The Las Vegas 51s drew closer to clinching a divisional title and playoff berth in the Pacific Coast League by winning three of five games over the visiting Albuquerque Isotopes.
But the Topes salvaged victory in the series finale on Monday night at Cashman Field, grabbing an 8-2 win.
Albuquerque doubled Las Vegas’ hit output 12 to 6 and took control for good with a four-run second inning.
The 51s went up 2-0 in the first inning, courtesy of an RBI single by Brandon Allen and a Zach Lee wild pitch that enabled Andrew Brown to get home.
But the Isotopes responded in the top of the second, starting with Alex Guerrero’s single to score Clint Robinson. Mike Baxter drove in Jamie Romak with a base hit. Then Lee sliced a ground ball single that scored Guerrero and Baxter to make it 4-2 Topes.
Third baseman Jamie Romak hit a team-best 3 for 4 with two doubles and one run batted in. Second baseman Guerrero went 2 for 4 with three RBI.
Catcher Tim Federowicz stroked a solo home run in the top of the fifth to help the Isotopes round out the night’s scoring. He finished 2 of 4.
First baseman Robinson and starting pitcher Lee also registered multiple hits. Boasting a 2.73 batting average, Lee is one of the better hitting pitchers in Triple-A.
After opening the trip with a 6-2 win Thursday, Albuquerque lost three in a row by scores of 9-6, 8-3, 7-5.
Las Vegas is 69-55 and leads the Pacific Southern Division by nine and a half games with just three weeks remaining in the regular season. Albuquerque is 56-67.