Veterans Pitchers Boost 'Topes to 3-1 win

Shawn Estes and Jeff Weaver pitched Albuquerque to a 3-1 win over Iowa. Chattanooga took it on the chin from Birmingham again, this time 8-2. Inland Empire slugged five home runs, two by Tommy Giles, while crushing Lancaster 16-1 and Great Lakes and Justin Miller won their home opener for the second year in succession 4-2 over West Michigan.

Veterans Help 'Topes Dump Iowa
The Albuquerque Isotopes (2-3) got a pair of strong pitching performances from a pair of veterans, LHP Shawn Estes and RHP Jeff Weaver, who guided the Isotopes to 3-1 win over the Iowa Cubs (3-2).

Both Major League veterans needing innings after they spent Spring Training in the the Dodgers' bullpen. Estes started and was excellent, allowing one run on three hits in four innings while walking one and striking out three.

The left-hander allowed the only run of the game in the fourth when Jake Fox led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch, advanced to third on a single by Luis Rivas, and scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Nate Spears to give Iowa an early 1-0 lead.

I-Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija allowed just two hits and a walk in four shutout innings while striking out four. After a single by Dee Brown in the first, the young Notre Dame product retired 11 straight Isotopes.

In the fifth Estes gave way to Weaver (1-0), who was dominant, allowing just a pair of walks in three scoreless, hitless frames to earn the win.

The Albuquerque offense erupted for three runs in the seventh. Outfielder Jason Repko his team-leading third home run of the young season, tying the game at 1-1. First baseman Valentino Pascucci slugged a drive to the 428 sign in deep left-center field and the 6-6, 268-pounder thundered into third with his first triple since 2007.

Outfielder Mitch Jones drove him in with a single, giving the 'Topes their first lead since Thursday at 2-1. Chin-Lung Hu advanced Jones to second with a and Hector Luna rapped a single that scored Jones and gave Albuquerque a 3-1 lead.

Nick DeBarr, who tossed a scoreless eighth inning and Tanyon Sturtze earned the first save by an Isotopes pitcher this season although allowing two hits in a scoreless ninth.

Blake DeWitt, who was sent to Albuquerque and Juan Castro promoted to Los Angeles, did not play.

Albuquerque will host Iowa in the second of a four-game set. Opening Day winner, right-hander Miguel Pinango (1-0, 1.80 ERA) takes the mound for the Isotopes against Iowa righty Mitch Atkins (0-1, 12.60 ERA).

On Wednesday, the Isotopes will honor Jackie Robinson and Negro League players 62 years after Robinson broke the color barrier. In a pre-game ceremony, Robinson's number will be placed on the outfield wall of The Lab, displayed just as it is at every Major League park.

  Score by Innings

Iowa          000 100 000-1
Albuquerque   000 000 30X-3

  Albuquerque   ab r  h  bi ave
Maza 2b         4  0  1  0  .238
Brown lf        4  0  1  0  .500
Repko cf        4  1  1  1  .316
Pascucci 1b     4  1  1  0  .188
Jones rf        2  1  1  1  .154
Hu ss           2  0  1  0  .444
Luna 3b         3  0  1  1  .143
Ellis c         3  0  0  0  .313
Estes p         1  0  0  0  .000
 Weaver p       1  0  0  0  .000
 Paul ph        1  0  0  0  .400 
 DeBarr p       0  0  0  0  .000
 Sturtze p      0  0  0  0  .000
-----------------------------
  Totals
Albuquerque    28  3  7  3
Iowa           40  1  6  1

  Error- Maza (1). 3B- Pascucci
(1). HR- Repko (3). RBI- Repko
(4), Jones (2), Luna (2). S- HU.
LOB- Albuquerque 4, Iowa 7. DP-
Maza and Pascucci.  

  Albuquerque     in h r-er bb so era
Estes            4.0  3  1-1  1  3  2.25
Weaver (1-0)     3.0  0  0-0  2  0  4.15
DeBarr           1.0  1  0-0  0  0  3.86
Sturtze (sv,1)   1.0  2  0-0  0  1  0.00
  HBP- Estes. T- 2:18. Att- 6,387.
Barons Rap Lookouts Again
Birmingham was a rude host, winning four of the five games in the season-opening series with Chattanooga (1-4) this one 8-2.. They rolled up a 6-0 lead on starter James Adkins (0-1) before the Lookouts got on the scoreboard in the sixth inning.

Adkins, who was selected 39th overall in the 2007 draft, was tagged for 11 hits and all six runs before being knocked out of the box in the fifth inning. Reliever Jesus Castillo closed out the fifth and added a scoreless sixth. Victor Garate added a shutout seventh but Jacobo Meque was tagged for two more runs in the eighth.

Andrew Lambo collected the Lookouts only hits when he singled in the first and third innings. Chattanooga finally broke out in the sixth when outfielder Jamie Hoffman, catcher Gabe Gutierrez and Josh Bell doubled with one out.

Lambo and Bell each had two of the six hits Chattanooga could manage.

The Lookouts were happy to see Birmingham leave after the game and hope their fortunes improve when they host Montgomery tonight in the firs game of a five-game series.

  Score by Innings
Chattanooga        000 002 000-2
Birmingham         011 310 02x-8

  Chattanooga      ab r  h  bi ave
Mercedes 2b        3  0  0  0  .130
Lambo lf           4  0  2  0  .435
Hoffmann rf        4  1  1  0  .333
Martinez dh        4  1  1  1  .304
Bell 3b            2  0  2  1  .278
Mitchell 1b        4  0  0  0  .182
May c              3  0  0  0  .278
Sellers ss         4  0  0  0  .188
Godwin cf          3  0  0  0  .000
-----------------------------
  Totals          31  2  6  2  
  Birmingham      36  8 14  9

  Error- Bell (1). 2B- Hoffmann
(3), Martinez (2), Bell (2). RBI-
Martinez (6), Bell (1). LOB- 
Chattanooga 6, Birmingham 8. CS-
Bell (1).  

  Chattanooga      in  h r-er bb so  era
Adkins (0-1)      4.2 11  6-6  1  3 11.57
Rodriguez         1.1  1  0-0  0  0  0.00
Garate            1.0  1  0-0  0  0  0.00
Meque             1.0  1  2-2  1  2 23.14
  WP- Akins. HBP- by Adkins.
T- 2:32. Att- 1,819. 
Sixers Unload on Lancaster
After splitting their opening series with Rancho Cucamonga, Inland Empire (3-2) moved above .500 for the first time in the young season when they exploded for 22 hits in a 16-1 win over Lancaster.

They rolled to a 9-1 lead in the third inning, making life easier for starter Tim Sexton (1-0) who allowed a single run over his five innings. Miguel Sanfler and Joe Jones worked a pair of scoreless innings each and allowed only three hits between them.

Center fielder Trayvon Robinson and designated hitter Eduardo Perez led the onslaught with four hits each, both adding a home run, Robinson's second and Perez's first. Right fielder Tommy Giles whacked a pair of homers (#2) and knocked in six runs while third baseman Pedro Baez (#2) added a fifth 66er homer.

Giles homered in the first inning with Preston Mattingly on base with a since and Baez doubled and scored in the second. The six-run third inning opened with six straight hits. Robinson doubled, Garrett Green singled, Mattingly singled, Giles homered, Perez singled and Baez homered. Catcher Kenley Jansen added a double with one out.

Inland Empire scored five in the eighth. Shortstop Rafael Ynoa opened with a single and trotted home on Robinson's home run. Mattingly and Giles singled before Perez swatted his first homer of the season.

  Score by Innings
Inland Empire   216 001 051-16
Lancaster       010 000 000- 1

  Inland Empire   ab r  h bi ave
Robinson cf        6  4  4  2  .381
Green 2b           6  1  3  1  .385
Mattingly lf       6  3  3  1  .278
Giles rf           5  3  3  6  .353
Perez dh           5  2  4  3  .526
Baez 3b            4  2  2  2  .231
Caseres 1b         5  0  1  0  .267
Jansen c           5  0  1  1  .182
Ynoa ss            5  1  1  0  .091
-----------------------------
  Totals         47 16 22 16
  Lancaster      41  1  9  1

  Error- Baez 2 (2). 2B- Baez
(1), Robinson (2), Jansen (1).
HR- Giles 2 (2), Baez (2),
Robinson (2), Perez (1). RBI-
Giles 6 (7), Jansen (1), Green
(2), Baez 2 (5), Robinson 2 (3).
Perez 3 (5), Mattingly (2). SF-
Giles. LOB- Inland Empire 6,
Landcaster 12. CS- Perez (1).
DP- Ynoa, Green and Caseres.

  Inland Empire   in  h r-er bb so  era
Sexton (1-0)     5.0  6  1-1  0  3  1.80
Sanfler          2.0  2  0-0  3  1  2.25
Jones            2.0  1  0-0  0  0  3.60
  WP- Sexton, Sanfler. HBP- Baez.
T- 3:04. Att- 2,956.
Loons Take Home Opener
Brad Golder
Great Lakes Loons

RHP Justin Miller started his second consecutive home opener for the Loons (3-1) and for the second consecutive home opener, the Loons picked up a Midwest League victory, winning Monday night 4-2 over the West Michigan Whitecaps.

Miller (1-0) picked up a quality win, hurling six innings, allowing just one earned run. Josh Walter (two innings) and Javy Guerra (one inning) combined for three no-run, no-hit innings of relief, with Guerra racking up his second save in as many games.

The Loons struck for three runs in the second inning and never looked back.

With one out and two runners aboard, Kyle Russell singled to right field for the Loons' first run. Later in the inning with the bases loaded, Matt Wallach singled up the middle to give Great Lakes a 2-0 lead. Again with the bases loaded, Erik Kanaby drew a walk to give the Loons a 3-0 edge.

Alfredo Silverio singled in the third for the Loons' fourth and final run. No Loons player had more than one hit, but all nine players in the lineup reached base at least once.

The homestand continues tonight against the Whitecaps.

  Score by Innings
West Michigan   000 110 000-2
Great Lakes     031 000 00x-4

  Great Lakes    ab r  h  bi  ave
Gordon ss        4  0  1  0  .222
Kanaby cf        3  0  0  1  .111
Pedroza 2b       4  0  1  0  .154
Gallagher dh     4  1  1  0  .294
Delmonico c      2  1  0  0  .273
Hatch 3b         2  1  1  0  .267
Russell rf       4  0  1  1  .267
Silverio lf      3  1  1  1  .455
Wallach 1b       4  0  1  1  .333
-----------------------------
  Totals         30 4 7 4
  West Michigan  34 2 5 1

  Error- Delmonico (1), Wallach
(1), Pedroza (1). RBI- Russell
(5), Wallach (3), Silverio (2).
LOB- Great Lakes 8, West Michigan
7. SB- Gordon (3), Pedroza (1). 

  Great Lakes   in  h r-er bb so era
Miller (1-0)   6.0  5  2-1  0  3  1.50
Walter         2.0  0  0-0  0  2  0.00
Guerra (sv,2)  1.0  0  0-0  0  1  0.00
  WP- Miller. HBP- by Miller 2. 
PB- Delmonico (2). T- 2:31. Att- 3,024.
     

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