It’s not necessarily good to be the best at something.
The Albuquerque Isotopes provided two examples in Wednesday night’s 11-0 blowout loss to visiting Memphis in front of an announced 4,817 fans. The ‘Topes surrendered five home runs while being shut out for the second straight game and third time in four outings.
Those unhappy results put Albuquerque at No. 1 in a pair of dubious categories:
■ The Isotopes have allowed 104 home runs in 65 games and are tied with Las Vegas for the most in all of affiliated baseball. The 51s gave up two homers Wednesday night in Colorado Springs.
■ Albuquerque has also been shut out six times this season, most in the Pacific Coast League.
‘Topes manager Glenallen Hill has frequently addressed his team’s propensity for giving up the long balls. Wednesday he limited his analysis to the evening’s starter, Nelson Gonzalez, who allowed three of Memphis’ five solo shots.
“Nelson has done an outstanding job since we converted him from the bullpen to starting,” Hill said, “but tonight he got away from his game. Instead of working the fastball away, which has made him successful, he started with breaking balls. With the wind blowing out (to left field) like it was, that didn’t work out.”
As for the offense’s recent struggles, Hill gave credit to opposing pitchers. The praise was justified Wednesday as Memphis right-hander Dakota Hudson (8-2) pitched eight dominant innings, getting 15 ground-ball outs and six strikeouts among his 24 outs.
“He was excellent,” Hill said of Hudson. “He threw a power sinker and a good cutter, got up to 96 (mph) and changed speeds. Give him credit.”
Despite his team’s dearth of runs in recent games, Hill does not think his hitters are in a collective funk.
“We don’t get in funks,” he said. “We’ve seen some really good pitching the last few games but we’re having good at-bats. It’ll turn around.”
SHORT BUT SWEET: Rough as the evening was for Albuquerque pitchers, reliever Zac Rosscup didn’t mind it. The left-hander pitched to one batter, Patrick Wisdom, to open the sixth inning. Rosscup struck him out and was promptly relieved by Austin House.
QUICK RECOVERY: ‘Topes outfielder Raimel Tapia made the best of a bad situation in the fifth inning when dropped a shallow fly ball by Memphis’ Rangel Ravelo. The Redbirds’ first baseman saw the misplay and tried to race to second but Tapia erased him with a pinpoint throw, earning an error and an assist on the play.
Tapia later made a tremendous diving catch in shallow right-center to rob Wilfredo Tovar of a hit.
HE WAS NO. 1: Isotopes shortstop Daniel Castro lost a little something during his recent stint with big-league Colorado — his uniform number. Anthony Phillips was sporting Castro’s old number — 1 — when the latter was optioned to Albuquerque. Castro wore uniform No. 34 without his name on the back during the ‘Topes’ recent road trip. He sported No. 13 along with his name Wednesday night.
CLOCK SHOT: Jordan Patterson nearly broke up the shutout in the ninth inning but his long drive to left-center bounced off the pitch clock atop the fence and back onto the field for a double. Had the ball been a few feet to the left, it would have been a home run.