Lindsey, Caseres Key Wins for 'Topes, 66ers

Albuquerque scored in every other inning on the way to a 9-5 win over Oklahoma City, as first baseman John Lindsey drove in four runs. Chattanooga lost 5-2 to Huntsville. Inland Empire used Steve Caseres' five RBI to drop Rancho Cucamonga 8-7. Lansing spoiled the Loons Opener 10-8.

Isotopes Even Record at 2-2

Albuquerque scored in every other inning on their way to a 9-5 win over Oklahoma City, as John Ely and Jon Link, who were received from the White Sox in the Juan Pierre trade, earned the win and the save.

The 'Topes overcame a 1-0 lead and broke a 3-3 tie with our runs in the fifth, helped by Prentice Redman's two-run home run.

First baseman John Lindsey rapped out three hits, including his first home run, and knocked in four runs, giving him eight in the first four games. He also boosted his average to .588.

Ely (1-0) worked into the sixth inning, allowing four hits and three runs while walking five and striking out three. Justin Miller left after the seventh inning and Travis Schilchting surrendered two runs in the ninth before Link came in to retire the final Stars hitter with two runners on base.

Albuquerque scored a run in the first inning without a hit. Chin-Lung Hu reached on an error. Xavier Paul's ground ball drove him in later in the inning.

Trailing 2-1 in the third, Hu again ignited a rally b leading off with a single. Nick Green doubled him over and scored on Lindsey's single.

Green singled and Paul doubled to lead off the fifth. Lindsey's ground ball scored one and Jay Gibbons doubled in Paul. Redman's second home run of the season mad it 7-3 and Lindsey's homer in the seventh accounted for the eighth run.

Lookouts Drop to 2-2 After Loss

Chattanooga collected only five hits in a 5-2 loss to Huntsville and slipped to 2-2 on the season. They managed singles by Andrew Lambo and Dee Gordon in the first and second inning, then bunched their final three hits in the fifth.

Trailing 3-0, Gordon led off with a double and scored one out later on another double by Tommy Giles. Elian Herrera rolled a single into center field for the second, and final, Chattanooga run.

The Lookouts were out-hit 14-5 and held hitless over the final four innings.

Starter John Koronka allowed eight hits and three runs, but only one of them was earned after an error by Gordon at shortstop. Tim Sexton and Harvey Garcia each allowed a single run.

Gordon was the only Lookout with more than a single hit.

Sixty-Sixers in First Place

Inland Empire built up an 8-3 lead, then had to fight off a determined Rancho Cucamonga club but reliever Paul Koss had to strikeout the final Quakes batter with runners at second and third in the last of the ninth to record a 8-7 victory as the 66ers moved into first place in the division with a 3-1 lead.

A four-run first inning keyed by first baseman Steve Casere's grand slam home run got the Sixers off on the right foot and they added two more in the third and seventh innings as starter Geison Aguasviva and Robert Boothe (1-0) held the Quakes to three runs going into the last of the seventh.

Brandon Mann took over and was victimized by an error that cost two earned runs as the Quakes scored three times. Cole St. Clair added a scoreless eighth and Koss came in to close it out and earn his first save of the season.

An error and a walk in the third inning set up Caseres' RBI double and a wild pitch boosted the lead to 6-1.

Leading 6-3 in the top of he seventh, Bridger Hunt and Nick Buss each beat out a bunt. Walks to Tony Delmonico and Kyle Russell forced in the seventh and eighth runs.

Cole St. Clair worked a scoreless eighth for Inland Empire before Paul Koss took over in the ninth. With two out, Koss fanned the third Quakes hitter but the ball got away and the batter reached on the wild pitch. A pair of singles cut the lead to 8-7 and put runners on second and third but Koss fanned the final hitter to nail down the win.

Caseres' doubled and homered to drive in five for the Sixers, who were out-hit 7-11.

Lansing Rally Spoils Loons Opener

Chris Mundhenk
Great Lakes Loons

After a successful Opening Day parade through downtown Midland, the record-high 5,723 in attendance packed Dow Diamond in hopes of seeing the Loons continue their success from the road last week in South Bend. Unfortunately, the Loons cooled off late in the game and were defeated by Lansing, 10-8.

The Loons got off to a comfortable start and once led 7-1, but the momentum shifted in the seventh inning when starting pitcher William Savage gave up a home run to Lansing third baseman Mark Sobolewski. The following at-bat allowed Jon Talley to reach base on a fielding error by Pedro Guerrero, beginning Lansing's nine-run rally over the next two innings.

"We had a nice lead going into the seventh inning, unfortunately we got an error and everything just opened up," Loons manager Juan Bustabad said. "They started hitting the ball, you've got to give credit to Lansing, they had 14 hits. I'll take my chances winning 7-1 with nine outs to go anytime, but the pitching didn't come through late in the game tonight."

Savage made the first start of his minor league career Sunday for the Loons, fanning four and allowing two earned runs over 6.2 innings of work. The 25-year-old righty was pulled from the game after Kevin Nolan's double brought in Lansing's fourth run of the inning.

"I didn't really ‘run out of gas'," Savage said after the game. "I left a few balls up in the zone, [Sobolewski's] home run was definitely straight down the middle and up, but they jumped on my mistakes and then we had a couple blunders in the infield, but other than that our team played a great defense behind me."

Relievers Nick Gaudi and Justin Miller pitched the final 2.1 innings that brought 14 batters to the plate. The two surrendered a combined five runs and Gaudi was credited with the loss and blown save.

The Loons were cruising prior to the seventh, benefiting from DH Chris Jacobs' three-run homer in the fifth and returning Loons first baseman Jerry Sands' two-run bomb in the sixth.

"It was Opening Day, I was wanting to do something for the crowd and get ‘em on my side, get ‘em cheering," Jacobs said of his home run. "I closed myself off and was looking for a pitch away. When the pitcher threw me a fastball away, I was able to put my bat on it and it went over the fence for me."

Starting on the mound for Lansing was Chad Jenkins, the Toronto Blue Jays number one draft pick from 2009. Jenkins recorded two more strikeouts after Jacobs' homer in the fifth, to bring his K-count to four on the day over five innings. Reliever Nestor Molina received his first win of 2010.

Offensively, six of Lansing's players finished with multi-hit outings.

"It's kind of disappointing," Jacobs said of the loss. "We kind of feel like we let down the home crowd on opening day. We felt like we had it going there, but that's just the luck of baseball; one bad play here, one good swing from them, and they score five runs, but it's alright, we'll find a way to get'em tomorrow."

Tonight, the Loons will try to return the favor in game two of their series with Lansing. On the mound for the Loons will be Elisaul Pimentel, while Ryan Tepera will throw for the Lugnuts.  

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