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Isotopes forced to forfeit win due to illegal roster

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The Albuquerque Isotopes saw a victory turn into a defeat Tuesday. The truly unusual part about that was that the team was not even playing a game due to the Triple-A All-Star break.

The Pacific Coast League announced that Albuquerque's 7-6 win over El Paso on July 9 — technically completed July 10 due to rain — was forfeited in favor of the Chihuahuas. The Isotopes were cited for having an illegal roster.

At issue was the July 9 activation of center fielder Joc Pederson from the disabled list. Initially the Isotopes sent out a press release stating that outfielder Brian Cavazos-Galvez was going to the DL, but later rescinded that statement.

Cavazos-Galvez actually ended up winning the game with a two-run double. Pederson went 3-for-4, falling a home run shy of the cycle.

The PCL blamed the Los Angeles Dodgers, Albuquerque's affiliate, for the mistake. Apparently, the Dodgers thought that since right-hander Carlos Frias was suspended that he did not count against the 25-man roster limit.

Frias had been banned for 10 games after he was ejected from a game in El Paso for having a foreign substance on his pitching arm. However, the Dodgers should have known that unlike in the Majors, suspended players cannot be replaced on Triple-A rosters.

Just one season earlier, multiple Isotopes were suspended for a brawl with the Memphis Redbirds. The suspensions were staggered to minimize the impact on Albuquerque's active roster, but none of the players were technically replaced by other players, the team simply played short anywhere from one to three players per game.

The dramatic victory in the opener of a doubleheader now becomes a loss, dropping the Isotopes' record to 44-54. It also means that Albuquerque and El Paso ended up splitting the season series 8-8.

The Isotopes will be back in action Thursday at 7:05 p.m. against the Sacramento River Cats. Prior to that, Pederson will play for the PCL team in the Triple-A All-Star Game on Wednesday night in Durham, N.C.

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