Ryan McMahon and his team jumped out to an early lead Thursday night. But almost instantly, they knew there would be lots more work to do.
Colorado's No. 5 prospect belted two homers and drove in four runs on a 4-for-4 night, helping power Triple-A Albuquerque to a wild 12-11 walk-off win over Fresno in 10 innings.
"We came out and put up some runs first, but they're stacked all throughout their lineup," McMahon said. "They've got a bunch of guys who can swing it pretty well. We knew we weren't safe with a small lead, so we knew we were going to have to swing it the whole way. I think they did too."
Video: Albuquerque's McMahon notches multi-homer game
Albuquerque's 2-0 lead after two innings marked the start of the roller-coaster night.
Heading into their half of the fifth, the Isotopes were in a 6-2 hole when McMahon started digging them out by leading off with a homer to center field. The blast was the first of two runs for Albuquerque in the frame and the start of a dizzying back-and-forth pattern. The Grizzlies plated four -- and the Isotopes countered with four -- in the sixth.
McMahon's two-run shot to center in the seventh tied the score, 10-10. The 22-year-old's recap of his second and third Triple-A homers was simple.
"I was just feeling good, sticking with my approach and got a pitch to handle and didn't miss it," he said.
Gameday box score
McMahon walked in the first and singled to center in the second and ninth to boost his Triple-A slash line to .404/.450/.673 through 13 games.
"I think I just learned a lot about myself early on this year," said the third baseman, who was promoted to the PCL on June 1 after batting .326/.390/.536 in 49 games with Double-A Hartford. "I think I'm consistently being the best version of myself. I'm not missing pitches and stuff like that, not trying to get too big and sticking with my approach."
McMahon started the season with a second stint with Hartford. Last year, the infielder battled to a .242/.325/.399 line with 12 homers and 75 RBIs during the Yard Goats' season-long road trip. McMahon had just three homers through the season's first three months, but used that as motivation in his return to the Eastern League.
"I learned a lot last year -- that's probably the best way to put it -- through all those struggles," he said. "I'm just trying to apply everything I've learned and play the game in a mature way and take what the game gives me."
Fresno outhit Albuquerque, 18-15, on Thursday, but it didn't take a hit for the Isotopes to win.
After No. 7 Astros prospect Teoscar Hernandez belted his second long ball of the game to give the Grizzlies an 11-10 lead in the ninth, the Isotopes sent the game into extra innings on an RBI single by Mike Tauchman. One inning later, Rafael Ynoa worked a bases-loaded walk from Jordan Jankowski (1-2) for the game-winning run.
The top third of Albuquerque's order -- Rosell Herrera, McMahon and Tauchman -- had four hits apiece. Herrera also scored three times.
"During the game, you don't really realize it," McMahon said. "You just kind of see them on base, and then once you step back after the game you're like, 'Dang, [Rosell] had three hits. I had four. Mike had four.' You step back and see it's a pretty cool thing that happened. It's always better hitting with guys on base. I obviously enjoy it."
Albuquerque's wild rally was a familiar theme throughout Colorado's organization Thursday. The Rockies squandered an eight-run lead before walking off with a 10-9 victory over San Francisco on an RBI single by MLB.com's No. 78 overall prospect, Raimel Tapia. Colorado sports the best record in the National League at 43-26, and with stars such as McMahon and top prospect Brendan Rodgers -- currently hitting .404 through 46 games with Class A Advanced Lancaster -- the system is pulsing with life.
"We had a team meeting the other day with one of our rovers in town, and he was just kind of talking about the energy that the coaching staff and front office are feeling this season with finally starting to win again and stuff after a couple of rough years the last couple years," McMahon said. "You can definitely feel the players feeding off of it. We love sitting in the clubhouse, watching the big club play. We're watching all of our friends play up there and stuff. There's a good vibe throughout the entire organization right now."
Fresno's 15-hit night came up short, but Hernandez plated four runs, Reid Brignac also went deep twice and Tyler White went 4-for-6 with a homer and three runs scored.