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Reno’s Godley stymies run-starved Isotopes

Who says Isotopes Park is a haven for hitters? Reno pitcher Zack Godley might beg to differ.

Godley threw seven masterful innings against the struggling Albuquerque Isotopes on Wednesday night, allowing just one hit and facing the minimum 21 batters. The right-hander struck out seven and did not issue a walk in Reno’s 5-1 victory.

So efficient was Godley that he needed just 61 pitches to get through seven quick frames. He was relieved to start the eighth, prompting the million-dollar question: Why?

“Obviously, that decision’s made by the manager and people higher up,” Godley said while pedaling away on a stationary bike after the game. “I was 100 percent ready to go back out there. My arm felt great and still does, but I have to respect the decision. The goal is to get me back to the big leagues.”

Even though it was cut short, Godley’s outing has to rate among the most impressive by an opposing pitcher at Isotopes Park. Consider:

■ The Isotopes had two baserunners against Godley (Noel Cuevas was hit by a pitch in the second inning, and Raimel Tapia singled to start the seventh). Both were erased on ground-ball double plays one pitch after they reached first base.

■ Tapia’s bouncing single to right was one of just three balls hit out of the infield against Godley.

■ Godley also batted three times and had as many hits, one, as he allowed. He walked and contributed a sacrifice bunt in his other at-bats.

“It was fun,” Godley said. “Everything was working, really. I got my fastball location back after walking too many guys in my last two games. I know this is a hitters’ park just like Reno, but it’s a nice place to play when guys are hitting it on the ground and your defense is making plays behind you.”

Godley’s fun came at the expense of the Isotopes, who suffered their sixth consecutive loss. Manager Glenallen Hill was quick to credit Godley for a quiet night by Albuquerque’s offense.

“I thought (Godley) had really good stuff,” Hill said. “He had a power sinker, a really good cutter and a change-up with good arm speed.”

The Aces provided Godley with all the support he would need early. Christian Walker’s RBI double in the first, and a two-run rally in the second were enough to make a loser of Isotopes starter Harrison Musgrave (0-1). The lefty allowed three runs in 4⅔ innings but needed 90 pitches to get that far.

Albuquerque trailed 5-0 when Godley departed and, remarkably enough, had a quick chance to get back in the game. Noel Cuevas, Jordan Patterson and Derrik Gibson greeted reliever Eric Jokisch with consecutive hits to make it 5-1 with runners at the corners and no outs in the eighth.

But Patterson was thrown out trying to score on a nubber to the mound, and Daniel Castro grounded into a double play to end the threat. The Isotopes were outhit 16-4 and struck out 10 times.

If there was any bad news for Godley, it was only that Tapia’s ground ball found a hole.

“You always think about a no-hitter,” he said, “but I tried to put it in the back of my head and keep getting outs. All in all, I’m pretty happy with that outing.”