Albuquerque put the leadoff runner on base in seven of nine innings, three of whom scored, in the Albuquerque Isotopes 4-0 victory over the Iowa Cubs (37-36) on Saturday night at Principal Park. The Isotopes used five pitchers in the shutout victory.
Iowa starter Chris Rusin (4-10) struggled on Saturday, allowing six of seven leadoff hitters to reach base. Rusin pitched 6.1 innings, allowing four runs on nine hits with two walks, five strikeouts, a wild pitch, and a hit batter. Rusin has pitched far better than his Pacific Coast League leading tenth loss would indicate, including tossing a no-hitter on May 7 against the New Orleans Zephyrs.
On a night that saw very few bright spots for Iowa, Welington Castillo stood out. Castillo, on a rehab assignment from the Chicago Cubs, reached base four times, going 2-for-3 with two singles and two walks before being replaced by a pinch-runner in the ninth. Castillo also picked up a rare stolen base on the back end of a double steal with Arismendy Alcantara. With the double-steal, Iowa has at least one stolen base in fourteen straight games.
Carlos Frias (5-4) picked up the win for Albuquerque (35-40) pitching five innings. Frias was in trouble a few times but was able to extricate himself from those situations including inducing Chris Valaika to ground into a double-play with the bases loaded and one out in the third. Frias allowed four hits and four walks, striking out seven in his five innings.
Yimi Garcia, Pedro Baez, Paco Rodriguez, and Jose Dominguez combined to pitch the final four innings for the Isotopes, allowing only two hits.
Tim Federowicz, Walter Ibarra, and Erisbel Aruebarenna each had two hits for Albuquerque.
Game two of the series is Sunday afternoon at Principal Park.
NOTES: The season-high seven game home run streak by Iowa ended on Saturday when the team went homerless.