The Albuquerque Isotopes reverted on Friday night.
It was not in the way that they wanted.
Albuquerque imploded in the late innings, in pretty much every aspect, and ended up losing 10-4 to the visiting El Paso Chihuahuas.
The Isotopes (64-68) made some uncharacteristic errors, saw the bullpen implode and the bats shut down from the seventh inning until the ninth.
"The game sped up on a couple of our guys and they didn’t handle it well," manager Glenallen Hill said. "When you expect to execute in those situations and you don’t, I’m not going to say it’s one of those baseball nights, we just played poorly."
The seventh inning alone featured two costly errors by reliever Sam Moll (2-5) and first baseman Jordan Patterson.
Hunter Renfroe’s RBI single tied the game at 4-4 and Austin Hedges followed with a two-run homer off Moll that put El Paso (70-63) ahead for good.
The eighth inning was no better as Albuquerque gave up another three runs. Meanwhile, the Isotopes’ bats went silent, never scoring after Patterson led off the fourth inning with a go-ahead home run.
Back in the first inning, Dustin Garneau hit a three-run homer following walks to Raimel Tapia and Patterson. Overall, though, it was a frustrating night for the Albuquerque lineup.
"We have been swinging the bats well (but) you’re not going to get 12 hits every single night," Hill said. "Sometimes it’s not the pitcher pitching well as much as we’re not as patient against this guy (Carlos Pimentel). I think we chased some balls out of the zone against him."
Prior to the late-inning meltdown, Eddie Butler provided a solid outing. He allowed three runs, all in the second inning, and eight hits while striking out three batters in six innings. Butler kept up with a recent trend by not allowing a walk.
"He typically he’s very competitive and after he bounced after giving up those runs, it was nice for him to be able to do that," Hill said.
Still, the Isotopes have won 16 of their last 20 games. Rebounding should not really be a problem.
"I know I expect to bounce back," Hill said.
Before to the game outfielder/first baseman Stephen Cardullo was called up by the Rockies. His now former Albuquerque teammates were ecstatic that he got the call.
"For me personally, it’s almost like your brother getting called up," Patterson said. "Me and him personally, preparing and sharing information, we became really good friends. When I heard the news, I thought back to he was a walk-on at Florida State. He’s an All-American his junior and senior years. Then he was in independent ball for four years. Now he’s in the big leagues. That stuff doesn’t happen.
"For that to happen to him, that’s a testament to how he was raised, the person he is. You can’t (not) be happy for a guy, the work he does, the preparation, he deserves it."
The Isotopes will try to even their series against the Chihuahuas on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. It is the second-to-last scheduled home game of the season.