The Albuquerque Isotopes nearly played the longest nine-inning game in team history Thursday night. They avoided that by pushing the game into a 10th inning, but in the end a loss is a loss.
Sacramento ground out a 10-9 victory over Albuquerque in 10 innings. The game featured a combined 31 hits, 31 strikeouts, 13 walks and 12 pitchers used, lasting 4 hours and 29 minutes.
The initial nine innings took 4:07, just two minutes shy of the Isotopes' team record set July 15, 2013, against Memphis. Albuquerque entered the ninth down 9-8, only to see Tim Federowicz tie it up with a leadoff home run to left field.
That lead disappeared quickly in the 10th as Yimi Garcia gave up a leadoff triple to Daric Barton, followed by Jose Martinez's RBI single up the middle. In their half of the frame, the Isotopes (44-55) got a one-out single from Roger Bernadina, only to see Clint Robinson fly out to left field and Trayvon Robinson strike out swinging to end it.
"It was kind of one of those days for both staffs, both sides had a tough time making quality pitches," manager Damon Berryhill said. "It's one of those kind of Albuquerque games where it's back and forth."
Albuquerque jumped out to an early 5-1 lead, only to see it evaporate in the fifth inning. Starter Jeff Bennett gave up a double, two-run homer, single and a walk before being lifted for reliever Josh Ravin, who was making his Isotopes debut.
The right-hander walked Luis Exposito to load the bases, then gave up an RBI groundout, RBI single, another RBI groundout and an RBI double by former Isotope Nick Buss that suddenly put Sacramento (57-41) ahead 7-5. The River Cats managed to hold on until the ninth.
Shane Peterson was the biggest Isotopes tormentor, blasting a solo home run in the third, the two-run homer in the fifth and a leadoff home run in the sixth. He also walked in the first inning, reached on a fielder's choice and later scored in the seventh and finally struck out in the ninth.
"He just capitalized, he didn't miss those mistake pitches," Berryhill said. "It ended up costing us a bit."
Federowicz was the Isotopes' best player, going 2-for-5 with a three-run homer back in the third inning. He also threw out all four River Cats who attempted to steal second base.
"Great job by him," Berryhill said. "On three of those the guys had great jumps. He did a nice job behind the plate tonight."
Albuquerque kept fighting until the bitter end. Walter Ibarra and Casio Grider hit RBI doubles in the sixth to pull their team within 8-7, only to see Sacramento get an insurance in the seventh.
Joc Pederson's night started well but ended poorly. The Isotopes' lone All-Star singled and walked in his first two plate appearances, scoring a run and stealing three bases.
In the seventh with Grider on second and two outs, Pederson struck out looking. In the eighth with runners on second and third with two outs, Pederson struck out looking again.
"I know both of them, it looked like those were quality pitches made on him," Berryhill said. "You've also got to give their pitchers credit. They looked like quality pitches."
Among the rehabbing Dodgers, Chone Figgins started at third base and 1-for-2 with an RBI single, a walk, strikeout and run scored. Reliever Scott Elbert gave up one run on two hits and two walks in one-third of an inning.
"Scott just didn't have his good stuff tonight, just a little erratic in the zone," Berryhill said. "He's on a pitch count and we didn't want to push him too far past it. He'll probably get an appearance (Friday) and we'll go from there."
Albuquerque and Sacramento will meet again Friday at 7:05 p.m. Right-hander Stephen Fife (2-2, 6.08 ERA) will start for the Isotopes against River Cats right-hander Matt Buschmann (6-4, 4.46).