It was not the homecoming that the Isotopes wanted Thursday night. Back in Albuquerque for the first time since April 16, the Isotopes made six errors en route to an 11-3 loss to the Salt Lake Bees, their seventh defeat in a row.
The six errors tied for the most in team history, a mark achieved twice before, most recently on Aug. 9, 2014 at Las Vegas. Remarkably it only led to four unearned runs, though the Bees (8-12) had plenty of earned runs in them as well.
“That’s not characteristic of our defense, committing six errors,” manager Glenallen Hill said. “How can I answer that and get into the minds of the players showing up every day to work and then they play like that. It’s not characteristic of the players we have.
“I’ve never been involved in a game where a team has made six errors. I’ve never seen that before.”
Salt Lake scored three in the first, one in the third and two in the fourth all off Albuquerque starter Chris Rusin (1-2). The lefty was charged with six runs, three earned, on eight hits and three walks in 5.2 innings.
Catcher Ryan Casteel had a throwing error in the first, but it was the fourth where things really got out of hand. Third baseman Joey Wong, first baseman Wilin Rosario and shortstop Cristhian Adames each made an error in that frame.
The Adames error was the most costly as he injured his left ankle on the play. Adames, who had reached base in 19 of 21 games this season, had to be helped off the field.
“I haven’t talked to the trainer yet,” Hill said of Adames’ injury. “It’s too early to tell.”
The Isotopes (9-12) opted to bring in starter John Lannan as a reliever in the seventh inning. It did not go to plan as he gave up five runs, four earned, on six singles, a walk and another error by Rosario.
Throw in a fifth-inning error by Wong, who had moved to shortstop after Adames’ injury, and that accounted for all of Albuquerque’s many miscues. The Isotopes finished as many errors as they did hits.
“No one wants to make errors, no one makes excuses for those errors,” Hill said. “I’m sure that the players that were involved in those misplays feel horrible. But it’s my job as their leader to let it sting and then encourage them to come back tomorrow and get after it.”
Albuquerque’s only life at the plate came in the fourth. Tim Smalling, who had come into the game at third base when Wong moved to shortstop, led off with a single and moved to second on a groundout.
Ben Paulsen smoked an RBI triple to center field and Matt McBride followed with a bloop RBI single to left. After a wild pitch moved McBride to third, Kyle Parker drove him in on a groundout.
The Isotopes will try to get out of their funk against the Bees on Friday at 7:05 p.m. Albuquerque right-hander David Hale (0-1, 37.80 ERA) will look to rebound from a disastrous first start, opposed by Salt Lake’s Andrew Heaney (3-0, 4.42), the Angels’ top prospect.
Around the Lab
Lannan and McBride were activated from the disabled list prior to the game. To make room, left-hander Carlos Hernandez was sent to Double-A New Britain and infielder Jose Rivera went to short-season Boise.