RedHawks’ clutch hitting sinks Isotopes

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By Dave Kavanaugh

Down to its last chance, Oklahoma City rallied to beat Albuquerque 13-10 on Saturday night at Isotopes Park.

Albuquerque led 9-7 after six frames and with both sides going scoreless in the seventh and eighth, the Isotopes needed just three outs to put the win away.

But the ‘Topes got just one out before Oklahoma City’s Che-Hsuan Lin blasted a two-run homer off reliever Steve Ames.

Two singles and a defensive error on the next three at-bats allowed the go-ahead run to score. Then a Jake Elmore triple plated two insurance runs; Elmore made it home himself shortly thereafter.

Ames, recently reacquired by the home club, was ticketed with a blown save and a loss, falling to 1-2.

The defeat spoiled a good night for Albuquerque second baseman Justin Sellers, who went 4 for 5 with a home run, a double and three runs batted in.

Tony Gwynn Jr. and Alfredo Amezaga each collected three hits for the Isotopes. Alex Castellanos hit 2 for 4 with a triple and a walk.

In fact, eight of the nine men in the ‘Topes hitting order had at least one hit. Only leadoff man Dee Gordon, recently activated after being sent down from a monthlong run with the parent Los Angeles Dodgers, went hitless Saturday.

But Oklahoma City was even more prolific offensively, outhitting its hosts 18-16. Three RedHawks recorded three hits apiece, and three others had two.

Winners of four straight, the RedHawks improved to a division-leading 31-23, while the Isotopes fell to 29-27.

Albuquerque is three games out of first as of Sunday and two behind the second-place Round Rock Express (31-25).

The series continues through Tuesday at the Lab. Tuesday’s game will be a 12:05 p.m. matinee.

Then the ‘Topes hit the road again for an eight-game trip that will take them to New Orleans and Round Rock through June 13.