Colorado Rockies: Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes news and notes

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SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 23: Tom Murphy #23 of the Colorado Rockies poses for a portrait during photo day at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on February 23, 2017 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)
SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 23: Tom Murphy #23 of the Colorado Rockies poses for a portrait during photo day at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on February 23, 2017 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images) /
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The Albuquerque Isotopes, Triple-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, won their home opener Tuesday night 7-3 over Las Vegas on a beautiful night for baseball in the Duke City. This after the Topes won three of five in their season-opening series against the Bees in chilly Salt Lake City.

This is a veteran Isotopes team, and the shuttle from Triple-A Albuquerque to Denver should be active this summer. Some early news and notes:

Hot hitters: Catcher Tom Murphy, who has played 44 games for the Rockies in the past three seasons but has failed to stick with the big club, is off to a hot start. He has 13 hits in 22 at-bats with two homers, seven RBI and a .591 batting average in the first six games. Outfielder Raimel Tapia is 8-for-28 with three homers, 9 RBI and a .286 batting average.

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Pitching well: Matt Flemer gave up two earned runs on five hits, striking out six in six innings to earn a win over Salt Lake (Los Angeles Angels affiliate). Sam Howard notched a victory over the Bees, giving up two runs on six hits in five innings while striking out four.

Injury bug: Yency Almonte left his Opening Day start because of a recurring nerve injury in his elbow, according to Thomas Harding of MLB.com. Almonte is on the 7-day DL but is not expected back before next month.

The Rox signed veteran pitcher David Holmberg to replace Almonte on the AAA roster, and Holmberg started against the Las Vegas 51s (New York Mets) Tuesday night. The injury bug also bit outfielder David Dahl, who was 4-for-9 with 4 RBI in his first two games. Harding reports Dahl, who has missed the last five games, is on the 7-day DL with a stomach virus.

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Denver shuttle: Relief pitcher Carlos Estevez, on a rehab assignment with the Topes, struck out three in two innings on consecutive days for the Topes. He should be ready to return to the Rox.

Starter Jeff Hoffman, who had shoulder soreness during spring training, is expected to join the Isotopes rotation soon.

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