Isotopes open final series vs. Salt Lake with win to get closer to first place - Albuquerque Journal

Isotopes open final series vs. Salt Lake with win to get closer to first place

Albuquerque’s Mike Tauchman (14) reaches on an infield hit during the Isotopes’ win over Salt Lake Monday.

Pennant-race baseball in May?

Strangely enough, that’s what the Albuquerque Isotopes are looking at this week.

Albuquerque opened a four-game home series against Salt Lake with a 6-4 victory Monday night. The Bees’ lead in the Pacific Coast League’s Pacific Southern Division shrunk to a single game over the second-place ‘Topes.

Big deal, you say? More than three months remain in the season.

True. But thanks to the PCL’s extremely quirky schedule, the two division rivals will not see each other again after Thursday. That matinee game is scheduled to be their 16th and final meeting of 2018.

“It’s weird,” Isotopes outfielder Jordan Patterson said. “Usually you see these division teams all year, but not this season. These four games are important even though it’s May.”

The series comes at a good time for Albuquerque, which has drastically turned its fortunes since the Bees and ‘Topes last met on April 23. A few days after that the Isotopes bottomed out with a 7-5 loss to Las Vegas that left them 8-15 and in last place, eight games behind Salt Lake.

Since then the Isotopes have gone 16-6 and climbed into contention behind a torrid offense. Albuquerque went into Monday’s game hitting .298 as a team and had several players riding hot streaks. The hottest has been outfielder Mike Tauchman.

Tauchman has been sizzling at the plate since he was optioned to the ‘Topes by the Colorado Rockies on April 22. He carried a .392 batting average into Monday’s contest and has eight homers and 28 RBIs in 27 games.

Monday Tauchman was named PCL Player of the Week after going 10-for-24 with five homers and eight runs scored. It was his first weekly honor in Triple-A, but Tauchman said he finds his team’s recent success more enjoyable.

“It’s cool to receive an award but truthfully, the way we’ve performed as an offense the last couple weeks is what I’m excited about,” Tauchman said. “We’ve had the same core of guys together for a couple weeks now and we’re hitting with confidence. It’s fun.”

Tauchman had a quiet night by his recent standards Monday, going 1-for-4. But he impacted the outcome all the same. With Salt Lake leading 3-2 in the fourth, Tauchman led off with a bunt and was safe when pitcher Osmer Morales’ throw hit him in the back. Tauchman then stole second base, stole third and scored on a Stephen Cardullo sacrifice fly.

In the eighth inning, Tauchman again reached on an infield error and hustled his way to second base. He later scored on another Cardullo sacrifice fly.

Tauchman struggled with the Rockies in April after making his first opening-day roster, but he has quickly regained his form in Albuquerque. He is trying to make the most of a logjam of outfield talent in the Rockies organization.

“Competition with teammates always makes you better but you have to leave your ego at the door,” Tauchman said. “You need to watch how they approach things and learn from what they do well. The teams that have the most success are deep, so you take that as a positive and keep trying to improve.”

SILENT APPROVAL: Shortstop Elliot Soto received a rough silent treatment from his Isotopes teammates after his fifth-inning home run Monday. He was ignored while trying to high-five players in the dugout. When he finally passed everyone and turned back to the field, Soto’s teammates swarmed him with congratulations.

Home » Sports » Pro » Isotopes » Isotopes open final series vs. Salt Lake with win to get closer to first place


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Bees walk-off homer does in Isotopes in Salt Lake
Isotopes
SATURDAY: At Salt Lake, 6:35 p.m., ... SATURDAY: At Salt Lake, 6:35 p.m., 610 AM/95.9 FM PROBABLES: Isotopes RHP Peter Lambert (0-1, 9.00) vs. Bees RHP Jason Junk (0-1, 5.29) FRIDAY: ...
2
Ex-Isotope Serven fouls 1st MLB pitch near family in ...
Featured Sports
Colorado Rockies catcher Brian Serven fouled ... Colorado Rockies catcher Brian Serven fouled off the first pitch in his very first major league at-bat Wednesday, right in the direction of his ...
3
Bees blank Isotopes; Bryant doubles in presumed last rehab ...
Featured Sports
'TOPES THURSDAY: At Salt Lake 6:35 ... 'TOPES THURSDAY: At Salt Lake 6:35 p.m., 610 AM/95.9 FM PROBABLES: Isotopes RHP Ryan Feltner (4-1, 4.08) vs. Bees LHP Jose Suarez (1-0, 5.40) ...
4
Isotopes win series finale; Bryant looks to join them ...
Featured Sports
'TOPES MONDAY: Off day SUNDAY: Isotopes ... 'TOPES MONDAY: Off day SUNDAY: Isotopes starter Zach Neal fanned nine batters, a season-high, and Scott Schebler homered in his first three-hit game of ...
5
Isotopes lost 12-2 on Mariachis night before season's largest ...
Featured Sports
'TOPES SUNDAY: Vs. Sugar Land 1:35 ... 'TOPES SUNDAY: Vs. Sugar Land 1:35 p.m., Isotopes Park, 610 AM/95.9 FM PROMOTION: Agricultural Day/Oven Mitts PROBABLES: Space Cowboys RHP Chad Donato (2-2, 4.95) ...
6
Isotopes square series with Sugar Land; play as Mariachis ...
Featured Sports
'TOPES SATURDAY: Vs. Sugar Land 6:35 ... 'TOPES SATURDAY: Vs. Sugar Land 6:35 p.m., Isotopes Park, 610 AM/95.9 FM PROMOTION: Mariachis de Nuevo Mexico, postgame fireworks, Little League Night. Gates open ...
7
Isotopes squander chances fall to Sugar Land in matinee ...
Featured Sports
'TOPES FRIDAY: Vs. Sugar Land 7:05 ... 'TOPES FRIDAY: Vs. Sugar Land 7:05 p.m., Isotopes Park, 610 AM/95.9 FM PROMOTION: Fireworks, Little League Night PROBABLES: Space Cowboys RHP J.P. France (1-1, ...
8
Isotope Bernard finds persistence pays off
Featured Sports
Wynton Bernard has been chasing his ... Wynton Bernard has been chasing his major league dream for a long time now.Albuquerque ...
9
Space Cowboys blast Isotopes 20-1
Featured Sports
New mascot, familar story line.The Sugar ... New mascot, familar story line.The Sugar Land Space Cowboys – formerly known a ...