Historic theft - Isotopes’ Pederson joins 30-30 club

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By Dave Kavanaugh

It only took a moment, but Albuquerque Isotope outfielder Joc Pederson didn’t let the opportunity get by.

A narrow window of time and space opened, and he saw his chance as Colorado Springs pitcher Rafael Betancourt threw a pitch to Tim Federowicz. Then Pederson was off and running, stealing second base — and a piece of history along with it.

Pederson on Saturday became the first Pacific Coast League baseball player in nearly a century to achieve 30-plus home runs and 30-plus stolen bases in the same season.

The last man to do it? Frank Demaree in 1934. Demaree remains the lone member of the 40-40 club, as he hit 45 home runs and swiped 41 bases that season over 186 games.

The only others in the exclusive 30-30 club are Lefty O’Doul in 1927 (33, 40) and Tony Lazzeri in 1925 (60, 39).

Pederson, who on Monday was voted onto the All-Pacific Coast League team, leads the PCL in home runs (32), on-base percentage (.432), runs (99), total bases (247), and walks (95). His slugging percentage (.580) is third-highest in the league.

He needs only one run to set a record for runs in a season. His walks are already a single-season record.

Pederson’s history-making moment came in Albuquerque’s 12-10 loss at Colorado Springs. After getting Federowicz to pop out to first, Betancourt pitched to Clint Robinson, whose groundout was the third out of the frame, stranding Pederson at second.

Albuquerque had lost three in a row and six of its last eight games heading into Tuesday’s contest at Oklahoma City.

After concluding the Oklahoma City series, the Isotopes return home for a three-game set against Las Vegas starting Thursday night, with games Friday and Sunday.

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Walter Ibarra went 3 for 3 but his Isotopes (59-77) managed just six hits and did not score in a 3-0 setback Monday in Oklahoma City.

Albuquerque starter Matt Magill allowed just two hits and one run in five and one-third innings, but he walked five.