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The Albuquerque Isotopes rallied for four unanswered runs to top the Round Rock Express Monday.
The Isotopes and the Express are in a battle for first place in the Pacific Coast League’s American Southern standings. The Express (45-34), who won the first two games of the series Saturday and Sunday, were two games up on the Isotopes heading into today’s play.
Albuquerque trailed 9-6 after 6-1/2 innings, but got three runs in the bottom of the seventh to tie it up and scored a run in the bottom of the ninth to pick up the walk-off 10-9 victory.
It was a wacky bottom of the ninth, featuring two walks, two hit batsmen, a flubbed sacrifice attempt and an ejection of both Round Rock catcher Jose Felix and manager Bobby Jones.
When the dust settled, John Baker drew a bases-loaded walk to force home Alex Castellanos for the winning run. The Isotopes only got one ball into the field of play the entire inning, that being Castellanos’ sacrifice attempt on which leadoff hitter Matt Angle was thrown out at second.
Nevertheless, the Isotopes (43-36) picked up their first win of the four-game set. The series finale, and the finale of the short homestand for the Isotopes, was this afternoon.
To tie the game in the seventh, Albuquerque scored three times after the first two batters of the inning were retired. Scott Van Slyke doubled to get the rally going and, two batters later, Nick Buss tripled to center field to drive home Van Slyke and Castellanos.
Buss, the designated hitter, finished 3-for-4 with two triples and home run and drove in six runs.
Buss was the only Albuquerque hitter with more than one hit in the contest.
Albuquerque will have a day off Wednesday before it opens with a four-game set at Memphis. Albuquerque will then play three games at Oklahoma City before returning to Isotopes Park on July 4.