Topes Notes 05-31-12

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Isotopes pick up shutout win
The Albuquerque Isotopes evened their series Wednesday night against the New Orleans Zephyrs, shutting out the Zephyrs 4-0 on the road.
A trio of Isotopes pitchers combined for the shutout against New Orleans, with Stephen Fife (4-4) going six innings to earn the win.
The shutout came just one night after Albuquerque was held to two hits at New Orleans. The third game of the series is tonight with John Ely (4-3) scheduled to start on the bump.
Fife, who lowered his season ERA to 5.43, pitched around seven New Orleans hits, a walk and a hit batsman in his six innings of work.
At least one New Orleans hitter reached base in every inning against Fife, with the biggest threat coming in the fourth inning. With Albuquerque up 1-0, New Orleans got its first two batters on base and were sacrificed into scoring position by Matt Dominguez.
Fife, however, got Clint Sammons to hit a comebacker for the second out, then fanned Jose Duarte looking. Fife finished with five strikeouts in the game.
Ramon Troncoso pitched a spotless seventh inning and Scott Rice retired six of the seven batters he faced to close out the contest.
The Isotopes didn’t break the game open until the top of the eighth. Alex Castellanos hit a two-run home run off New Orleans reliever Ramori Troncoso, then later in the inning, Luis Cruz hit a sacrifice fly to score Josh Fields.
Albuquerque (31-23) kept its half-game edge over Oklahoma City at the top of the PCL American Southern standings.