The Albuquerque Isotopes recovered from a ninth-inning meltdown by the bullpen to outlast the Sounds, 7-6, in 13 innings in Nashville on Monday night.
Former Nashville outfielder Trent Oeltjen drove in the winning run as Albuquerque (49-45) won a series opener on the road for the first time since May 28 at Memphis, ending a streak of five straight opening losses away from home.
Justin Sellers lead off the 13th with a double to left field. He went to third base on J.D. Closser’s sacrifice bunt and scored on Oeltjen’s groundout to first base.
The Sounds (51-44) made it interesting when pinch hitter Ben Johnson drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the frame.
Carlos Maldonado bunted him over to second base, forcing the Isotopes to turn to their seventh pitcher of the night, lefty Jack Taschner.
The southpaw got Johnny Raburn to fly out to right field and Adam Stern to ground out to third base to earn his second save of the season.
The late drama was in stark contrast to the game’s earlier hours.
Albuquerque jumped on Nashville starter Chuck Lofgren and ran out to a five-run lead.
John Lindsey got it started with an RBI single in the third inning that tied the game at 1.
Oeltjen had an RBI triple and then scored on Ivan De Jesus Jr.’s sacrifice fly to put the Isotopes ahead, 3-1.
Jamie Hoffmann homered in the sixth, Lindsey had an RBI groundout in the seventh and Michael Restovich scored on a double play grounder in the eighth.
After Mat Gamel’s RBI groundout pulled the Sounds to within 6-2 in the bottom of the eighth, the Sounds came to life against Isotopes reliever Jon Link.
Joe Koshansky started the ninth with a double to left field. Two batters late, pinch Erick Almonte singled to put runners at the corners.
Link attempted to pick off Almonte at first, but the throw went wide and Koshansky trotted in from third to make it 6-3.
Almonte made it to second base and then scored on Maldonado’s single through the right side.
Albuquerque turned to closer Scott Dohmann to finish the game, but Raburn took his second pitch of the evening and drove it over the fence in right field to tie the game at 6.
Jesus Castillo (1-3), the Isotopes’ sixth pitcher of the night, picked up his first Triple-A win on the same day he came off the disabled list. Castillo overcame four walks in 3 1/3 innings, allowing one hit and striking out three.
Tim Dillard (2-5) took the loss for the Sounds in relief, giving up just the one run in four innings of work.
Albuquerque wasted a solid start from Seth Etherton, who allowed just one run on four hits and a walk while striking out two over six innings.
Oeltjen, who opted out of his contract with Nashville earlier this month, went 1-for-6 with two runs and two RBI. Restovich went 3-for-5 while Hoffmann and Sellers had two hits apiece.
The Isotopes and Sounds will meet again Tuesday at 6:05 p.m.
- Lefty Alberto Bastardo (3-1, 4.87 ERA) will start for Albuquerque on Tuesday against Nashville lefty Chris Waters (5-6, 3.48).
- To make room for Castillo on the roster, the Isotopes gave veteran reliever Kiko Calero his release. The 35-year-old right-hander had one save and an ERA of 3.00 in 15 games.
- The Dodgers officially recalled right-hander James McDonald to start Monday night’s game at San Francisco. McDonald gave up four runs on nine hits and two walks while striking out five batters over five innings against the Giants. It was McDonald’s first call-up of the season after he went 5-5 with a 4.00 ERA in 45 games (four starts) for Los Angeles in 2009.