For Colorado Springs, it was as easy as 1-2-3.
Or in the Sky Sox case, as easy as 2-3-4.
The batters in those slots in the order made a mockery of Albuquerque pitching Wednesday night, and Colorado Springs went on to a 9-1 victory before an announced 9,306 at Isotopes Park.
On the eve of his 28th birthday, the white-hot Matt McBride homered twice, went 5-for-5 and drove in six runs from the cleanup spot to lead Colorado Springs and snap the ‘Topes’ modest three-game winning streak.
It was, by far, Albuquerque’s most lopsided loss of the season. The Isotopes (23-23) have lost by five runs on three separate occasions.
“Offensively, there wasn’t a whole lot going on,” Albuquerque manager Lorenzo Bundy said. “We got behind and couldn’t chip away.”
The first batter was a harbinger of things to come for left-handed Isotopes starter Aaron Laffey, who was not exactly a riddle to the Sky Sox (26-18), as they improved to 6-0 on the road this season against southpaws.
Corey Dickerson hit a bullet back to Laffey, who snared it around his belt buckle. It was as much an effort to preserve his physical well being as it was fielding his position.
Tyler Colvin belted a 440-foot home run to right-center moments later for the game’s first run.
After Ryan Wheeler singled, McBride hit a two-run home run down the left-field line for a quick 3-0 lead.
Colvin, Wheeler and McBride were just getting warmed up.
The trio came around again in the third, with equally damaging results to Laffey and the Isotopes.
Colvin walked, Wheeler was hit by a pitch and then McBride hit a mammoth home run that would likely have exited the stadium had it not been for a giant billboard well beyond the left-field wall.
The Sky Sox’s Bermuda Triangle stepped back in the box in the fourth against reliever Red Patterson, and they were equal opportunists. McBride drove in his sixth run of the night with an RBI single to left, plating Colvin for an 8-1 lead.
Through their first three at-bats, Colvin, Wheeler and McBride went a combined 6-for-6, with seven RBIs, and were on base in each of their nine plate appearances.
Not until Colvin struck out in the sixth did the Isotopes get any of the three out. The trio finished 10-of-13, with eight runs.
“Whoo,” Bundy said. “We kind of held them down the first two nights, but tonight they got off to a fast start and never looked back.”
McBride in particular has been a menace. He has eight home runs and 26 RBIs in a mere 15 games this month alone. He is batting a scalding .403 (25-for-62) since May 1.
As for Laffey (1-2), he departed in the third after Lars Davis’ RBI double made it 7-1. Laffey left with discomfort in his shoulder and back, Bundy said.
“It was kind of more of a precaution,” Bundy said. “Obviously, his command wasn’t there, and it looked like he was center-cut for the most part (with his pitches).”
The bright spots were few and far between for Albuquerque.
There was Justin Sellers’ RBI double in the second, and the largely effective, innings-eating relief appearance by Patterson, who surrendered two runs on three hits in 4â…” innings, while striking out seven.