The Albuquerque Isotopes put on their Dukes uniforms for Retro Night on Saturday and almost engaged in a classic Dukes-style slugfest. In the end the pitching settled down and Albuquerque walked away with a 9-6 victory over the visiting Sacramento River Cats.
The two teams combined for 13 of the 15 runs in the first three innings, which took 90 minutes to play. The rest of the game took 1:16 to play.
“It’s pretty crazy, I believe hitting is contagious and that kind of showed for both teams,” second baseman Trevor Story said. “You’re on your third at-bat and you look up and it’s still the third inning, it’s unusual but it’s great to have those kind of innings.”
Story went 3-for-5 with three doubles and two RBI to pace the Isotopes (47-55). Since coming up to Triple-A, Story has 18 extra-base hits (12 doubles, six home runs) out of his 25 total hits.
“He’s a very talented guy so ideally when we get guys of his caliber from within the organization, the most important thing is to make him comfortable at this level,” manager Glenallen Hill said. “He feels very comfortable to the point where he can just go out and let his talent play out.”
Story’s first two doubles, in the first and second innings, went to left-center. His third double in the third inning went to right-center.
“Yeah, when I’m in a groove it’s either left-center to right-center and anywhere in between,” Story said. “If it goes anywhere else it’s a mistake.”
Albuquerque led 3-1 after the first inning before Sacramento (44-57) fought back in the second. Jarrett Parker belted a two-run homer and pitcher Nik Turley tried to help his own cause with a two-run single.
The Isotopes got a run back in their half of the second before roaring back in the third. Dustin Garneau scored on a wild pitch and Tim Smalling belted a two-run homer before Story added his RBI double to make it 8-5.
Angelys Nina hit a leadoff home run in the fourth to finish Albuquerque’s scoring for the night. The pitching staff, though, did not need any additional support.
After two shaky innings, Boone Whiting (3-4) delivered three scoreless frames before handing the ball over to the bullpen. Rudy Owens, Jairo Diaz and Justin Miller combined to allow just one run in four innings, with Miller earning his sixth save.
“It was a nice job by Boone,” Hill said. “He’s an interesting guy. We call him ‘The Magician.’ Because if you watch him pitch, his fastball is anywhere from 82 miles an hour to 93 and you can never tell what ball he’s throwing.”
Story and Nina each finished with three hits, while Smalling and Rafael Ynoa added two apiece. It was a welcome rebound after a frustrating 7-2 loss on Friday.
“We weren’t happy with what happened (Friday) night,” Story said. “We came back and delivered the first punch today. We kept fighting and Boone did a great job.”
Albuquerque and Sacramento will meet again Sunday at 6:05 p.m. The Isotopes will send left-hander John Lannan (6-4, 4.70 ERA) to the mound against River Cats lefty Ty Blach (8-8, 4.24), the Giants’ No. 7-ranked prospect.
Around the Lab: Owens signed a minor-league contract with the Rockies and was assigned to Albuquerque just prior to the game. He had pitched at three different levels in the Dodgers’ farm system earlier this season. … To make room for Owens, right-handed reliever Ryan Arrowood was optioned to Double-A New Britain.