Along with Albuquerque’s long history for being supportive of minor league baseball, what attracted the Rockies to the New Mexico city as the home for its AAA affiliate is a similar altitude to Denver, something other teams shy away from.
It can create some challenges for pitchers. Lately, however, the Isotopes relievers have flourished at home. In the team’s last five games – all at home – eight different relief pitchers have combined to work 16 1/3 shutout innings, allowing 12 hits and four walks, striking out 10.
Manager Glenallen Hill said a key fact is that the entire bullpen has been apart of the streak. No pitcher has worked more than three innings total nor made more than two appearances. The eight relievers also have only walked four batters.
In Saturday’s Games:
AAA Albuquerque (10-7) won 12-4 against Tacoma (Mariners). Daniel Murphy went 1-for-5 in his first appearance on a rehab assignment. Murphy, who suffered a broken tip of his left index finger the second game of the season, came out after seven innings. Yonathan Daza (.333) was 3-for-5 with three RBI. Josh Fuentes (.294) went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBI. Brian Mundell (.386) was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI. Sam Hilliard (.203) hit his fifth home run. Chi Chi Gonzalez (2-0, 3.78) allowed four runs on 10 hits and a walk, striking out three in 5 2/3 innings.
AA Hartford (8-9) won 12-4 at New Hampshire (Blue Jays). Jack Wynkoop (1-3, 3.86) allowed two runs on seven hits and a walk, striking out three, in five innings. Colton Welker (.286) was 3-for-5 with two runs scored, a double, two home runs and four RBI.
High A Lancaster (7-10) lost 7-3 at Visalia (D-backs). Ramon Marcellino (.286) was 2-for-4 with two runs scored, and an RBI. Luis Castro (.324) was 3-for-4. Will Gaddis (1-2, 7.79) allowed seven runs, five earned, on seven hits and two walks, striking out four in 4 2/3 innings.
Low A Asheville (7-9) won 8-5 against West Virginia (Mariners) in the first game of a doubleheader. The second game was suspended because of rain with the Tourists trailing with one out in the top of the first. It will be completed when West Virginia visits Asheville again May 30-June 2.