The Isotopes (13-11) walked off with a 2-1 win in the opening game of a four-game set against the Memphis Redbirds (13-10) Monday April 29 from Isotopes Park. Elian Herrera delivered a bases-loaded single sealing the walk-off victory for Albuquerque.
Albuquerque RHP Angel Castro and Memphis RHP Michael Wacha were locked into a pitcher's duel through the first five and a half innings of the ballgame. Neither team's starter surrendered a run during that stretch. Wacha came into the season as the St. Louis Cardinals sixth ranked prospect by Baseball America.
Castro came off of a stellar outing his last start on April 23 going six innings deep allowing just one run. The Dominican native put together his second strong outing in as many starts. Thanks to a couple of well-time double plays Castro faced the minimum number of hitters through the first six innings. He retired eight Memphis batters in a row stretching from two out in the fourth through one out in the seventh.
Castro went a season-high seven innings into the game although he did not factor into the decision. He did not surrender a run and gave up four hits. He also walked one and struck out five. RHP Peter Moylan and RHP Chris Withrow combined for two innings of relief work. Moylan yielded the tying run and Withrow earned the win (2-0) tossing 1.1 one-hit innings. He also struck out one.
The Isotope offense generated some spark in the bottom of the sixth inning. 2B Elian Herrera (2-for-5) blasted an opposite field home run, his first of the season, to lead off the inning for the game's first run.
Memphis finally cracked through in the eighth to tie the game at one. SS Greg Garcia (1-for-4) led off with a single. Two outs later pinch-hitter Chad Huffman (1-for-1) hit his fourth triple of the season scoring Gregg.
The Redbirds threatened immediately in the ninth inning. 2B Kolten Wong (1-for-3) reached on a fielding error and CF Oscar Taveras (2-for-4) singled with nobody out. Withrow would eventually get out of a bases loaded jam getting a ground out from Greg Garcia to end the ninth.
The Topes filled the bases with no outs in the ninth behind a Brian Barden double, a hit-by-pitch by Chris Withrow and an intentional walk of Dee Gordon. Herrera came to the plate and single to right field on a full count to take game one 2-1 for Albuquerque.
Wacha tossed six good innings for the Redbirds. He gave up just one run in the form of a solo home run to Herrera. The righty struck out three, walked two and allowed five hits. Jorge Rondon suffered the loss (1-2).
The Isotopes and Redbirds will clash for the second time this season tomorrow Tuesday April 30 at 6:35 PM. Memphis will throw southpaw Tyler Lyons (2-1, 3.28) at Albuquerque against the Isotopes' RHP Blake Johnson (2-1, 5.40). Catch all of the game action on 610 "The Sports Animal" with Josh Suchon on the call.