Charlie Haeger's knucleball was dancing and he tossed a complete-game four-hitter to lead Albuquerque (26-25) to a 4-2 win over Oklahoma City at AT&T Bricktown Ballpark. The complete game is Haeger's second of the young season, as the Isotopes have now won three in a row.
The win give the Isotopes their fourth win at Bricktown Ballpark for the first time in team history. Prior to this year, they had never won more than three.
Haeger (6-3) cruised through his nine innings, yielding just a pair of runs on four hits while walking three and striking out three on his way to his team-leading sixth victory of the season, tying him for the third most in the Pacific Coast League.
Haeger threw 124 pitches on the afternoon, 76 of them for strikes, and is tied for the PCL lead with two complete games this season. However, the Isotopes righty is the only hurler in the League whose complete games were both nine-innings in length.
Albuquerque gained the lead in the top of the third when Danny Ardoin drew a lead off walk, advanced to on a sacrifice, moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a fielder's choice by Luis Maza, giving the 'Topes a 1-0 lead without a hit.
Hector Luna led off the fourth with a walk, moved third on Valentino Pascucci's ringing double down the left field line and scored on Ardoin's two-out single to left. Ardoin added another RBI single in the sixth, driving in Dee Brown who opened the inning with a single.
Oklahoma City finally scored in the bottom of the seventh on a single and a triple. A sacrifice fly cut the lead in half 4-2.
That's all Haeger would allow, however, finishing the game with two scoreless frames to seal the 4-2 victory.
The Isotopes wrapped up a 15-15 month of May and batted .277 in May as opposed to .255 in April. Albuquerque pitchers posted a team ERA of 4.70 in May, improving on their 5.29 ERA in the first month. They also smashed 18 home runs to give them a total of 40 for the season.
The Isotopes will look for a fourth straight win today after moving to New Orleans to begin a series with the Zephyrs. Right-hander Miguel Pinango (2-5, 7.36) will take the mound for Albuquerque against Z's lefty John Koronka (3-1, 2.93).
Albuquerque will return home this Saturday, June 6 for a four-game homestand against the Oklahoma City RedHawks.
Score by Innings Albuquerque 001 201 000-4 Oklahoma City 000 000 200-2 Albuquerque ab r h bi ave Maza lf 5 0 0 0 .236 Hu 2b 4 0 1 0 .228 DeWitt ss 3 0 0 0 .267 Luna 3b 3 1 0 0 .354 Brown rf 4 1 1 0 .319 Pascucci dh 3 1 1 0 .231 Garcia 1b 3 0 0 0 .170 Ardoin c 3 1 3 3 .235 Rosario cf 3 0 0 0 .286 --------------------------------- Totals 31 4 6 4 Oklahoma City 30 2 4 2 Error- Luna (8). 2B- Hu (8), Pascucci (7). RBI- Maza (13), Ardoin 3 (8). S- Rosario, Garcia. LOB- Albuquerque 6, Oklahoma City 5. CS- Ardoin (1). DP- Hu and Garcia. Albuquerque in h r-er bb so era Haeger (6-3) 9.0 4 2-2 3 3 4.59 T- 2:07. Att- 3,504.Lookouts Club Mobile 8-2
Russ Mitchell and Eduardo Perez slammed consecutive RBI doubles to left-center and Tommy Giles hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning, as Chattanooga dumped the BayBears 8-2 for their third win in the last 13 games.
Starting pitcher Kendy Batista, who just joined the team from high Single-A, racked up seven strikeouts in six innings to pick up the win.
"This was big for us," Mitchell told the Chattanooga Times Free Press. "I know we've been struggling here lately, so it was big to get back going and get us some confidence."
The Lookouts are 21-30 after snapping Mobile's nine-game winning streak, but reality, they've been sending their most talented players to Los Angeles.
Relief pitcher Travis Schlichting, who was recently promoted to the Dodgers, became the fourth Lookouts player this season to reach the big leagues, including pitchers Scott Elbert and Brent Leach and right fielder Jamie Hoffmann.
"I think it puts everything in perspective," Lookouts manager John Valentin said. "It really shows that they're not that far away with the work ethic and the desire to go out there and improve your game. It is something that they can almost see and feel and touch by seeing guys like Jamie Hoffmann and Brent Leach go up."
"Ultimately that's what this game is all about," Lookouts catcher J.D. Closser said. "We've had three guys go up who had never been to the big leagues. Hopefully those guys will do the same thing up there that they did down here and that we may never see them again, except on ESPN ‘SportsCenter' or something like that. We don't want to make excuses because they're not here, but for those guys it's awesome. That's what we play for."
Chattanooga came from behind in the fifth. Eddy Perez and J.D. Closser opened with singles. Batista moved them up with a bunt and a wild pitch tied the game. After a James Tomlin walk, Justin Sellers singled to put the Lookouts ahead, 3-2.
Josh Bell had put them up 1-0 with a homer to right in the second inning, his fifth of the season, but Mobile answered in the third with a homer of their own and made it 2-1 later in the third.
The Lookouts pretty much put the game on ice in the sixth inning when they exploded for four runs. Andrew Lambo walked and quickly scored on a Russ Mitchell double. Eddy Perez followed with an RBI double of his own to give the Lookouts their second run of the inning. After a Closser ground out, Tommy Giles lined his first homer as a Lookout over the right field wall for a 7-2 edge.
Lambo's solo shot in the seventh (#5) ended the scoring. Jesus Rodriguez and Matt Sartor closed the game out with three scoreless innings.
Chattanooga and Mobile will continue their five-game series with Jarrod Parker (3-2, 3.00 ERA), the No. 1 prospect in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization according to Baseball America, is scheduled to start for the BayBears against Josh Lindblom (2-3, 4.78) for the Lookouts.
Score by Innings Mobile 002 000 000-2 Chattanooga 010 024 10x-8 Chattanooga ab r h bi ave Tomlin cf 4 0 1 0 .286 Sellers ss 4 0 1 1 .267 Abreu 2b 2 0 0 0 .289 JGonzalez ph 2b 2 0 0 0 .212 Bell 3b 4 1 1 1 .287 Lambo lf 3 2 1 1 .268 Mitchell rf 4 1 1 1 .175 Perez 1b 4 2 2 1 .250 Closser c 2 1 1 0 .254 Giles ph 1 1 1 2 .143 Godwin ph 1 0 0 0 .256 --------------------------------- Totals 29 8 9 7 Mobile 29 2 4 2 Error- Mitchell (3). 2B- Mitchell (6), Perez (2). HR- Bell (5), Giles (1), Lambo (5). RBI- Bell (29), Sellers (9), Mitchell (22), Perez (1), Giles 2(4), Lambo (17). S- Bastisa 2. LOB- Chattanooga 5, Mobile 4. SB- Wallers (4), Tomlin (3). DP- Sellers and Perez; Bell JGonzalez and Perez. Chattanooga in h r-er bb so era Bastisa (1-0) 6.0 4 2-2 3 7 3.00 Rodriguez 2.0 0 0-0 0 1 3.16 Sartor 1.0 0 0-0 1 0 2.84 T- 2:19. Att- 2,334.Withrow Muffles Mavericks' Bats
Inland Empire (23-28) enjoyed the best of all possible worlds, air-tight pitching and a 14-hit attack that pushed 11 runs across the plate while beating High Desert 11-1.
66ers starter Chris Withrow, the Dodgers #1 pick in the 2007 draft, battled inconsistent command but pitched well with runners on base. He took advantage of double plays in the first and third innings before walking the bases loaded in the fourth, only to escape with an inning-ending groundout from Juan Diaz.
The 20-year-old Withrow (4-4) walked a season-high five, but stranded eight Mavericks runners over five innings. He allowed a single run on 5 hits while striking out 3.
The Sixers have scored at least ten runs in all five games at Maverick Stadium this season. In all five games, every member of the 66ers lineup has recorded a hit and the offense slugged four home runs the win.
Inland Empire jumped in front with two on and two out in the second inning when catcher Alex Garabedian hit a three-run homer to left, his third of the year. One inning later, Trayvon Robinson hit his seventh homer of the year, a two-run shot with Preston Mattingly aboard, extending the lead to 5-0.
And the hits just kept on a-coming. Justin Fuller added a solo homer to right in the fourth inning, his second, after hitting just one home run in 600 career at bats entering this season. And in the eighth, Mattingly launched a three-run homer to left that even cleared the second wall of billboards for his fifth of the year.
Remarkably, all four of Inland Empire's extra-base hits left the ballpark. Of the 14 hits, four were home runs and 10 were singles.
Mattingly, Garabedian, Fuller, Scott Van Slyke and Pedro Baez each clubbed a pair of hits for the 66ers.
The bullpen pitched well again, with Jacobo Meque setting a season-high with six strikeouts in two innings before Miguel Sanfler added two scoreless innings to close the deal.
In five games at Maverick Stadium this season, the 66ers have scored 60 runs, clubbed 87 hits and slugged 13 home runs. The win evens the season series at 4-4 between the 66ers and the Southern Division leading Mavericks.
The 66ers and Mavericks continue their series tonight with RHP Tim Sexton (1-5, 2.79) taking the ball for the Sixers while RHP J.C. Ramirez (3-1, 4.44) gets the nod for High Desert. Inland Empire returns home Tuesday, June 9 to host the Lancaster JetHawks.
Score by Innings Inland Empire 032 110 130-11 High Desert 000 010 000- 1 Inland Empire ab r h bi ave Mattingly lf 5 2 2 3 .307 AGonzalez 2b 5 1 1 0 .274 Robinson cf 4 2 1 3 .310 Van Slyke rf 4 0 2 0 .317 Baez 3b 5 1 2 0 .284 Ortiz 1b 4 1 1 1 .318 Herrera dh 5 0 1 0 .317 Garabedian c 5 2 2 3 .322 --------------------------------- Totals 40 11 14 10 High Desert 32 1 8 1 HR- Garabedian (3), Robinson (7), Fuller (2), Mattingly (5). RBI- Garabedian 3 (16), Robinson 2 (24), Fuller (4), Ortiz (1), Mattingly 3 (20). LOB- Inland Empire 6, High Desert 13. SB- Mattingly (5), Van Slyke (2). DP- Fuller, AGonzalez; Ortiz, Fuller and AGonzalez. Inland Empire in h r-er bb so era Withrow (4-4) 5.0 5 1-1 5 3 5.18 Meque 2.0 2 0-0 0 6 4.63 Sanfler 2.0 1 0-0 2 1 3.99 WP- Withrow. HBP- by Withrow, Fuller. T- 3:00. Att- 854.Great Lakes -- open date. The Loons made a roster move, placing outfielder Travis Vetters on the seven-day disabled list with a shoulder injury suffered while sliding into first base with Brian Mathews, who spent the 2007 and 2008 seasons with Great Lakes. Mathews will be available for the game this morning against at West Michigan.