The Albuquerque Isotopes battled back to earn a 5-4 victory over the visiting New Orleans Zephyrs and sweep a doubleheader Saturday night.
Albuquerque (61-47) won the opening game 8-5 and moved one game ahead of Round Rock (60-48) atop the American Southern Division.
“Those are hard to come by, they really are,” manager Lorenzo Bundy said of the sweep. “We kind of make it interesting sometimes. We kind of work our way through it. It’s kind of like what we did tonight in the second game.”
The seven-inning game had its fair share of drama, including the last inning. Peter Moylan got Koyie Hill to pop up for the first out but Gil Velazquez reached on an infield single. Josh Smolinski then doubled to left-center to cut the lead to a single run.
Moylan shrugged it off to earn his third save, getting Bryan Petersen to fly out to center and then striking out Chris Valaika looking to end the game.
“Pete was OK in the top (of the seventh) except for one pitch,” Bundy said. “It wasn’t pitch but pitch selection for me. But that’s another story.
“The bottom line is in a seven-inning game we got out No. 21 when we had to. It was a good day for us.”
The Isotopes trailed 3-0 early before rallying in the fourth. Ian Stewart blasted a two-run homer, pinch hitter Matt Angle hit an RBI triple and Dee Gordon singled to right to score Angle and put Albuquerque ahead 4-3.
“We did a nice job of coming back,” Bundy said. “Taking advantage of a walk here and there. It always helps to get a two-run homer in that mix there every now and then to help you get back in the ballgame.”
Gordon stole four bases in the two games, giving him 42 on the year to break the Isotopes single-season mark of 41 set by Reggie Abercrombie in 2007.
His reaction? “Cool,” Gordon said with a smile.
“I’m just trying to help the team, just trying to get better as a player every day,” Gordon added. “I’m taking the things I’m learning and use them in a game.”
Gordon went 4-for-7 with three runs, a double, a triple and two RBI while making every play defensively while starting at second base in the opener and shortstop in the nightcap.
“Dee Gordon had a great day,” Bundy said. “He did a lot of good stuff today offensively he set the tone at the top of the order, stealing bases, getting guys over, RBI single. Nice job defensively at second and short. A very nice day for Dee.”
Red Patterson gave up three runs in four innings in a spot start for Albuquerque.
Sean White (4-5) picked up the victory with two scoreless innings of relief. He has allowed just three runs in 24 innings since the start of June.
“White was good; we got a big double play behind him with Rusty (Ryal),” Bundy said, noting the 3-6-3 double play that Ryal and Gordon turned to erase a two-on, one-out jam in the fifth inning.
The Isotopes will look to clinch the series Sunday night at 6:05 p.m.
Around the Lab
- Rehabbing Dodgers starter Stephen Fife (1-1, 4.58 ERA) will take the mound Sunday. It will be his second rehab start after he allowed two runs in four innings at Nashville last Monday.
- The Isotopes filled the open spot on their roster with a familiar face as right-hander Stephen Smith was promoted from Double-A Chattanooga. The former UNM standout went 1-0 with a 4.07 ERA in 11 games with Albuquerque earlier this season.