Three Stars: July 4 vs. Round Rock

There were plenty of Independence Day fireworks after the game for Monday night’s record crowd of 16,059 at Isotopes Park, and there were also plenty of fireworks during the actual contest itself as the Albuquerque Isotopes and Round Rock Express combined for 23 runs and 36 hits.

But the American Southern division-leading Express put up two runs in the eighth inning and another pair in the ninth inning to spoil the Isotopes’ 4th of July celebration, winning 13-10.

Here are the three stars of the night for your ‘Topes:

1. Russ Mitchell (two-for-four, two RBI, three runs scored, one walk)

After losing the lead in the top of the sixth inning thanks to a five-run burst from Round Rock, the ‘Topes put up three in the bottom half of the inning to go up, 10-9. The biggest blow? Mitchell’s two-run homer to left field that gave Albuquerque their last lead of the night.

2. Jamie Hoffmann (two-for-four, two RBI)

With the ‘Topes clinging to a 4-3 lead in the third inning, Hoffmann’s single through the hole at shortstop drove in two runs and gave Albuquerque some breathing room for the time being.

3. Damaso Espino (three-for-four, one RBI, two runs scored)

Not normally known as a power hitter, Espino sent a solo big fly over the wall in left field to push Albuquerque’s edge to 7-4 in the fourth inning. It was his third home run of 2011.

For a full recap of tonight’s game, visit!

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