"The pen's been solid for us throughout the season so far (but) it was just a rough night for us out of the bullpen," Albuquerque manager Damon Berryhill said. "It's just one of those nights where coming out of the pen we weren't very sharp."
Jose Dominguez (0-1) came in with the game tied 7-7 in the ninth inning. He ended up striking out the first batter he faced and then the last two he faced.
In between, however, his command dissipated as he gave up a double to Cole Gillespie, who then moved to third on a wild pitch. After Ji-Man Choi walked, a passed ball by catcher Miguel Olivo enabled Gillespie to score the go-ahead run and Choi to reach second.
Jesus Montero followed with an RBI double to right field for a little insurance. Dominguez then plunked Leury Bonilla before recovering and striking out Humberto Quintero and Xavier Avery.
"Well, Jose hasn't thrown in a while," Berryhill said of the Dodgers' No. 11-ranked prospect. "I think he's probably on day six of rest. But it's not a big concern. I think we'll get him out there again and he'll be fine."
The Isotopes (5-4) tried to rally in their half of the ninth. Joc Pederson led off with a double to center, but Jamie Romak struck out, Clint Robinson grounded out to second base and Miguel Olivo grounded out to shortstop.
"I thought we could have been a little more consistent tonight, but overall I'm pleased with the way we're swinging the bats," Berryhill said. "We just need to finish off the ballgame."
Tacoma starter Andrew Carraway held Albuquerque without a hit through the first three innings. Once the Isotopes saw him a second time, however, they pounced.
Romak had an RBI single, Olivo singled home two more runs and Nick Buss capped the fourth inning with a two-run homer to right field. The Isotopes took a commanding 5-1 lead and they would chase Carraway on Robinson's RBI single in the fifth.
"I think offensively we've got the potential to put up some good numbers," Berryhill said. "I'd like to see us get a little bit more consistent and start spreading it out a little bit. But I'll take a big inning any chance we get."
The Rainiers (3-5) began their rally in the sixth inning. Gillespie belted a two-run homer to left-center off Henry Sosa, who ended up being charged with four runs in 5.2 innings of work as Ty Kelly added an RBI double.
Tacoma was within 6-4 before tying the game in the seventh on Nick Franklin's RBI double and Gillespie's RBI single. Franklin's double was off Justin Souza, while Steve Edlefsen gave up the single.
The Isotopes briefly retook the lead on Robinson's RBI single in the seventh, but Logan Kensing (1-0) came in and struck out Olivo and Buss with runners on first and second. James Jones would retie the game at 7-7 with an RBI single in the eighth, setting the stage for the final rally in the ninth.
Albuquerque and Tacoma will continue their series Sunday at 1:35 p.m.