El Paso, TX – A mix of early offense and clutch pitching late was enough to keep the Albuquerque Isotopes in the playoff hunt on Saturday. Daniel Montaño highlighted a three-run opening frame with a two-run double, Jonathan Morales later added a two-run clout, while the bullpen worked four scoreless
El Paso, TX – A mix of early offense and clutch pitching late was enough to keep the Albuquerque Isotopes in the playoff hunt on Saturday. Daniel Montaño highlighted a three-run opening frame with a two-run double, Jonathan Morales later added a two-run clout, while the bullpen worked four scoreless innings in Albuquerque’s 6-4 victory over the Chihuahuas at Southwest University Park.
First-place Las Vegas lost at Round Rock, meaning those two clubs are now in a virtual tie atop the standings. Albuquerque is tied for third place, 3.0 games back. The Isotopes elimination number remains five with seven contests left in the season.
Topes Scope: - Every contest in this series has been decided by three runs or fewer. Overall, Albuquerque is 9-15 in two-run games and 6-5 on the road.
- Albuquerque earned their ninth series victory of the year, their most since claiming 11 in 2019 when a majority of sets featured three or four contests. The five road series wins are their most since 2018 (five: Salt Lake, Tacoma Reno, Sacramento, Iowa).
- The Isotopes are now 8-1 in games played during the month of September at Southwest University Park.
- Albuquerque drew exactly eight walks for the sixth time in 2023, and it was their 17th contest in which they took eight or more.
- On the other hand, Isotopes batters struck out only six times, marking the 18th occurrence they’ve had six or fewer and second of the series (four on Wednesday).
- Albuquerque collected only two-extra base hits for the 26th time in 2023, and it was the 53rd instance they have ended a contest with a pair or fewer.
- Aaron Schunk stole second base in the fifth inning, Albuquerque’s eighth consecutive game with a swipe, one shy of tying the season and club record set from June 30-July 8. The Isotopes have 160 steals, five short of the second-most in team history (165 in 2013).
- Jimmy Herron drew two walks, meaning he has reached base in 54 of his last 58 contests. Herron is slashing .341/.463/.563 with 17 doubles, a triple, nine homers, 43 RBI, 44 walks and 24 steals in 26 attempts during the stretch. Additionally, Herron’s on-base percentage is .404, one percentage point shy of tying Mike Kinkade’s mark from 2006, which would be good for fifth place in single-season club history if the season ended today.
- Wynton Bernard’s RBI single in the sixth inning was the 1,000th of his Minor League career, spanning 11 seasons with 12 teams. Bernard has recorded at least one knock in 46 of 57 games since rejoining Albuquerque on June 30.
- Montaño has collected 16 RBI in his last nine games, with three run-scoring hits in the first inning of contests during the span. Additionally, he has five separate knocks to score multiple runs throughout this stretch.
- Schunk produced his fifth multi-hit contest in 12 games this month, after collecting only four in the entirety of August (23 contests).
- Morales added to a career-high with his 14th long ball of the season. He has driven in at least one run in nine of 18 contests he has played against the Chihuahuas in 2023.
- Stephen Jones worked a perfect eighth inning on eight pitches, and has not permitted a run in six of eight appearances since returning from Double-A Hartford on Aug. 24.
- Tommy Doyle earned the save, his seventh of the season, including a second consecutive outing. Doyle has kept the opposition from scoring an earned run in 24 of 31 appearances at Triple-A this season.
- Doyle’s save was Albuquerque’s 24th of the year (tied with Columbus and Louisville for third-fewest in Triple-A) and third this series. Matt Carasiti closed out Tuesday’s win.
- Glen Otto lasted just 2.0 innings for El Paso, the seventh opposing starting pitcher to work two or fewer frames due to poor performance this season. He walked five, after issuing three free passes in 2.1 innings against Albuquerque while with Round Rock on Aug. 9.
On Deck: Albuquerque and El Paso meet for one last time this year Sunday afternoon, with first pitch slated for 12:05 pm MT. It is also the Chihuahuas final home game of the 2023 campaign. Right-handed pitcher Tanner Gordon is scheduled to start for the Isotopes, while southpaw Aaron Leasher will throw for El Paso.