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Hilliard Blasts Two Homers, Isotopes Drop Road Finale 11-5

(Tim March)
September 25, 2022

Sugar Land, TX – Despite a pair of two-run homers from outfielder Sam Hilliard, the Albuquerque Isotopes dropped their final road game of the 2022 season, 11-5 to the Space Cowboys on Sunday night at Constellation Field. Sugar Land (72-73) took five of six games in this series and won

Sugar Land, TX Despite a pair of two-run homers from outfielder Sam Hilliard, the Albuquerque Isotopes dropped their final road game of the 2022 season, 11-5 to the Space Cowboys on Sunday night at Constellation Field.

Sugar Land (72-73) took five of six games in this series and won the season set from Albuquerque, 18-13.

Isotopes starting pitcher Garrett Schilling had a rough Triple-A debut, allowing five runs in his only frame. Joe Perez’s grand slam capped the onslaught.

In the second, J.J. Matijevic hit a three-run homer to left, increasing Sugar Land’s lead to 8-0.

Albuquerque (60-85) began to rally back in the third inning when Hilliard crushed a 408-foot clout over the bullpens in right-center field. The slugger was at it again in the fifth, going deep to right, cutting the deficit to 8-4.

LJ Hatch brought the visitors within 8-5 on an RBI single in the sixth, but the Space Cowboys plated three runs off Ty Blach in the bottom half, putting the game to bed.

Topes Scope: – Hilliard’s two homers marked the 17th multi-homer game by an Albuquerque player in 2022, and first since Michael Toglia had three on Aug. 27 vs. Round Rock. It was Hilliard’s fourth two-homer contest as an Isotope (7/12/19 at ELP, 6/19/21 at REN, 7/1/21 vs. ELP).

- Hilliard now ranks second in Isotopes history with 61 home runs, as he tied and passed Jason Wood (60) today. He needs five over the final three games of the season to tie Jordan Patterson for the most (66) as a Tope.

- Brenton Doyle finished his first Triple-A series batting .458 (11-for-24), collecting hits in all six games with three multi-hit efforts.

- Hatch has reached base safely in 32 of the 42 games he has started this season.

The Isotopes surrendered five or more runs in a frame for the 24th time this season. It was also the seventh time they have been victims of a five-run first against them, and the fourth when playing Sugar Land (May 10, July 22, Sept. 2).

- The grand slam by Joe Perez was the ninth relented by Albuquerque pitching this year, extending a team record. The previous most slams given up in a campaign was seven in 2012. Perez’s was the first against the Isotopes since Brandon Dixon on Sept. 8 vs. El Paso. Albuquerque is tied with Tacoma for the second most slams given up in all of MiLB this season.

- Catcher Dom Nuñez was ejected after arguing with the home plate umpire in the second inning. It was the eighth Isotopes ejection of the season and Nuñez’s second. He was also tossed for his role in a benches-clearing skirmish with the Space Cowboys on July 1.

- Blach allowed his seventh home run of the season between Colorado and Albuquerque, and his first since Luis Campusano (El Paso) on Aug. 5.

- Schilling became the 65th player to appear in a game for the Isotopes this year, and the 16th to make his Triple-A debuts.

- The Isotopes dropped five of six games in a series for the third time this season (at El Paso, vs. Round Rock). They have also been swept in a six-game set (at El Paso) and lost six of seven (vs. El Paso).

- Since April 24, 2012, Albuquerque has lost 61 of their last 80 games on the road against the Astros Triple-A affiliate.

- The Topes finished with a 25-48 road record, their most away losses and worst win percentage (.342) in team history. They have only won one road series in the last two seasons, taking five of six from Round Rock – July 8-13, 2021.

On Deck: The Isotopes begin their final series of the 2022 season, a three-game set against the PCL East Division champion El Paso Chihuahuas. Right-handed pitcher Noah Davis is scheduled to start and make his Triple-A debut for Albuquerque. First pitch from Isotopes Park on Monday is set for 6:35 p.m.