Adames’ 3-RBI triple caps Isotopes’ rally in New Orleans

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By Dave Kavanaugh

Cristhian Adames, who hadn’t hit the baseball safely in his last eight trips to the plate, found himself up to bat with two outs in the top of the ninth, the score knotted up at 2-2 courtesy of teammate Noel Cuevas’ RBI single on the previous play.

A line drive triple to right field later, Adames was on third base, three runs batted in richer.

Adames’ Isotopes went on to a 5-2 victory over New Orleans, coming back from a 2-1 deficit going into its final at-bat.

The win got Albuquerque to 58-59, snapping a losing skid that had reached four games. Manager Glenallen Hill’s club finished the night one game behind of PCL Pacific Southern leader Salt Lake (59-58), which lost 6-3 at Oklahoma City on Wednesday. Notably, El Paso’s Chihuahuas are nipping at the Isotopes’ heels at 57-60 after winning three in a row.

Wednesday night’s game was largely a pitchers’ duel. Sam Howard of the Isotopes struck out five and scattered seven hits and two walks over six innings on the mound, with the Baby Cakes scoring twice.

New Orleans starter Tom Koehler struck out seven, holding the visitors to one run on five hits and one walk through six innings.

Both bullpens had some good efforts as well. Victor Payano and Tayron Guerrero of New Orleans turned in one shutout inning apiece. On the other side, Albuquerque’s Matt Flemer held the Baby Cakes to two scoreless frames.

Ryan McMahon and Cuevas were the only Isotopes with multiple hits in the game. McMahon had a 3-for-5 outing that included a two-out RBI single to score Daniel Castro in the top of the fifth — the Isotopes’ first score of the evening.

Chris Parmelee drilled a two-run homer to right center to give the home side a 2-0 edge in the bottom of the first inning. That score stayed intact until McMahon connected in the fifth. But Albuquerque’s would-be rally was snuffed out on the next at-bat, as Cuevas hit into a force-out.

Guerrero got pinch hitter Rafael Ynoa and Mike Tauchman out — getting within one out of victory — before yielding back-to-back singles by Derrik Gibson and McMahon. Then Cuevas sliced a ground ball up the middle, enabling Gibson to score from third for the tying run.

That brought Adames to the plate for what would be the biggest offensive play of the night. His triple off Keyvius Sampson was his sixth three-bagger of the summer. It allowed Albuquerque to finish with a 3-for-14 tally of hitting with runners in scoring position after the team had left 11 stranded. For Adames — who spent most of last summer with the parent Colorado Rockies — it was a big hit after a little 0-for-8 drought dating to Sunday’s loss at Round Rock (Texas).

More solid pitching sealed the victory.

Isotope reliever James Farris walked Cal Towey, struck out Christian Colon, and got Peter Mooney to fly out to center before striking out Austin Nola to end the game. Farris’ work clinched his second save of the season and tipped the win to Flemer (7-6).

New Orleans fell to 45-71 going into Thursday evening’s series finale.

The Topes are back in Albuquerque for a four-game set with Fresno starting Friday. Saturday night’s game features postgame fireworks at Isotopes Park, and both Friday and Sunday contests feature promotional giveaways.

Albuquerque had lost four straight prior to Wednesday’s come-from-behind win. New Orleans squeezed out a 6-5 verdict in 10 innings on Monday, then shackled the Isotopes in a 9-0 shutout on Tuesday.

In the latter game, New Orleans outhit Albuquerque 10-2, getting a solo home run and a 3-for-4 performance from Ramon Cabrera. William Cuevas (2-4) struck out eight Isotopes and threw a one-hitter through six innings.