Dee Gordon rebounded from a rough Wednesday to lead the Albuquerque Isotopes to a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over the Omaha Storm Chasers at Isotopes Park on Thursday afternoon.
The win enabled the Isotopes (5-3) to avoid being swept by the Storm Chasers (4-4) in the four-game series.
Gordon went 3-for-4 with two doubles, three RBI and a stolen base while also playing error-free defense in the field. It helped make up for a forgettable doubleheader performance Wednesday when he went 0-for-7 while making three errors.
“He did a very nice job,” manager Lorenzo Bundy said. “He played with confidence, showed a lot of aggressiveness, didn’t back off. He came up with the big hits when we needed them.”
Gordon was happy to put his bad day in the rearview mirror.
“(Wednesday) was crazy. I didn’t put my head down or get down about it,” Gordon said. “I knew today was a new day and I was ready to play.”
The Isotopes trailed 2-0 going into the fourth when Brian Barden led off with a single. Nick Buss hit into a fielder’s choice, but Barden ended up safe at second when shortstop Christian Colon dropped the throw for an error. Jesus Flores sacrificed the runners over, but Matt Angle struck out looking to put the rally in jeopardy.
Gordon stepped in and stepped up, hitting a two-run double to left-center field that tied the game.
“I was just trying to hit the ball on the ground, use my speed, hit line drives to keep the ball out of the air,” Gordon said.
In the sixth inning, Buss hit a leadoff double down the right field line and went to third on Flores’ flyout to center. After Angle grounded out, Gordon again came through, using his speed to beat out an infield single as Buss scored the go-ahead run.
“I know one thing is better is his groundball-to-flyball ratio,” Bundy said. “They may not be hard groundballs, they may not be rockets, but he’s making an attempt to keep the ball out of the air, which he has to do. The infield hit that knocked in the go-ahead run was a prime example. The double to center (in the third inning) was a line drive, the other double to left-center field was a line drive.
“It was a good day, it was a very good day.”
Albuquerque starter Matt Magill struggled early on in the game, giving up two hits in the first inning though no runs. The second inning was worse as Magill walked the bases loaded. He struck out Irving Falu, but Paulo Orlando and David Lough hit back-to-back RBI singles.
After that, Magill settled in, striking out Colon and Johnny Giavotella to end the second. He would end up retiring 11 in a row before being pulled after five innings.
Magill was charged with the two runs on four hits and three walks. He struck out seven, throwing 53 of 84 pitches for strikes.
“He got himself together,” Bundy said. “You see the three walks in a row and you’re like ‘oh.’ We were able to get out of there with two (runs allowed). I consider that a victory. We were able to make that stand up.”
Bundy called Magill “a bit of a work in progress right now.”
“I think what we saw in the last three innings is more of the guy we’re going to see nine out of 10 times,” Bundy added. “Now it’s just a matter of trying to make that adjustment. It’s not easy sometimes.”
The bullpen took over from there with Peter Moylan (1-0), Geison Aguasviva, Josh Wall and Shawn Tolleson combining for four shutout innings. Tolleson came on in the ninth with a runner on first and got three groundball outs to end the game and earn his second save.
The Isotopes will hit the road for their next eight games, starting Friday at Iowa. The next homestand will be for four games with Oklahoma City from April 20-23.