Late Rallies Boost 'Topes, Lookout and Loons

Albuquerque scored 10 runs over the final four innings to top Omaha 10-2. Inland Empire broke a 2-2 tie with four runs in the eighth inning to top Visalia 6-2 and Blake Smith hit a home run tie the game and the Loons went on to win 5-4 over Fort Wayne. Chattanooga was rained out.

'Topes Break Game Open in Ninth

Albuquerque scored 10 runs over the final four innings, six in the ninth, to top Omaha 10-2. Shortstop Ivan De Jesus and first baseman John Lindsey keyed the comeback.

Recently-signed Seth Etherton made his first start and worked five innings, allowing four hits and a par of runs. He left the game trailing 2-0. Juan Perez worked a scoreless sixth and received credit for the win. Combined with relievers Tim Corcoran, Travis Schlichting and Luis Ayala they combined to hold Omaha to three hits over the final four innings.

Etherton arrived Friday night from Extended Spring and to make his first start after coming off a solid Triple-A campaign in 2009 in Reno, where he won a career-high-tying 11 games, going 11-8 with a 5.04 ERA (90 ER/160.2 IP) in 28 appearances (26 starts) for the Aces.

It was Etherton's second appearance in an Isotopes uniform. The right-hander appeared in two games with Albuquerque in 2007, going 0-2 with a 7.88 ERA (7 ER / 8.0 IP) before going on the DL and ultimately undergoing Tommy John surgery.

The Isotopes were shut out until the sixth inning when DeJesus led off with a single and one out later, Lindsey lined his third home run over the right field wall. They took the lead in the sixth after third baseman Russ Mitchell singled and outfielder Michael Restovich lived on an error.

Shortstop Chin-Lung Hu bunted them into scoring position before Jaime Hoffman broke the tie with a sacrifice fly and De Jesus doubled in a second run.

Albuquerque iced the game with six runs in the ninth inning. Mitchell doubled, left-fielder Timo Perez lived on an error and Hu reached base on a fielder's choice as Mitchell scored. Hoffmann bunted the runners into scoring position and De Jesus, outfielder Jay Gibbons, Lindsey and Prentice Redman strung four singles together.

Mitchell finished the game with three hits, pushing his average to .304. De Jesus also had three. Lindsey and catcher Lucas May added a pair each.

Albuquerque moved into second place in the PCL American Southern Division with a 9-7 record, trailing Oklahoma City by a game and one half.

Roster Moves
Outfielder Timo Perez was added to the roster to take the place of Xavier Paul, who was promoted to the Dodgers. The veteran Perez has logged 603 Major League games with the Mets, White Sox and Tigers, and arrived from Extended Spring after spending all of last year with Veracruz in the Mexican League, where he batted .323 (92x288) with 50 runs, 16 doubles, two triples, eight homers, and 37 RBI in 77 games.

LHP Scott Elbert was placed on the temporarily inactive list and left the team to be with his wife Celia, as she is on the verge of giving birth to the couple's second child.

Catcher Lucas May has proved has gone 6-for-15 (.400) in his last four games, with a double, two homers, and seven RBI.

Albuquerque is currently without pitching coach Jim Slaton, who has joined the Dodgers as interim bullpen coach. Slaton is filling in for Ken Howell, who left the team to undergo a diabetes-related medical procedure. Serving as Albuquerque's pitching coach is Glenn Dishman, who was serving in the same capacity for the Dodgers' Arizona League club.

RHP Josh Lindblom will start today (Sunday) in Omaha and will be followed by John Ely on Monday and Josh Towers Tuesday in the series finale.
 
 Score by Innings
Albuquerque	000 002 206-10
Omaha	        110 000 000- 2

 Albuquerque	ab r  h  bi  ave
Hoffmann cf	3  0  1  1  .254
De Jesus ss	4  2  3  2  .242
Gibbons dh	5  1  1  1  .432
Lindsey 1b	5  2  2  3  .500
Redman rf	5  0  1  0  .370
May C 	        5  0  2  1  .273
Mitchell 3b	5  2  3  1  .304
Restovich lf	3  1  0  0  .258
 Perez ph-lf	2  1  0  0  .000
Hu 2b	        3  1  1  1  .231
--------------------------------
 Total	        40 10 14  9
 Omaha	        34  2  7  2
 
 Error- Lindsey (2). 2B- Hoffmann (4),
De Jesus (5), Mitchell (3). HR- Lindsey
(3). S- Hoffman, Hu. SF- Hoffmann. 
LOB- Albuquerque 7, Omaha 7. DP- Hu and
Lindsey.

 Albuquerque	in  h  r-er bb so  era
Etherton	5.0  4  2-2  1  5  3.60
Perez (1-0)	1.0  1  0-0  0  0  5.87
Corcoran 	1.0  0  0-0  0  0  8.10
Schlichting	1.0  1  0-0  0  0  4.50
Ayala	        1.0  1  0-0  0  0  1.42
 HBP- by Schlichting. T- 2:41. Att- 4,689.

Chattanooga and Huntsville postponed by rain.

Late Surge Boosts Inland Empire

The 66ers broke a 2-2 tie with four runs in the eighth inning to top Visalia 6-2 and take the series two games to one. Cesar Suarez's two-run single with the big blow in the rally.

Jon Michael Redding allowed only four hits and two runs over six innings but left the game in a 2-2 tie. Kyle Smit earned the win, his first of the season, with two scoreless innings. Cole St. Clair struck out three in a row in the ninth to close the game out.

Inland Empire was held hitless until the fourth when first baseman Austin Gallagher doubled with two out.

Trailing 2-0, shortstop Justin Sellers singled with one out in the sixth and third baseman Pedro Baez also singled with two out. Both scored to tie the game when Gallagher banged his second double of the game.

In the eighth, Sellers and outfielder Kyle Russell drew a walk to open the inning and an error on Baez's ground ball loaded the bases. Suarez ripped a two-run single to right field to snap the tie. Catcher Matt Wallach added a sacrifice fly and outfielder Bridger Hunt drove in the final run with a single to right.

Gallagher's two doubles led the Sixers offense. He and Suarez each had a pair of runs batted in.

The two teams meet again this afternoon in the third game of a four-game set.

 Score by Innings
Inland Empire	000 002 040-6
Visalla	        010 010 000-2

 Inland Empire	ab r  h  bi  ave
Buss cf	        4  0  0  0  .161
Sellers ss	4  2  1  0  .172
Russell rf	2  1  0  0  .344
Baez 3b	        5  2  1  0  .304
Gallagher 1b	5  0  2  2  .259
Suarez 2b	3  1  1  2  .200
MWallach c	3  0  0  1  .217
Gutierrez dh	3  0  1  0  .217
Hunt lf	        4  0  1  1  .182
--------------------------------
 Total	        35  6  7  6
 Visalla	29  2  5  2

 2B- Gallagher 2 (5), Gutierrez (2). 
RBI- Gallagher 2 (4), Suarez 2 (5), MWallach
(6), Hunt (2). S- Buss. SF- Wallach.
LOB- Inland Empire 8, Visalla 3.
SB- Suarez (3). CS- Russell (1).
DP- Suarez, Sellers and Gallagher 2. 

  Inland Empire	in  h r-er bb so  era
Redding	        6.0  4  2-2  1  3  3.92
Smit (1-1)	2.0  1  0-0  0  0  4.26
St. Clair	1.0  0  0-0  0  3  2.70
 HBP- by Redding; Russell. T- 2:33. Att- 2,708.

Three Homers Lift the Loons

Alex Wassel
Great Lakes Loons

Down 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth and facing TinCaps closer Nick Schumacher, Blake Smith hit the Loons third home run of the night to get Great Lakes back in it, and they went on to win 5-4 Saturday on a Fort Wayne fielding error later in the inning.

"[Schumacher] throws hard and he came at me with some fastballs and I missed them," Smith said of his last at-bat. "I had a good idea he [would follow-up] with a slider...and luckily I put a good swing on it and it took off."

After Smith's homer, second baseman Rafael Ynoa hit a single to center and advanced to third on a ground out by Johan Garcia. Two walks loaded the bases and then TinCaps shortstop Jonathan Galvez bobbled a grounder hit by Brian Cavazos-Galvez that allowed Ynoa to score the winning run.

"It was a great win," Loons manager Juan Bustabad said. "We needed it after last night, losing a tough one 2-1. We had the lead 3-1 but gave it up, and then Blake Smith hits that bomb to right field off their closer, and he's a good pitcher."

The Loons jumped ahead at the start of the game on a pair of leadoff home runs by Jerry Sands, but pitching troubles in the sixth inning allowed Fort Wayne three runs and the 4-3 lead.

Loons reliever J.B. Paxson halted the damage in the sixth, entering the game with two runners in scoring position, and went on to pitch three hitless innings, fanning four TinCaps along the way.

"[Paxson] pitched great and came in a tough situation," Bustabad said. "He got out of the jam and then pitched two more good innings, and then Steve Smith pitched good in the ninth and he ended up getting the win."

Smith notched his first win of the season in his one inning of relief work. Starter Brett Wallach allowed three runs on two hits while striking out three and walking five over five innings. Justin Miller also saw time on the hill for Great Lakes, allowing one run on one hit. The loss and blown save combo was given to Schumacher.

Also scoring for Great Lakes was Angelo Songco, who came in from third on a Blake Smith ground out in the fourth inning.

Great Lakes moved into second place in the division with an 11-6 record and trailing 13-3 Lake County by 2 1/2 games.

The Loons will play Fort Wayne today before having their first off-day of the season Monday. The Loons will bring Matt Magill (0-0, 3.00) to the mound as the TinCaps give the nod to former Dodgers minor league lefty Mike Watt (0-1, 3.45).

 Score by Innings
Fort Wayne	001 003 000-4
Great Lakes	010 200 002-5

 Great Lakes 	ab r  h  bi  ave
Lara ss	        4  0  1  0  .317
Yount dh	4  0  0  0  .083
CGalvez cf	5  0  0  0  .271
Sands 1b	3  2  2  2  .443
Songco lf	4  1  2  0  .281
Smith rf	3  1  1  2  .298
Wise c	        4  0  0  0  .167
Ynoa 2b	        2  1  1  0  .250
Garcia 3b	4  0  0  0  .171
--------------------------------
 Total	        33  5  7  4
 Fort Wayne	28  4  4  3

 HR- Sands 2 (7), Smith (2). RBI- Sands 2
(19), SMith 2 (12). S- Smith. LOB- Great
Lakes 7, Fort Wayne 6. SB- Songco (3),
Ynoa (2). Pickoff- Wallach.

 Great Lakes	in  h r-er bb so  era
BWallach	5.0  2  3-3  5  3  1.74
JMiller	        0.0  1  1-1  1  0  5.06
Paxson	        3.0  0  0-0  1  4  0.00
Smith (1-0)	1.0  1  0-0  0  1  0.00
 WP- Miller. HBP- by Miller. T-2:51. 
Att- 3,576.


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