The Albuquerque Isotopes have given up more home runs than any team in professional baseball this season.
Friday, the long ball was the least of their worries.
While the Memphis Redbirds did launch one solo home run in the third inning, it was the nine singles, including three in the 10th inning that scored a pair of runs, that led to a 6-4 win in 10 innings over the Isotopes to complete a three-game series sweep.
It was the first time the Isotopes were swept at home since June 25-28, 2016, by the Salt Lake Bees.
“You don’t get to pick and choose how you get beat,” said Isotopes manager Glenallen Hill, when the subject of the nine singles came up.
“This is baseball. A lot of things can get you beat: an error, a dropped ball, hits, hit and runs, bunts. Losing is losing. It doesn’t matter how it happened when the other team has more runs than you when the game is over.”
Albuquerque (32-25) has lost four games in a row and six of seven and is clearly working its way through a slump, though two ‘Topes had positive outings on Friday night in front of an announced home crowd of 8,619.
One was shortstop Daniel Castro, who had gone 2-of-18 in his first seven games back with the Isotopes after not getting consistent at-bats with the parent organization Colorado Rockies. While he had a .404 batting average in his earlier season stint with Albuquerque, his average dropped to .357 before Friday.
Castro was 2-for-4 on Friday, which was a good sign in Hill’s mind.
“Any time you go from not playing to playing, there’s going to be an adjustment period,” Hill said. “He’s having quality ABs. He’s getting more and more comfortable with his swing.”
Isotopes starter Yency Almonte, meanwhile, posted his second consecutive quality start, allowing three earned runs off five hits while striking out four and walking one in six innings of work.
“It was a step in the right direction,” said Hill.
That doesn’t mean the 24-year-old righty doesn’t still have plenty of work to do, though.
“There are things that happen in the game that we pay attention to that has to do more with game management,” Hill said. “Some of the things he’s working on in terms of his presence. The results say that he pitched pretty well. He gave us six innings.”
FRIDAY FUN DAY: The Isotopes are 0-6 on Friday home games. They are 4-1 on Fridays on the road.
EXTRA, EXTRA: The new Minor League Baseball rules that put a runner on second base to start extra innings hasn’t been kind to the Isotopes, who are 0-4 in extra-inning games this season.
Memphis scored its two runs in the 10th on Friday with a lead-off fly that advanced Oscar Mercado to third and then three singles in the inning scored Mercado and later Rangel Ravelo for the 6-4 victory.
The ‘Topes moved Garrett Hamspon to third to start the home half of the 10th, but stranded him there.
I HEARD THAT: The new extra innings rule hasn’t been a hit with Isotopes fans, either. On fan loudly expressed his displeasure with the set up throughout the Memphis half of the 10th.
“Really? This is professional baseball! Come on! What is this?”