Isotopes Win Home Opener 7-4

Coming off a 2-6 road trip the Albuquerque Isotopes rebounded with a 7-4 home opener win over the Omaha Storm Chasers (7-2).

Third Basemen Joe Becker who went one for four with three RBIs said the team felt alive and ready to play in front of the home crowd. "We were talking before the game and a lot of guys said that this was the opening game of the season,

Becker said, "On the road everyone felt blah and when we get here everyone felt like it was the opening game of the season."

In the bottom of the second, designated hitter Josh Fields hit a homerun to dead center field for the first two runs of the game, giving the Isotopes an early lead.

The Storm Chasers were able to answer back in the top of the third with a double to the left field wall by catcher Cody Clark that scored right fielder Irving Falu to cut the lead to one.

Clark reached third on an error by Isotope short stop Luis Cruz and subsequently scored when second basemen Johnny Giavotella singled to tie the game at two.

Starting pitcher Fernando Nieve (1-1) came into the game with a 48.60 earned run average in one inning of work after his first outing against Omaha.

Nieve pitched better this time going six innings allowing four runs, three of them earned and attained the win. Nieve said that he wanted to prove the last outing was a fluke because he knows he is a better pitcher.

"I think the only way to get better is to face the same team and try to get your pitches," Nieve said, "I was a little disappointed the last game because I felt good and also I think that I got beat up. So today I was able to make the adjustments."

Manager Lorenzo Bundy said that Nieve pitched well after having a tough first outing against the Storm Chasers.

"Obviously Fernando did a nice job after bouncing back this is the same team that ruffed him up pretty well last week," Bundy said.

The Isotopes took back the lead in the bottom of the third with another homerun to center field by left fielder Jerry Sanders on a 3-2 pitch.

Albuquerque scored again in the bottom of the fourth stretching the lead to two when in the top of the fifth Omaha scored answered back with another Clark double to left field.

The Storm Chasers tied the game at four after Tony Abreu grounded out into a force out scoring Clark.

That would be the last time the Storm Chasers scored as the Isotopes bullpen pitched three shutout innings. The two catalysts were pitcher Will Savage who pitched two shutout innings allowing only one base runner on a walk. The other was pitcher Josh Wall who picked up his second save of the season after pitching a scoreless ninth inning.

With two men on and no outs in the bottom of the sixth Albuquerque retook the lead when Becker hit a two RBI single through the hole at second base.

The Isotopes added one more run in the seventh to make the lead 7-4 and kept the game out of reach for the Storm Chasers.

Bundy said that the defense could have been better as the Isotopes committed three errors but he'll take the victory.

"It was a good win. It wasn't picture perfect our defense was a little shaky, but when you come off two and six you'll take a win like this," Bundy said.

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