Albuquerque 7, Vancouver 4
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) _ Mike Busch hit a two-run homer to highlight a five-run fifth inning as the Albuquerque Dukes beat the Vancouver Canadians 7-4 in the first game of the best-of-5 Pacific Coast League championship series Wednesday.
The game was the first of a doubleheader necessitated by a rainout of the scheduled series opener on Tuesday.
Busch’s homer off reliever Erik Bennett capped a rally that began when Jose Offerman and Ron Coomer led off the fifth with back-to-back singles.
Billy Ashley’s RBI single scored Offerman and cut Vancouver’s lead to 4-3. After Jerry Brooks lined out, Todd Hollandsworth hit a two-run double to give the Dukes - the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Class AAA affiliate, their first lead.
Bennett then relieved starter Mark Ratekin and gave up Busch’s home run.
Albuquerque pitcher Brian Barnes got the win in relief of starter Ismael Valdes. Barnes got the last two outs of the fifth inning and the first two outs of the sixth before closer Greg Hansell came in and gave up one hit the rest of the way to pick up his second save of the playoffs.
Vancouver, the California Angels’ top farm club, scored all four of its runs in the first inning, three coming on Steve Hosey’s three-run homer with none out. After the homer, Valdes settled down and allowed only four singles.