For most of the night, it was a pitching duel.
The 51s were quieted by Albuquerque starter Barry Enright, and for the most part, the Isotopes were silenced by Wilfredo Boscan.
But someone has to lose a pitching duel, and Saturday night at Isotopes Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico, it was the 51s.
Albuquerque beat Las Vegas 4-1 in the second game of a three-game series, giving themselves some breathing room with two runs off Luis Mateo in the seventh inning.
Mike Tauchman’s RBI single off Mateo gave the Isotopes the 4-1 lead.
The Isotopes (44-44) had led since the second inning, scoring first on Tom Murphy’s RBI groundout. Tauchman’s sixth-inning sacrifice fly gave Albuquerque a two-run lead.
That was it for Boscan’s six-inning outing, a significantly better one after he allowed a combined 12 runs in his past two starts.
“He did a really good job No. 1 working ahead and mixing his pitches,” Las Vegas manager Pedro Lopez said. “He located his pitches well, and I thought that that was the difference tonight.”
But by the time the seventh inning rolled around, the 51s (34-55) hadn’t had a runner advance past first base.
They finally did in the seventh after Travis Taijeron walked and Josh Rodriguez singled with one out. The next batter, Phillip Evans, drove in a run with a single to left off starter Barry Enright.
“We were able to get a couple hits. Evans comes up with a big hit and scores a run and just unfortunately (Jio) Mier grounded into a double play, but I thought the at-bats were there,” Lopez said. “Tonight we were one hit away from maybe taking the lead.”
But that hit never came, and that was all the 51s would get in the game.
Though he allowed seven hits, Enright gave up the one run in seven innings.
“He made good pitches. There were a lot of hard-hit balls right at people, but I thought he also did a good job,” Lopez said. “He worked ahead, he mixed pitches well, and when he made mistakes, we hit the ball hard, just unfortunately it was right at people.”
After the 51s scored, the Isotopes struck back in the bottom of the inning.
Who: 51s at Albuquerque Isotopes
When: 5:05 p.m. Sunday
Where: Isotopes Park
Starters: Ricky Knapp (3-10, 6.06 ERA), 51s, vs. Sam Howard (2-1, 3.62 ERA)
Monday: All-Star break
Tuesday: All-Star break
Wednesday: Triple-A All-Star Game, 6:05 p.m.
Thursday: Albuquerque at Las Vegas, 7:05 p.m.
Friday: Albuquerque at Las Vegas, 7:05 p.m.
51s shortstop Amed Rosario will play Sunday in the Futures Game at Marlins Park in Miami. The game will start at 1 p.m. and be televised on the MLB Network and streamed on MLB.com. Rosario, who is from the Dominican Republic, will play for the World Team.
Contact Betsy Helfand at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @BetsyHelfand on Twitter.