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What had been a slumbering Albuquerque Isotopes offense woke up as it returned to Isotopes Park, particularly on Sunday and Monday.
Albuquerque, which had some low offensive output during a California road swing last week, got its groove back at home against the Tacoma Rainiers and the Salt Lake Bees.
Monday, Albuquerque scored 7 runs in the fifth inning as it blasted Salt Lake 13-2 at Isotopes Park. Elian Herrera, Brian Barden and Justin Sellers all went yard in the fifth, with Barden and Sellers blasting 2-run shots.
The big bats by the Isotopes came one night after they thumped the Rainiers 12-5, blowing that game open with a 3-run sixth inning and a 6-run seventh.
After losing six of eight at Sacramento and Fresno last week, Albuquerque (67-56) has won three of five in this current homestand, splitting with Tacoma and taking Monday’s series opener with Salt Lake.
Albuquerque will host Salt Lake three more times in this series – all start times, including tonight’s ballgame, are at 6:35 p.m. – before it opens a five-game set at Oklahoma City Friday.
The Isotopes are hoping their offense remains hot throughout the week, as they and Oklahoma City (69-54) are separated by just two games at the top of the PCL American Southern standings.
Against Salt Lake (70-53), Albuquerque pounded out 13 hits. Barden was 3-for-4 and drove in four runs, while Chili Buss was 3-for-5 with a double and a run driven in.
On the mound, Angel Castro (8-3) went 7 strong innings, giving up just one earned run and struck out nine batters.
One night earlier, John Baker was 4-for-4 with 5 RBI against Tacoma and Buss went 2-for-5 with 4 RBI.