Albuquerque, NM - Brad Nelson belted two home runs, but the Albuquerque Isotopes (2-0) scored six runs in the fifth inning and went on to a 10-6 win over the Iowa Cubs (0-2) at Isotopes Park today. The Cubs have now lost 11 straight games in Albuquerque dating back to June 19, 2011.
The Cubs claimed the early lead against ‘Topes' starter Matt Magill, who was making his triple-A debut. A single and a pair of walks loaded the bases for the Cubs in the top of the first inning. Darnell McDonald cashed in with a two-run single to give the Cubs their first lead of the season. The Cubs added to that lead in the top of the third when Nelson lofted his first homer into the bullpen in left field. It was also his first hit of the season.
Cubs' starter Drew Carpenter started strong, but ran into some control problems in the bottom of the third. Matt Wallach led off the inning with a double, but was still at second with two outs when Carpenter walked three straight batters to force in a run. He got out of the inning, bounced back with a perfect fourth, but couldn't get through the fifth. Relief pItcher Steve Ames led off the ‘Topes big inning with a single and advanced to third on a base hit by Dee Gordon. After Gordon stole second, Elian Herrera delivered a base hit to drive in two and tie the game. Alex Castellanos followed with a two-run homer to left that gave the ‘Topes their first lead at 5-3 and knocked Carpenter out of the game.
Jaye Chapman came in and allowed the final two runs of the inning on three hits. Rusty Ryal had an RBI triple and Tony Gwynn, Jr. added an RBI double. The ‘Topes added an insurance run on an RBI double by Matt Angle off Cory Wade in the sixth before the Cubs rallied back in the top of the seventh.
Logan Watkins led off with a triple for his third hit of the game. He also walked twice today, reaching base safely in all five of his trips to the plate. After a popout, Brian Bogusevic brought in Watkins with an infield hit and Nelson crushed a Peter Moylan pitch onto the berm in right-center for his second homer of the day. The Cubs were within two at 8-6, but wouldn't get another hit the rest of the game.