, thanks to three walks and a hit by pitch, and three RBI. Joe Sclafani added four runs while Domingo Santana had three RBI.
Tyler Matzek (0-1), sent down by the Colorado Rockies to deal with his control problems, showed he has a long ways to go to get back to the Majors. The lefty struggled to throw strikes and was pulled in the second inning, though it was too little, too late for Albuquerque (13-21).
Matzek’s final line was downright horrific — one-plus inning, one hit, seven earned runs, seven walks, one hit batter, two strikeouts. He threw 22 strikes and 32 balls before being pulled in favor of Ryan Arrowood.
Matzek walked the bases loaded to start the first and second innings. He walked Santana to force in a run in the first and then gave up the two-run single to Singleton.
In the second, Matzek hit Hoes with a pitch to force in a run and make it 4-0. He was replaced by Arrowood, who walked Santana to force in a run and then served up the grand slam to Singleton.
As a team, the Isotopes walked 13, setting a new team record for futility. They almost out-hit the Grizzlies, falling just short at 12 to 11.
Matt McBride was pretty much the sole source of Albuquerque’s offense. He belted a two-run homer in the first inning and another in the fifth.
The Isotopes and Grizzlies will meet at 11:05 a.m. Thursday. Albuquerque will start lefty Chris Rusin (2-2, 5.55) against Fresno lefty Luis Cruz (0-1, 4.56).
Around the Lab
Right-hander Simon Castro rejoined the active roster Wednesday. The reigning PCL pitcher of the week replaces right-hander Chad Bettis, who was called up by the Rockies.