Knotted at 5-5 in the 13th and with the sting of Tuesday's 11-inning defeat still fresh, Matt Angle ignited the Isotopes rally with a lead-off single and scampered into scoring position when a pick-off attempt by pitcher Derek Hankins sailed past first baseman Brad Nelson. Tyler Henson then advanced Angle to third on a sacrifice bunt, moving the go-ahead run 90-feet from pay-dirt with just one out. Ozzie Martinez then reached on an infield single to the pitcher, putting runners on the corners but after Hankins coaxed a strikeout, it appeared the runners may be left stranded. Castellanos had other plans, however, slapping a two-out single to second that plated Angle and gave Albuquerque a 6-5 lead.
Right-handed reliever Blake Johnson (2-0) made sure the one run advantage held, retiring Round Rock in order in the bottom of the 13th to seal the 6-5 Isotopes victory and earn his second win in four days.
The game would've ended much earlier, and not in Albuquerque's favor, if not for some excellent defense and crafty pitching courtesy of Scott Rice. With the game tied 5-5 in the 11th, Luis Martinez led off the frame with a single and immediately raced to third on a double by Matt Kata, putting the winning run on third with no outs. After Rice coaxed a lineout by Julio Borbon, he intentionally walked Greg Miclat to set up a potential double-play. The strategy worked to absolute perfection, as Ryan Spilborghs grounded into the classic 6-4-3 twin-killing to end the threat and preserve the tie. Albuquerque ended up forcing four double-plays on the night, tying a season-high.
Prior to the extra-inning dramatics, the game was a classic see-saw affair, with the Express grabbing a 2-0 lead in the second, only to watch it disappear in the top of the third thanks to a two-run homer by Elian Herrera.
Albuquerque grabbed its first lead of the night in the fifth on an RBI double by Martinez, but Round Rock answered with two in the bottom of the frame to re-take the advantage at 4-3.
The 'Topes responded with a two-run homer by Tim Federowicz to grab a 5-4 edge in a wild sixth inning that also featured the ejection of Jerry Sands and 'Topes manager Lorenzo Bundy for arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire Kellen Levy. The advantage proved short-lived as Nelson delivered a solo homer in the seventh to tie the game one last time at 5-5.
The Isotopes' nip-and-tuck series with the Express continues on Thursday with right-hander Will Savage (10-3, 5.57) taking the hill for the 'Topes against Round Rock lefty Zach Jackson (3-11, 4.99). First pitch is slated for 6:05 PM MT from Dell Diamond.
Albuquerque returns home next Wednesday for an eight-game homestand that is full of some of the team's most popular promotions, including cowbell night, a live appearance by Birdzerk!, a Dodger Stadium replica giveaway, and a spectacular fireworks show.