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Isotopes implode in the late innings

Clint Robinson went 4-for-4 in a losing cause as the Isotopes fell to the Zephyrs.
Clint Robinson went 4-for-4 in a losing cause as the Isotopes fell to the Zephyrs.Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

The Albuquerque Isotopes are finding new and more painful ways to lose games. After loading the bases with no outs but failing to score in the ninth, the Isotopes fell 6-3 in 10 innings on Sunday night.

The Zephyrs (38-32) got a leadoff single from Mark Canha. Two batters later, Josh Judy (2-2) had to leave the game with an injury.

"Judy came in and ended up probably fracturing his elbow," manager Damon Berryhill said. "So that's a big loss for us and a huge disappointment for him."

Pedro Baez came in and walked Kyle Jensen and gave up an infield single to Rob Brantly to load the bases. Josh Rodriguez then drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly, followed by Juan Diaz's two-run triple down the right field line.

"That's just a tough loss," Berryhill said. "You end up losing a pitcher, probably for the season, and the game's right there to win it and you couldn't get it done. We just let that one slip away."

Albuquerque (31-39) stranded seven men on base in the seventh through ninth innings and overall were 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position. The worst sequence was in the ninth when the Isotopes loaded the bases on two singles and an intentional walk, only to see Johnny Monell ground into a 1-2-3 double play and Mike Baxter strike out looking on a full count.

"You can't ask for a better situation than the bases loaded and nobody out," Berryhill said. "We probably hit the ball to the one place you just can't hit it. They ended up turning two on us and then they got the strikeout."

Albuquerque led the game 3-1 until the eighth inning. Lefty Colt Hynes came in and promptly served up a leadoff home run to Derek Dietrich, followed two batters later by another solo shot off the bat of Brian Bogusevic.

Hynes' mini-meltdown cost Sam Demel a shot at his second win. The right-hander gave up just one run on four hits and two walks while striking out six in five innings.

The Isotopes jumped out in the first inning on Clint Robinson's RBI double and Johnny Monell's RBI single. After Brantly's solo home run cut the lead in half in the second, Robinson had a bloop RBI single in the fifth. That would be it, however, for the scoring.

"We have a lot of opportunities and we're not coming through with those hits," Berryhill said. "We just need to do a better job with runners in scoring position. We've been struggling with that all year."

Albuquerque and New Orleans will wrap up their series Monday at 12:05 p.m. The Isotopes will send right-hander Carlos Frias (3-4, 6.19 ERA) against Zephyrs lefty Brian Flynn (6-4, 3.14).