For the past week, Albuquerque first baseman Jordan Patterson has been a thorn in the 51s’ side.
In the three-game series in Albuquerque before the All-Star break, Patterson went 6-for-12 with a pair of home runs.
He’s been even better against Las Vegas since the break.
On Thursday, he went 3-for-4 with two home runs, including a grand slam. On Friday, he got the Isotopes off on the right foot once again as Albuquerque (46-45) beat Las Vegas 7-2 at Cashman Field.
“(I’m) just being relaxed at the plate and not trying to do too much,” Patterson said. “Just trying to be smooth and easy and swing at good pitches and when I get good pitches … I’ve been fortunate enough the last couple nights, I haven’t missed them and been able to put some good swings on them.”
Patterson homered in both the second and fourth innings off of Tyler Pill and singled in the top of the sixth to drive in another run off Hansel Robles.
“I still feel like Robles made a good pitch down and away to him. He still got the ball through the infield,” manager Pedro Lopez said. “When you’re hot, you’re hot. The only way you can defend that is by walking a guy. That’s about the only thing you can do so hopefully he cools off tonight and we’re able to pitch and get him out tomorrow.”
In total, Patterson is now 7-for-9 with eight RBIs in the first two games of the series against Las Vegas (35-57).
He jump-started an Albuquerque offense on Friday that scored seven runs off Pill, a new season-high. Pill gave up 12 hits and walked three in the outing, leaving after five-plus innings.
“We know Pill is a really good pitcher,” Patterson said. “He knows how to pitch and really attack hitters so it’s really waiting him out and getting good pitches to hit and kind of don’t get into what he wants to do because if you do that, then he’ll get you.”
He gave up one in the second, two in the fourth, one in the fifth and three in the sixth in the outing.
“Everything was up. Usually when you’re up in the zone, you’re going to get hit, especially against a good hitting lineup,” Lopez said. “It’s just one of those nights. Things didn’t go his way. He gave up some soft hits, he gave up some hard hits.”
Ryan Carpenter, his counterpart, tossed seven innings and gave up just two runs on six hits.
The only two runs he gave up came in the seventh inning on a Jayce Boyd two-run blast to left-center field. Before that, just two base runners had reached second base against him.
“He just did a good job,” Lopez said. “He worked ahead, mixed pitches well, he kept us off balance and we had a tough night getting the bats going.”
Who: Albuquerque Isotopes at 51s
When: 7:05 p.m. today
Where: Cashman Field
Starters: Zach Jemiola (3-2, 5.73 ERA) vs. Donovan Hand (2-3, 6.35 ERA)
Sunday: Albuquerque at Las Vegas, 7:05 p.m.
Monday: Fresno at Las Vegas, 7:05 p.m.
Tuesday: Fresno at Las Vegas, 7:05 p.m.
Wednesday: Fresno at Las Vegas, 7:05 p.m.
Thursday: Fresno at Las Vegas, 7:05 p.m.
The 51s will give away Noah Syndergaard caps on Saturday to the first 2,500 fans.
Contact Betsy Helfand at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @BetsyHelfand on Twitter.