The Albuquerque Isotopes (66-51) saw a 10-2 edge evaporate, the largest lead lost in franchise history, in a 14-11 defeat to the Tucson Padres (46-70) on Monday night at Isotopes Park. However, division rival Oklahoma City also dropped its contest, keeping the 'Topes two and a half games in front in the PCL's American Southern Division.
Holding a 10-2 advantage in the sixth, Albuquerque began to watch its lead slip away as Daniel Robertson jumpstarted the Tucson offense with a leadoff single, scoring three batters later on an RBI knock from Nick Hundley to bring the Padres within 10-3. With two runners on, Jeremy Hermida smashed a three-run dinger to right, narrowing the deficit 10-6. Vince Belnome then singled to right, took second on a single from Beamer Weems and scored on an RBI knock from Parrino, making the score 10-7.
The 'Topes regained a run in the bottom half of the frame when Alex Castellanos reached on a booted ball by Jedd Gyorko, took third on a double from Josh Fields and scored on a sac-fly from Scott Van Slyke.
Following a scoreless seventh and two quick outs in the eighth, the Padres plated seven runs on a mere two hits. Andy Parrino drew a two-out walk, Robertson singled to right and Gyorko reached on a fielding error, loading the bases. 'Topes reliever Scott Rice then took the mound, immediately yielding three consecutive walks that brought in three runs and allowed Tucson to climb within 11-10. Trailing by one and following the second pitching change of the inning, Belnome blasted a two-out grand slam off Angel Guzman to complete the comeback and give the Padres a 14-11 advantage. The eight-run comeback marked the largest deficit overcome by an opponent in Isotopes franchise history, overtaking the previous mark of seven set three times before entering 2012.
Albuquerque was held scoreless through the final two frames as Tucson held on for a 14-11 win.
The Isotopes originally claimed their large lead with an eight-run fifth, tying the season high for runs scored in a single frame. With the contest knotted 2-2, the 'Topes scored on an errant throw by pitcher Bear Bay which opened the flood gates. Elian Herrera crushed a run-scoring triple to center and scored on an RBI single from Castellanos to widen the advantage 5-2. Castellanos then stole second in front of a walk to Fields, putting two runners on for Van Slyke, who blasted an RBI double to make it 6-2. Tim Federowicz followed with an RBI knock to right, and after a Padres pitching change, Ivan De Jesus Jr. grounded into a force out, sending Van Slyke home to further tilt the score in Albuquerque's favor 8-2. With a runner on first, Tyler Henson became the first Isotope in exactly one year to collect two hits in one inning (Russ Mitchell, 8/6/11 vs. Tacoma) with his two-out double to left, and starter Blake Johnson capped off the monstrous inning with a two-run single that gave the 'Topes a lopsided 10-2 edge.
The Isotopes and Padres will continue their series tomorrow night. Albuquerque right-handed ace John Ely (11-7, 3.42) will square off against Tucson southpaw Andrew Werner (1-0, 4.40) with first pitch slated for 7:05 PM at The Lab.
Albuquerque's terrific homestand continues with two more games against the Padres and features an Adult Fun Run on Tuesday! Tickets for any Isotopes game may be purchased at the Isotopes Park Box Office, at Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 1-800-745-3000, or online at www.abqisotopes.com or www.ticketmaster.com.