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Pederson hits his 30th home run in Isotopes' loss

Joc Pederson hit his 30th home run but remains two stolen bases shy of 30 in that category.
Joc Pederson hit his 30th home run but remains two stolen bases shy of 30 in that category.
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Joc Pederson moved closer to a good kind of history Monday night. The Albuquerque Isotopes moved closer to the kind of history they would rather not make.

Pederson blasted his 30th home run of the season in a 9-3 loss to the visiting Nashville Sounds. Albuquerque suffered its 72nd defeat of the season, putting it within unfortunate reach of the team's worst record (67-77) set in 2004.

"It's been a tough month pitching-wise," manager Damon Berryhill said of their 4-12 August. "We've been dinged up a bunch and we're just finally getting back to a full bullpen (and) rotation. We're finally getting back to a full roster."

Pederson drew a walk after Mike Baxter's leadoff double in the first inning, but both were left stranded as the next three hitters struck out looking. In the second inning, Pederson followed Baxter's leadoff home run with a blast of his own to right field.

With the homer, Pederson now just needs two stolen bases to become the first 30-30 player in the Pacific Coast League since 1934. He was unable to get there Monday.

Pederson struck out in the fifth inning and drew a one-out walk in the seventh, only to have Tim Federowicz ground into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play. Pederson popped up to shortstop in the ninth, leaving him at 28 steals with 13 games to play.

"He got the 30 out of the way and now it's just patience at the plate, take those walks, get those base hits," Berryhill said. "If he plays the game the right way he'll have plenty of opportunities."

Pederson and Baxter's home runs were part of a three-run Isotopes inning in the third. Albuquerque (57-72) would not score again, however.

Sean Halton hit an RBI double and Hector Gomez followed with a two-run homer in the fourth inning off Barry Enright (0-3) to give Nashville (70-59) the lead for good. Enright ended up allowing five runs on 11 hits and one walk in six innings.

"I think for him it's mostly location, just elevated balls that they put good swings on," Berryhill said. "When he's down in the zone, he's not the kind of pitcher that's going to overpower you, it's all about location for him."

Two nights after the Sounds had 15 singles out of 17 total hits, this time around they had 11 extra-base hits out of 16 total. Gomez went 3-for-5 and finished a single shy of the cycle.

Isotopes fans did manage to consume 21,577 hot dogs on 50-cent night. That was an average of 2.99 hot dogs per the 7,207 in attendance.

Albuquerque and Nashville will wrap up their series Tuesday at 6:35 p.m. The Isotopes will send lefty Chris Reed (0-2, 11.05 ERA) to the mound against Sounds right-hander Michael Blazek (3-4, 3.61).