Isotopes pound Zephyrs, take series

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The Albuquerque Isotopes took three out of four home games to keep pace with the Round Rock Express in the division standings.
Albuquerque capped off its home series against New Orleans’ Zephyrs with a big 8-0 win Monday afternoon.
The Isotopes scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth to start to pull away from the Zephyrs, then tacked on three more runs in the seventh.
Meanwhile, pitcher Jonathan Sanchez (4-1) allowed just three hits in five innings. He and Sean White, Kelvin De La Cruz and Steve Smith combined for the shutout.
Sanchez struck out six batters in five innings, but also issued five walks. White and De La Cruz didn’t allow a baserunner, but Smith had to labor through two innings of work to preserve the Isotopes’ fourth shutout victory of the year.
Currently, Albuquerque (62-48) is knotted with Round Rock for the lead in the PCL American Southern division. Oklahoma City (60-50) is just two games back of both teams.
Albuquerque won both ends of an unscheduled doubleheader Saturday — Friday’s game was postponed due to heavy rain in the area — but lost 3-2 Sunday before bouncing back to win Monday to take the series.
The Isotopes are scheduled to open an eight-game road trip tonight at Sacramento. They will then travel to Fresno before returning to Albuquerque Aug. 8.
Monday, first baseman Scott Van Slyke went 2-for-3 with a three-run home run in the fifth, his 10th of the year. Rusty Ryal also hit a three-run shot in the seventh as a pinch-hitter.