John Gall’s RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning Thursday broke a tie and gave the host Albuquerque Isotopes an 8-7 victory over Round Rock Express.
The teams finished the four-game series with two wins apiece; Albuquerque is 31-35 heading into tonight’s series opener with the Omaha Royals.
Gall’s walk-off winner, a ground ball hit to right field, scored John Baker from third base.
Round Rock had tied the contest 7-7 with a run in the top of the ninth by Yordany Ramirez. Baker led off the bottom of the inning with a double, and he made it to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jason Wood. Express pitcher Dave Borkowski intentionally walked the next two Isotope batters — Lorenzo Scott and Chris Barnwell — to load the bases and bring up Gall.
Gall, who had starred with four hits in Albuquerque’s loss on Wednesday, was the wrong guy to bring up. He finished with a 3-for-5 stat line that included two runs and two runs batted in. Barnwell and Scott — playing his first game with the ‘Topes since being called up from the Carolina Mudcats — each went 3 for 4.
Isotopes reliever Brandon Villafuerte (3-2) blew a save opportunity by giving up the run to Ramirez, but he wound up getting credit for the win.
Chris Seddon started on the mound for Albuquerque. While he struck out six, he also gave up six runs on eight hits over five and a third innings.
The Express scored three runs in each of the third and sixth innings to take a 6-2 lead midway through the sixth.
Albuquerque pulled to within two runs in the bottom of the sixth on Tagg Bozied’s two-run homer to left.
Then the Isotopes snatched a 7-6 edge with a three-run eighth. They hit five consecutive singles off Chad Paronto, scoring Wood and Scott in the process. Andrew Beattie scored Gall for the third run of the frame.
Then in the top of the ninth, with two outs and two on, J.R. House nailed a line drive to right, driving in Ramirez. Villafuerte escaped the inning with no further damage.
Notes: Friday night’s game with Omaha will feature a postgame fireworks display ... Albuquerque and Omaha have split their previous eight meetings this season.