Friday the 13th could only be unlucky for one team at Isotopes Park, and fortunately for the Albuquerque Isotopes (31-37), they were the lucky ones, handing New Orleans (36-32) a 5-4 defeat.
The Zephyrs struck early with a pair of runs in the first, but the Isotopes would cut into that lead and tie it just as quickly. Clint Robinson led off the second inning with his second home run in as many days, and Alex Liddi followed him with a walk and scored on a single from Erisbel Arruebarrena. The Isotopes tacked on two more in the third courtesy of a Johnny Monell double to put New Orleans down 4-3 through just three innings.
Friday’s game was the 11th time the Topes have played on a Friday the 13th. With the win, Albuquerque improved to 7-4 on the traditionally unlucky day, including 3-1 at home and 2-0 against New Orleans.
In his last four starts, Jeff Bennett has given up a combined nine runs to the first four batters of each game — a total of 16 plate appearances. In those four starts, though, he has pitched a combined 24.2 innings and allowed just five additional runs for a 1.86 ERA excluding the first four batters of each game. After allowing a two-out home run in the first inning Friday night, Bennett settled in and tossed six innings, allowing just three runs and eight hits. He also went 2 for 2 at the plate with a double.
Johnny Monell has hit safely in 13 of the 14 games he’s played in since joining the Isotopes on May 29, including hits in 10 straight games. He finished Friday’s game 1 for 4 with a double and two RBI. The 28-year-old backstop is now batting .408 this season with one home run, one triple, seven doubles and 11 RBI.
First baseman Clint Robinson is 8 for 22 in his last five games. He also has four home runs in the last eight games, including homers in back-to-back contests. In his last 15 games, Robinson has 15 RBI. Outfielder Trayvon Robinson has also hit safely in 10 straight games and 15 of his last 16 starts.
The Zephyrs won the series’ second game 8-1 Saturday despite a solo homer by Joc Pederson.
Following the four-game set against the Zephyrs, the Isotopes will hit the road for an eight-game trip with stops at Omaha and at Iowa.