The battery was at full power for Albuquerque on Friday night. Red Patterson pitched seven strong innings and catcher Griff Erickson went 4-for-4 as the host Isotopes rolled to a 10-6 victory over the El Paso Chihuahuas.
Albuquerque (9-6) swept the four-game series from El Paso (6-9), with Patterson (1-0) providing the fourth consecutive quality start. The right-hander went seven innings, scattering two runs and six hits. He struck out four and did not walk a batter for the second straight start.
"Probably his best outing so far this season," manager Damon Berryhill said. "His command was a lot sharper this time out. He worked down in the zone. Did real well with the fastball tonight. He showed a good breaking ball and slider tonight."
The wind was blowing fiercely out to left field during the early part of the game, but save for a solo home run by Daniel Robertson in the first inning, Patterson was able to keep the ball down throughout his seven innings. He recorded 11 groundball outs on the night while working with Erickson.
"I think they've worked together a bunch in the minor leagues and I didn't see Red shake him off very much," Berryhill said. "They worked well together tonight."
Erickson, in just his third start of the season, made the most of it this time around after going 1-for-6 in his past two games. He hit three doubles, blasted a home run to lead off the third inning and finished with four RBI and three runs scored.
"It's just another ballgame, but when it goes that way it's a special thing," Erickson said. "It's not very often you go 4-for-4. I'm grateful for it."
Erickson said he understands his role on the team is to back up Miguel Olivo, so playing time might be more sporadic than it was for him at Double-A the last two seasons. When he does get the chance to play, Erickson said he knows he has to make the most of it.
"Anytime I can get in there and show what I've got, that's what I'm going to do," Erickson said. "Miguel's a great guy. I'm learning a lot from him."
While Patterson was dominating on the mound, the Isotopes' lineup roared to life early. Clint Robinson, Nick Buss, Erickson and Walter Ibarra hit four consecutive doubles in the first inning, leading to five runs.
Albuquerque eventually built a 10-2 lead before El Paso picked up a few runs off the bullpen. Still, it did nothing to dampen the team's positive mood after the game.
"It's always good to finish with a sweep," Berryhill said. "We'll be seeing two new teams on the road, so it's nice to have some momentum."
The Isotopes will hit the road starting Saturday for eight games at Salt Lake and Reno. They will return to Albuquerque on April 28 to open a 12-game homestand.