It has been a long, up-and-down season for Jordan Patterson.
Going into Friday night’s game against the El Paso Chihuahuas, the Albuquerque Isotopes’ outfielder/first baseman only had one multi-hit game all year, back on June 9 at Salt Lake.
Patterson changed that in a hurry Friday, with a double and a three-run homer in his first two at-bats en route to a 3-for-4 night as Albuquerque rolled to a 9-5 victory over El Paso.
“This was a big night for Jordan,” Isotopes manager Glenallen Hill said. “I think his last (plate appearance Thursday) he walked. I mentioned to him that he’s back, because he had been swinging at balls out of the zone.
“When he forces a pitcher to get the ball down in the strike zone, he’s a low-ball hitter. He doesn’t miss the low balls very often. It’s good that he had a multi-hit game today, because he’s been grinding out ABs.”
Patterson finished with two runs scored and three RBI in addition to his three hits.
“It was really just being relaxed,” Patterson said. “(Thursday) night, I just got to the point where I was swinging at some really bad pitches. Today I was concentrating on being relaxed and loose and getting a pitch to hit. Just hit them wherever he throws them and try to put together some good at-bats.”
The home run was a good example of Patterson’s ability to hit a low pitch. He belted one to the opposite field and the howling wind did the rest, dropping it into the Isotopes’ bullpen and giving his team a commanding 6-0 lead.
“It was kind of down and away and I was able to get some air under it,” Patterson said. “I put a good swing on it and it went out.”
Patterson also turned in some stellar plays in right field. He threw out Ryan Schimpf at second base trying to extend a single in the second inning. Patterson also had a great diving catch in the sixth.
“During the game I said to him, ‘When you’re having a season like yours and you focus on just being a complete player on both sides of the ball, it’s amazing how that helps your offense,’” Hill said. “Today he said he felt like a complete player and it was fun for him.”
Patterson definitely enjoyed his time in right.
“It feels good to be out there, running around and making some plays,” he said. “I got to play some baseball tonight, run around, get dirty, make some plays. That was fun.”
Mike Tauchman had a big night as well, going 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBI, to continue his season-long tear.
Sam Howard (1-0) picked up his first Triple-A victory. He allowed four runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out three in six innings.
The inning total was a positive but overall Howard’s command was spotty. He only threw 61 of 100 pitches for strikes.
“Towards the end there he looked like things sped up on him a little bit,” Hill said. “He wasn’t as efficient throwing strikes. Sixty-one out of 100, you’re lucky. He only gave up four (runs). This wasn’t his best game in terms of his secondary pitches but it’s something to build on and move forward.”
Albuquerque and El Paso will meet in the third game of their series Saturday night at 7:05. Rehabbing Colorado Rockies right-hander Jonathan Gray will start for the Isotopes against Chihuahuas right-hander Tyrell Jenkins (4-8, 7.44 ERA).