The Albuquerque Isotopes were able to recover from a mini-meltdown by their bullpen on Monday night.
They were not so lucky Tuesday night as the Colorado Springs Sky Sox scored 10 times in the ninth inning en route to a 15-6 victory in front of 7,106 fans at Isotopes Park.
Albuquerque (25-19) seemed to be comfortably ahead after John Lindsey’s pinch-hit RBI double in the sixth inning made it 6-3.
Colorado Springs (19-27) got back within one run on back-to-back sacrifice flies by Charlie Blackmon and Chris Nelson in the seventh.
Then came the ninth, where Merkin Valdez (2-1) was being asked to save a one-run game for the second night in a row.
Eric Young Jr. beat out an infield hit to second base to start it off. Two batters later, Nelson was hit by a pitch.
Ian Stewart tied the game with an RBI double to right field. After Josh Fields walked, Eliezer Alfonzo and former UNM standout Jordan Pacheco delivered back-to-back RBI singles to make it 8-6.
Willy Taveras followed with a two-run double and pinch hitter Matt Pagnozzi’s two-run single chased Valdez from the game.
“His (velocity) was as good as it was last night,” Isotopes manager Lorenzo Bundy said. “It just looked like there were a lot of balls down the middle of the plate. I don’t think he threw a lot of splits or sliders.”
Blackmon added a three-run homer off Adam Dedeaux, who was making his season debut in relief of Valdez. The 10 runs allowed tied a team record for the Isotopes that was previously set in two games against Las Vegas in 2004.
“Their approach was pretty good,” Bundy said of the Sky Sox hitters. “Usually when you have a power arm on the mound you talk about staying short to the ball. It kind of looked like they didn’t try to do too much. One little infield hit got it started. It just snowballed from there.”
Rehabbing Dodgers third baseman Casey Blake went 1-for-2 with a run scored and two walks.
J.D. Closser hit a three-run homer for the Isotopes in the first inning.
Dana Eveland was shaky in his start for Albuquerque, allowing three runs on five hits and five walks while striking out two in six innings.
Former Isotope Claudio Vargas gave up five runs on five hits and four walks in four innings for Colorado Springs. Another former Isotope, Eric Stults, allowed a run in the sixth on two hits but otherwise struck out five batters in two innings for the Sky Sox.
Albuquerque and Colorado Springs will continue their series Wednesday at 6:35 p.m.