Iowa jumped out a quick lead in the second when Adrian Cardenas led off the frame with a loud triple off the wall in right and was cashed in by a single to center by Josh Vitters to give the home team a quick 1-0 edge. After a sacrifice by the pitcher Travis Wood moved the runner to second, Tony Campana hit a bouncer to second, where Alex Castellanos made a beautiful diving stop but threw wildly to first, allowing Vitters to score and double the advantage to 2-0.
The I-Cubs blew the game wide open in the very next frame, scoring six times, two on a home run by Anthony Rizzo and two more on a monstrous blast over the left field fence by the pitcher Wood to seize an 8-0 lead after just three innings.
Albuquerque was undaunted by the eight run deficit and started climbing back into the game in the fourth, when Castellanos drew a one-out walk and Jerry Sands added a single to center. With two on and two out, red-hot Scott Van Slyke delivered a two-run double deep off the wall in center to drive home both runners and put the 'Topes on the board 8-2.
Iowa added a run of insurance in the bottom of the fourth to make the score 9-2 before the Isotopes answered in the top of the sixth when Castellanos led off the inning with a double to left, scampered into third on a wild pitch, and scored on sacrifice fly to center by Jeff Baisley to trim the Cubs lead to 9-3.
The I-Cubs would plate one more run in the bottom of the sixth on the second monstrous home run by Rizzo, but the 'Topes again responded in the top of the seventh. With one down, Tim Federowicz coaxed a walk and advanced to third when a grounder off the bat of Luis Cruz was picked up by Cubs third baseman Vitters but thrown into center field in the attempt to start a double-play. The miscue would open the flood gates for pinch-hitter Trent Oeltjen, who hammered a two-run double to center to bring Albuquerque within 10-5. Matt Angle then took the first pitch he saw and drove it into center, scoring Oeltjen and cutting the lead to just four at 10-6.
Once again, however, the rally would fall just short, as a pair of I-Cubs relievers, Esmailin Caridad and Blake Parker, tossed a one-two-three inning apiece to close out the 'Topes and seal a 10-6 triumph.
Wood (1-0) earned the victory for Iowa, while Isotopes starter John Ely (0-1) suffered the loss after allowing eight runs, seven of them earned, on 10 hits in just three innings.
The 'Topes look to snap a three-game losing streak in a Tuesday matinee behind right-hander Mike Parisi (0-0, 3.60), who will take the mound against Cubs righty Randy Wells (1-0, 4.50). First pitch from Principal Park in Des Moines is scheduled for 11:05 AM MT. All the action can be caught on 1050-AM KTBL beginning with the Bank of the West On-Deck Show at 10:30 AM.
After three more games in Iowa, Albuquerque returns home this Friday for an action-packed home-opening eight-game homestand. On Friday, the first 3,000 fans will get an Isotopes scarf courtesy of Sandia Resort and on Saturday, 'Topes beanie caps will be handed out to the first 3,000 fans courtesy of Coca-Cola. Dodgers Hall of Fame Manager Tommy Lasorda is also scheduled to join in on Friday's Opening Night festivities.