The high in Albuquerque was 97 degrees on Tuesday.
Apparently that’s hot Coco weather.
Coco Montes, a 25-year-old infielder from Miami, hit a pair of home runs on Tuesday night, leading the Albuquerque Isotopes to a lopsided 10-4 win over the El Paso Chihuahuas to open an abbreviated three-game home stand at Isotopes Park.
Montes has hit four home runs in the past three games and five since May 28 when he snapped a 175 at-bat homerless streak that dated to August 2021 when he was playing with the Double-A Hartford Yard Goats.
“I think I’m just getting a little bit more lift on the ball and they’re going out,” Montes said, rather matter of factly about what’s been happening in this hot stretch the past few days.
To zoom in even tighter on the hot streak Montes is on, he homered in his last at-bat of Saturday’s game in Sugar Land, Texas. He hit another in a four-at-bat game Sunday. Tuesday, it was a solo homer in the second inning and a two-run blast to center field in the third inning.
That’s four home runs in seven at-bats for the 6-foot-1, 200-pound middle infielder who on the season now has five home runs with 17 RBIs and is hitting .271.
And what’s been the change for him?
“I have seen nothing change — not since he’s gotten here (he was called up from Hartford on April 28),” Isotopes manager Warren Schaeffer said. “I’ve seen a solid approach every single day from him. I mean, he might strike out three times in a game, but that doesn’t mean he’s not committed to his approach. He’s a player, you’d like to have in the lineup every night.”
Montes agreed with his manager’s assessment that nothing has really changed recently with his at-bats or his swing.
And as for that rather lengthy homerless streak dating to last season, Montes smiled when asked about it — but neither confirmed nor denied he knew the exact number.
“Ahhhh, well, I knew I hadn’t hit a homer, but I wasn’t really too worried about it,” he said with a grin.
Montes was drafted out of high school (Coral Gables, Fla.) in 2015 by Washington in the 35th round, but opted instead to go to college, where he starred for three seasons at the University of South Florida and was then drafted in ’18 in the 15th round by Colorado..
Since then, Montes has moved up a level each season in the organizations — 2018 with Rookie League Grand Junction, 2019 with Single-A Ashville, did not play in the COVID-canceled 2020 minor league season, 2021 with Double-A Hartford and he was called up by the Isotopes from Hartford on April 28.
“He’s an overall complete player,” Schaeffer said. “He does all the small things. He catches the ball at multiple positions. He’s a smart player. He can run the bases. Hey battles.”
Isotopes 10, Chihuahuas 4
vs El Paso
6:35pm, 610AM/95.9FM; at Isotopes Park
PROBLEMS: El Paso LHP Ryan Weathers (2-4, 7.36) vs. Albuquerque RHP Brandon Gold (3-1, 4.25)
TUESDAY: Albuquerque won a series opener at home for the first time this season in front of an announced crowd of 7,667. Sean Bouchard (18 consecutive games), Ryan Vilade (19) and Carlos Perez (21) extended their on-base streaks in the win.
TRANSACTIONS: The parent club Colorado Rockies on Tuesday recalled infielder Elehuris Montero from Albuquerque and optioned right-handed pitcher Ryan Feltner as a corresponding roster move.
Montero this season with the Isotopes is hit .314 with 11 home runs and 34 RBIs. Feltner had a 1-2 record and a 5.85 ERA with the Rockies.