The Albuquerque Isotopes skipped team batting practice on Wednesday afternoon.
They had a team meeting to take care of first. Back-to-back bullpen meltdowns and a recent trend of poor pitching and sporadic hitting made it a priority.
“I think it was good,” said second baseman Ryan McMahon, who went 2-for-4 with his first Triple-A home run, a solo shot back in the first inning. “I think it was something that every player at every level, it’s valuable to kind of get that check-back-in time from your superiors, your coaches.
“I think it was a good talk, I think the team got a lot out of it and hopefully it gets things rolling for us, be more positive.”
It all paid off in the short run as the Isotopes earned a 7-3 victory over the visiting Fresno Grizzlies (Astros).
Ryan Carpenter (3-5) struck out nine in five-plus innings, allowing just one run on four hits and one walk.
James Farris pitched a scoreless sixth before walking the leadoff man in the seventh. Sam Moll came in and hit the first batter he faced before inducing a 6-3 double play. Back-to-back singles by Tyler White and Preston Tucker drove in a run and chased Moll.
Austin House came in and threw just two pitches, getting Teoscar Hernandez to fly out to right and preserve a 4-2 lead.
After Jairo Diaz, with a little help from shortstop Daniel Castro, retired the side in the eighth, the Isotopes picked up three valuable insurance runs in the eighth on Rosell Herrera’s two-run single and a run-scoring error.
Matt Carasiti gave up a run in the ninth before finishing the game with back-to-back strikeouts.
“I think we were battling the whole night,” McMahon said. “We started winning some battles late in the game and scored some more runs.”
In addition to the final score, McMahon was also left smiling by his first-inning home run, an opposite-field blast that landed in the Grizzlies’ bullpen. He just wasn’t quite certain it was going out when he hit it.
“I thought I did (but) I didn’t know for sure, so I was sprinting out of the box,” he said. “It felt good, for sure.”
Albuquerque will aim to keep the momentum going Thursday at 7:05 p.m. Right-hander Barry Enright (3-1, 4.37 ERA) gets the start against Fresno right-hander Kyle Smith, who will make his Triple-A debut.