'Topes and Loons In Tough Position

Xavier Paul ... home run

Memphis banged across five runs in the ninth inning to turn a 6-3 Albuquerque advantage into an 8-5 win and put the Isotopes in a tough spot as the playoffs moved to Tennessee for the final three games. Great Lakes ran into a superb pitching performance and lost 7-0 to West Michigan.

Isotopes Down 0-2 After Loss
Albuquerque, who used the big inning all season long, had the tables turned on then in the second game of the PCL North Division playoffs.

Memphis, held to eight hits and three runs as they moved into the ninth inning trailing 6-3, banged out six more hits and scored five times to take a surprising 2-0 lead in the best of five series.

The uprising came off PCL All-Start closer Scott Strickland who surrendered a pair of singles and a walk to load the bases, then retired the next two Redbirds.

With victory in sight and a 1-1 split of the first two games firmly in the minds of the Isotopes, the roof fell in.

Two straight singles allowed three runs to tie the game. Cory Wade was hurriedly warmed up and inserted into the game but he gave up a two-run double and an RBI single before the final Memphis batter was thrown out at the plate.

The Isotopes went out 1-2-3 in the ninth.

Carlos Alvarado started for Albuquerque and sailed into the fourth inning with a 1-0 lead, courtesy of a single by Tony Abreu and Blake DeWitt's double. The Isotopes left the bases loaded as an omen of things to come.

Memphis got a break in the top of the fourth when first baseman Hector Luna's throwing error allowed the first batter to reach base. Alvarado loaded the bases then bounced a wild pitch and gave up a sac fly.

JD Closser and Chin-lung Hu singled in the bottom of the inning and a passed ball tied the scored. Then Memphis reclaimed the lead in the fifth on a solo home run.

Albuquerque scored one in the fifth on an error and singles by Luna and Hu; added two more in the sixth on Xavier Paul's solo home run, a single by DeWitt and Luna's double, then made it 6-3 in the seventh when Jamie Hoffmann singled and later scored on a wild pitch.

Brent Leach worked a scoreless sixth after Alvarado left the game, Josh Lindblom worked around three hits and a walk to record two more scoreless innings before handing the game and a three-run lead to Strickland, who led the PCL with 32 saves during the regular season.

DeWitt went 3-for-5 with two runs scored to lead Albuquerque. Abreu and Hu added a pair of hits each.

Memphis returns home tomorrow night to host their first playoff game since 2000 tonight, needing only one win in the next three games to move into the finals. Albuquerque pins their hopes on right-hander Tim Corcoran who was 2-0, 4.71 over six games, five of them starts.

 Score by Innings
Memphis	        000 210 005-9
Albuquerque	100 112 100-6

 Albuquerque	ab r  h  bi  ave
Abreu 2b	6  1  2  0  .300
Paul cf        	4  1  1  1  .125
DeWitt 3b	5  2  3  1  .375
Jones rf-lf	3  0  0  0  .000
Luna 1b        	5  0  1  1  .222
 Brown lf	2  0  1  0  .500
 Lindblom p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Strickland p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Wade p	        0  0  0  0  .000
Closser c	3  1  1  0  .167
Hu ss        	5  0  2  1  .250
Alvarado p	1  0  1  0 1.000
 Maza ph	1  0  0  0  .000
 Leach p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Hoffman rf	2  1  1  0  .400
---------------------------------
 Totals 	47  6 13  4
 Memphis	34  8 14  7
 
 Error- Luna (1). 2B- DeWitt (1), Luna
(1). HR- Paul (1). RBI- Dewitt (1), Hu
(1), Paul (1), Luna (2). S- Paul;
Alvarado. LOB- Albuquerque 13, Memphis
9. SB- Hoffmann (1). DP- Jones, Hu, Brown
and Abreu 2.
 	  
 Albuquerque 	  in  h r-er bb so  era
Alvarado	 5.0  4  3-1  3  5  1.80
Leach	         1.0  2  0-0  0  0  0.00
Lindblom 	 2.0  3  0-0  1  2  0.00
Strickland (0-1) 0.2  4  5-5  1  0 67.50
Wade        	 0.1  2  0-0  0  0  0.00
 WP- Alvarado. HBP- by Alvarado. 
T- 3:26. Att- 3,714.
Loons Blanked; Series Tied 1-1
The West Michigan pitching staff held off elimination for a least one more day by holding Great Lakes to four scattered singles in a 7-0 win in the first round of the Midwest League playoffs.

Right-hander Jon Michael Redding, who led the Midwest League with 16 wins over the regular season, was battered for six runs before leaving in the second inning.

All six Whitecaps runs came across in the second inning. Manager Juan Bustabad inserted right-hander Bobby Blevins, who was to be the potential Game 3 starter and he allowed a two-run single to end the painful inning.

Blevins went on to work 3.1 shutout innings in his first relief appearance of 2009. Steve Smith, Jordan Pratt and Roberto Feliciano combined with Blevins to hold West Michigan to one run over the final seven innings.

However, the Loons could managed only four hits - singles by Dee Gordon, Nick Buss and Parker Dalton and a double by Jerry Sands. They had runners in scoring position only three times and were obviously unsuccessful in each opportunity.

The elimination game tonight will be in the hands of a pair of youngsters. Twenty-year old right-hander Ethan Martin (6-8, 3.87 ERA in the regular season) will start and ninteen-year-old righty Nathan Eovaldi (3-5, 3.27) is scheduled to work in relief for the Loons against fellow Luke Putkonen (7-8, 3.13).

The winner of Friday's game will match up Saturday in the first game of a three-game series against the winner of the Fort Wayne-South Bend series.

 Score by Innings
Great Lakes	000 000 000-0
West Michigan	020 000 10x-7

 Great Lakes	ab r  h  bi ave
Gordon ss	4  0  1  0  .375
Pedroza 2b	4  0  0  0  .125
Hatch 3b	2  0  0  0  .167
 Dalton 3b	1  0  1  0 1.000
Russell rf	4  0  0  0  .286
Silverio lf	4  0  0  0  .125
Sands 1b	3  0  1  0  .286
Becker dh	3  0  0  0  .286
Wallach c	2  0  0  0  .167
 Lopez c	1  0  0  0  .000
Buss cf	        3  0  1  0  .286
---------------------------------
 Totals	        31  0  4  0
 West Michigan	32  7 10  7

 LOB- Great Lakes 5, West Michigan 5.
SB- Hatch(1), Gordon (2). DP- Pedroza
and Sands; Pedroza, Gordon and Sands.

 Great Lakes	 in  h r-er bb so  era
Redding (0-1)	1.2  5  6-6  2  1 32.40
Blevins 	3.1  3  0-0  0  1  0.00
Smith	        1.0  0  0-0  0  1  0.00
Pratt	        1.0  1  1-1  1  1  9.00
Feliciano       1.0  1  0-0  0  0  0.00
 HBP- by Pratt, Hatch. T-2:30. 
Att- 5,698.

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