• Wheeler, Adames go deep twice as Isotopes beat Rainiers
    Tim Wheeler and Cristhian Adames each mashed two home runs Tuesday night at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, Wash., to lead the Albuquerque Isotopes (8-5) to an 8-6 win against the Tacoma Rainiers (4-9) in the opening game of a four-game series. Wheeler mashed a grand slam in the first and followed it with a solo shot in the sixth. Adames blasted a pair of solo homers in the third and seventh innings. Early offense has been the key to Albuquerque wins this season, and Tuesday proved to be no different. Brandon Barnes ripped a leadoff single, and Adames followed with a walk in the top of the first. After two quick outs, Dustin Garneau walked to load the bases. Designated hitterWheeler then blasted a 2-2 pitch over the right field wall, giving Albuquerque a 4-0 lead. The Isotopes tacked on one more run in the third for a 5-0 advantage and never looked back.
  • Isotopes split series with Reno
    The Albuquerque Isotopes (7-5) fell 6-2 in the series finale to the Reno Aces (6-6) Monday night at Aces Ballpark in Reno, Nev, but managed to earn a split in their first road series of the season. DECIDING MOMENT: The Isotopes jumped out to quick one-run lead in the first thanks to an RBI double by Ben Paulsen, but it didn’t take the Aces long to make up the deficit. In the bottom of the first, a leadoff double was followed by a walk, an RBI and a three-run home run to put Reno up 4-1 after just one frame. The Aces tacked on one more run in the second and never looked back. ADAMES SWINGING HOT STICK: Cristhian Adames continued swinging a hot stick with a 3-for-4 game Monday night. He also drew a walk. So far this season, Adames is batting .354 (17-for-48) with six runs scored, four doubles, five RBI and five walks. He has turned in at least two hits in six of his last seven outings, including multi-hit performances in the last three-straight games. Adames’ six multi-hit games lead all Isotopes.
  • Isotopes blow out Reno Aces
    The Albuquerque Isotopes (6-3) jumped out to a hot start on their 12-game, 13-day road trip by drumming the Reno Aces (4-5) 11-2 Friday night at Aces Ballpark in Reno, Nev. First baseman Ben Paulsen and left fielder Tim Wheeler combined to go 8-for-9 with five runs scored, eight RBI, four doubles, a homer and one walk. Roger Bernadina drew a one-out walk to get the offense rolling, and Ben Paulsen kept the inning going with a two-out single to put runners on the corners. Dustin Garneau singled in Albuquerque’s first run of the game before Tim Wheeler stepped up and mashed a three-run bomb to put the Isotopes ahead 4-0 through a single frame. After his three-run dinger in the first, Wheeler followed with a single in the third and a double in the fourth. Needing just a triple to complete the cycle in his final two at-bats, the 27-year-old grounded out in the sixth and doubled in the eighth to finish the evening. He went 4-for-5 with five RBI, Not to be out done, Paulsen turned in a 4-for-4 performance of his own with two doubles, three runs scored, three RBI and a walk. He clubbed a pair of RBI doubles in the fourth and eighth innings. Paulsen and Wheeler’s four-hit performances are the most by an Isotope this season.
  • Santa Fe Century gearing up for 30th anniversary
    Over 2,600 cyclists from more than 37 states are expected here for the first major bicycling event in the Southwest this spring, the 2015 Santa Fe Century Bicycle Ride. The 30th anniversary ride is on May 17. The ride has three loops: a 100-mile century, a 50-mile half-century and a 20-mile out-and-back. The Santa Fe Century also features two timed rides: the 100-mile Gran Fondo and the 50-mile Medio Fondo. Fondo is an Italian word that means “distance, endurance or foundation.” Last year two New Mexico riders, Fortunato Ferrara of Los Alamos and David Vaughn of Carlsbad, tied for the fastest time in the Gran Fondo: 4 hours, 4 minutes and 45 seconds. Ferrara, who was born in Italy, has been living in New Mexico the past six years. Last year’s Gran Fondo attracted 75 riders. The 100-mile century (the most popular ride) and Gran Fondo will guide riders down the Turquoise Trail All-American Highway through the historic mining towns of Cerrillos, Madrid and Golden. Elevation changes will range from 7,200 feet to 6,200 feet.
  • Isotopes drop finale 3-1 in 11 innings, but take series
    The Albuquerque Isotopes ran out of gas Thursday afternoon in the series finale against the Tacoma Rainiers (3-5), dropping a 3-1 decision in 11 innings. The Isotopes just missed the sweep, taking the first three games of the four-game series, and conclude the eight-game homestand with a 5-3 record. The Isotopes had a chance for their fourth walk-off win in seven games in the bottom of the ninth and 10th but couldn’t find a way to pull it out. Ben Paulsen led off the inning with a double but was gunned down at third after an attempted sacrifice bunt. A 4-6-3 double play ended the inning. In the bottom of the 10th, catcher Ryan Casteel reached to lead off the frame courtesy of an error but was left stranded after a popup and back-to-back strikeouts. Albuquerque has won a pair of 10-inning games this season in addition to two more last at-bat wins. Sunday’s 11-inning affair was the longest for the Isotopes this season. In the top of the 11th, a leadoff double got Tacoma’s offense rolling. An errant throw on a bunt attempt allowed a run to score and put another runner on third with no outs. After a sacrifice fly, the Rainiers led 3-1. The Isotopes couldn’t muster any offense in the home half of the 11th with Tacoma retiring the side in order.
  • Five-run first catapults Isotopes to fourth straight win
    The Albuquerque Isotopes (5-2) used a five-run first inning, highlighted by a Brandon Barnes leadoff home run, to win their fourth-straight game with a 7-6 victory against the Tacoma Rainiers (2-5) Wednesday night. Catcher Ryan Casteel also tacked on three RBI. DECIDING MOMENT: The Rainiers tied the game at six with a one-out, two-run double in the top of the eighth. After three walk-off wins in their first six games, the Isotopes have come much accustomed to the late inning dramatics. Leading off the home half of the eighth, Ben Paulsen was plunked on the elbow. An Angelys Nina single to center put runners on the corners for catcher Ryan Casteel. The 23-year-old backstop grounded into a fielder’s choice, allowing Paulsen to score the go-ahead run. CASTEEL’S DEAL: Catcher Ryan Casteel started his third game behind the dish for Albuquerque and turned in a vital 1-for-3 night with three RBI. In his three appearances this season, Casteel is batting .417 (5-for-12) with one run scored, one double and four RBI.
  • Isotopes win third straight on Wheeler homer
    Six games into the young season and the Albuquerque Isotopes (4-2) already have three walk off wins, including two walk off home runs in as many days. Right fielder Tim Wheeler smashed a line drive home run over the right-center field wall in the bottom of the ninth inning Tuesday night, giving the Isotopes a 6-5 win against the Tacoma Rainiers (2-4). It is their third-straight victory. DECIDING MOMENT: Back-to-back doubles by the Rainiers in the top of the ninth tied the game at five, but the Isotopes were all too familiar with the late inning heroics. Tim Wheeler stepped in the box to lead off the home half of the ninth and blasted a 1-1 pitch over the right-center field wall for the Isotopes’ second walk off in as many nights. HELL ON WHEELERS: Tim Wheeler mashed his first two home runs of the 2015 seasons Tuesday night, a two-run blast in the sixth and a solo shot in the ninth. He finished the game 2-for-3 with two runs scored, three RBI and a walk. He is also the second-consecutive Albuquerque player to mash two homers in a game after Dustin Garneau’s two-homer performance Monday night.
  • Isotopes drop opener to Aces
    Opening Night festivities provided plenty of excitement for fans, but the Albuquerque Isotopes (0-1) dropped an 8-2 decision to the Reno Aces (1-0) to open the 2015 season. After a first inning leadoff double from Brandon Barnes, the Isotopes jumped out to an early 1-0 lead. The Aces tied it up in the second before a Kyle Parker homer put the ’Topes on top in the third. A four-run fifth inning from Reno, highlighted by a Garrett Weber double, put the Isotopes away for good. Reno tacked on two more runs in the sixth before cruising the rest of the way. Parker, an outfielder, christened the new season with a mammoth home run in the bottom of the third inning. He blasted the 2-2 pitch over the scoreboard in left field, giving the Isotopes a 2-1 lead at the time. Parker hit 15 home runs last season with Colorado Springs, one year after matching a career best with 23 dingers. Making a Major League rehab appearance for the Isotopes, lefty Jorge De La Rosa tossed four innings of four-hit, one-run ball. He surrendered his only run via a second inning leadoff home run. De La Rosa’s final line included 4.0 IP, 4 hits, one run (earned), three walks and two strikeouts.
  • Sipapu offering free tickets for closing weekend
    Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort will end winter operations this Sunday, and resort officials say they’ll be running the lifts at no charge on Saturday and Sunday to celebrate Sipapu’s strongest winter ever. “This season has been the best in our history,” Sipapu mountain manager John Paul Bradley said. “More guests visited us than ever before, so we decided to give away lift tickets as a small token of our appreciation.” The mountain’s lifts will be open from 9:30 a.m. — 4 p.m. The area’s ski school, full-service rental shop, mountain dining and slopeside lodging will all be available. Sipapu is currently reporting at 23-inch base, but it’s unclear what trails will be open for the area’s final weekend. The 2014-2015 winter season was a busy one for northern New Mexico’s oldest ski area: Sipapu’s lifts started turning on Nov. 15, which marked the earliest opening in recent Sipapu history and clenched the 12th consecutive time the resort opened before any other ski area in the state. Sipapu then extended its daily operations schedule to offer guests the longest ski and snowboard season in New Mexico.
  • Isotopes open Thursday
    The Albuquerque Isotopes are ready to begin a new era as the Colorado Rockies Triple-A affiliate. The Isotopes’ opening day roster features some of the Rockies top prospects, including16 players with Major League experience and four first-round picks. New manager Glenallen Hill has 10 members on his squad who are on the Rockies 40-man roster: Chad Bettis, Rex Brothers, Jairo Diaz, Tommy Kahnle, Jorge Rondon, Chris Rusin, Cristhian Adames, Ben Paulsen, Brandon Barnes and Kyle Parker. Colorado Rockies ace Jorge De La Rosa is scheduled to make a Major League rehab start for the Albuquerque Isotopes on Opening Day this Thursday against the Reno Aces. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. De La Rosa, an 11-year Major League veteran, was placed on the disabled list with left groin tightness on April 6 (retroactive to March 27). He was originally tabbed to start Colorado’s home opener on April 10. The Monterrey, Mexico, native has the Rockies’ best all-time winning percentage (.763). The upcoming season is also packed with 13 fireworks shows and 22 giveaways including replica jerseys, hats, beer steins, mini bats and much more. To kick off the promotional schedule, beanies courtesy of Coca-Cola will be given away to the first 3,000 fans on opening day.