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Isotopes lineup comes to life in rout of Rainiers

Mike Baxter hit three doubles as the Isotopes rolled to victory over the Rainiers.
Mike Baxter hit three doubles as the Isotopes rolled to victory over the Rainiers.
Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

The Albuquerque Isotopes showed some signs of life offensively late in Sunday's loss. They showed a lot more in Monday's 12-5 victory over the visiting Tacoma Rainiers.

Albuquerque (54-63) ended a five-game losing streak by unloading on Tacoma (59-58). The Isotopes had four different players hit home runs with another five doubles on top of that.

"It was a good win, we needed that one," left fielder Mike Baxter said. Baxter had three doubles, each hit to a different section of the outfield.

After the Rainiers scored a run in the second, Albuquerque put two on with one out in the bottom of the frame. Baxter smacked the first of his doubles to right field to tie the game. The ball hit off the top of the fence and was first ruled a home run, but the umpires convened and correctly ruled it an RBI double instead.

"They got it right," Baxter said. "Obviously you get your hopes up that it's a home run, but I didn't see it. With the wind I knew it was going to be tough to go out to right. The guys told me (it was a double)."

Johnny Monell then drew a walk to load the bases. That set up former Rainier Carlos Triunfel, who smashed a grand slam to left field that put the Isotopes up for good.

"I don't care who you are, you always to perform against your old team, your old teammates," manager Damon Berryhill said. "He's been excited about playing these guys, proving them wrong. He's hit the ball well a few times and he came up with a huge grand slam right there."

Jamie Romak, who finished a triple shy of the cycle, made it 6-1 with a sacrifice fly in the third. Two batters later, Baxter smoked a two-run double to left.

Romak led off the fifth with a double, bringing up Alex Guerrero. Tacoma catcher Humberto Quintero argued on a checked swing and was subsequently ejected.

On the first pitch after the at-bat resumed with John Hicks catching, Guerrero hit a line-drive home run to left field. It was his first homer with the Isotopes since May.

Monell would add a solo home run in the seventh followed by Romak's solo shot in the eighth. That would be more than enough for Albuquerque.

"I thought we did a real nice job offensively tonight," Berryhill said. "Being patient, getting some quality pitches and putting good swings on it. We just came out swinging."

Drew Carpenter (3-1), making a spot start for the just recalled Carlos Frias, gave the Isotopes 5.1 innings. He allowed five runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out four.

"Carpenter, big quality spot start for us," Berryhill said. "He did a nice job."

Mariners No. 1 prospect Taijuan Walker (4-3) took the loss. He lasted just 2.1 innings, giving up eight runs eight hits and one walk.

"He made some mistakes that we were able (to jump on)," Berryhill said. "We really didn't miss our pitches tonight. We've kind of been getting some good pitches to hit and fouling them straight back."

Joc Pederson went 0-for-5, the only Albuquerque player not to get a hit. Baxter and Romak each had three hits, while Clint Robinson, Darwin Barney and Guerrero had two hits.

"Even the past three or four games we've been hitting the ball hard," Baxter said. "There's been a lot of lineouts if you go back and look at the box scores. What's on the scoreboard hasn't been (showing) how we've been squaring balls up. I think everybody has been feeling pretty comfortable at the plate, trying to put together a good run to the end of the season."

The Isotopes will go for the series split Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. Right-hander Zach Lee (6-10, 5.22 ERA) will start for Albuquerque against Tacoma right-hander Jordan Pries (8-6, 3.79).

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