METAIRIE, La. -- Jake Smolinksi doubled in the eighth inning to left field, and when Tony Gwynn, Jr. mishandled the ball, Jordan Brown scored from first base to lift the New Orleans Zephyrs to a 3-2 win over the Albuquerque Isotopes on Saturday night.
Zephyrs closer Chris Hatcher walked leadoff batter Matt Angle in the ninth, and Dee Gordon bunted him to second base, but Hatcher struck out Justin Sellers and Gwynn to preserve the victory. It was Hatcher’s 19th save, the most in all of minor league baseball.
Isotopes starting pitcher Matt Palmer didn’t allow a run through five innings, then Matt Downs singled and Bryan Peterson hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning. It was Peterson’s second home run of the series, and he’s driven in five of the Zephyrs’ seven runs.
Zephyrs starting pitcher Duane Below allowed two runs in six-plus innings. The Topes scored a run in the first when Gordon singled on the game’s first pitch, went to second on a single by Sellers, to third on a groundout by Gwynn, and scored on Alex Castellanos’ grounder to short.
In the seventh, the second double of the game by Brian Barden chased Below. Three batters, Sellers hit a sacrifice fly to left off eventual winning pitcher Jonathan Albaladejo (2-2) to tie the game at 2-2.
The Topes had other chances to score. The leadoff hitter reached base in six of the ninth innings. They stranded 10 on base.
Gordon played his first game at second base. He made the pivot on two 6-4-3 double plays. Gordon had two hits, including a bunt single, plus a sac bunt, a walk, and he stole his 17th base of the season.
Albuquerque (32-30) has alternated a win and loss in eight straight games. New Orleans (30-31) has won six of its last eight games.
The finale of the four-game series was set for Sunday.
Isotopes notebook: Left-handed pitcher Rob Rasmussen joined the Albuquerque Isotopes Friday, June 7, from Double-A Chattanooga. In a corresponding move, right-handed pitcher Javy Guerra was placed on the disabled list today with a right elbow strain after returning to the Albuquerque Isotopes on June 2 from Los Angeles.
This will mark Rasmussen’s first appearance on a Triple-A roster. In 12 games (11 starts), with Double-A Chattanooga this season, the southpaw holds a 3-3 record with a 2.42 ERA. The 24-year-old pitcher was originally drafted by the Marlins in the second round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of California, Los Angeles.
Right-handed pitcher Matt Magill rejoined the Albuquerque Isotopes effective Wednesday, June 5, after being recalled by the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 2. Right-hander Matt Shelton was sent to extended spring training.
Magill made his last start with the Dodgers at Colorado on June 2, suffering his first Major League loss. The California native allowed six runs on five hits over six innings of work, walking nine and fanning five before being optioned. Magill, 23, has made five Major League starts this season with an 0-1 record, while posting a 6.38 ERA. He last pitched for Albuquerque on May 25 at Nashville, picking up the win by allowing just two hits in 6.0 scoreless innings, and has gone 1-0 with a 2.16 ERA in five starts for the Isotopes. Magill is scheduled to start Sunday’s game for the Isotopes in New Orleans.