Oklahoma City (79-59) defeated Nashville 5-4 to clinch the American Southern Division title.
Of course, Albuquerque (72-66) would have been eliminated anyway with the loss to Round Rock (72-66).
Though there is no postseason to play for, manager Lorenzo Bundy still wants his team to finish on a high note.
"We want to make sure we play the game right," he said. "We're coming down the stretch. I understand the important of the numbers but the more important thing is playing the game right, doing things right and finishing it off right."
Matt Magill (5-2) was ineffective for the Isotopes, allowing five runs on eight hits and three walks while striking out seven in six innings of work.
The right-hander had his moments — he struck out the side in the sixth inning — but was never able to consistently get batters out all night.
"That is the culmination of the season for Matty Magill, he looks good at times, he looks very good at times," Bundy said. "And so we've got to be able to harness that for a more extended period of time. He gets to the point where you think he's got it, then he loses it, then he gets it back, then he loses it again."
The Express just chipped away at Magill, scoring two runs in the first inning, one in the fourth and two more in the fifth, with Aaron Cunningham's two-out, two-run single serving as the coup de grace.
"The learning process continues, it goes on," Bundy said of Magill. "He's got one more start. Hopefully that will be the one as far as our season that he can take something with him when he leaves here."
While Magill scuffled on the mound, the Albuquerque lineup was wheezing its way through most of the game.
Dee Gordon and Eliezer Alfonzo both went 0-for-4 while Scott Van Slyke was 0-for-3. They held down the Nos. 1, 4 and 3 spots in the lineup.
On the positive side, Matt Angle went 3-for-4 and fell a home run shy of the cycle. He doubled in the third but was left stranded, tripled and scored the Isotopes' first run in the fifth and then had an RBI single in the seventh.
Albuquerque scored three runs in its half of the seventh but that was after Round Rock had scored three times off reliever Anthony Ortega in the top of the frame.
"Those three runs were pretty much the difference in the ballgame," Bundy said.
The Isotopes and Express will continue their battle for second place Wednesday at 6:35 p.m.
Around the Lab
- No current Isotopes were selected for the Arizona Fall League on Tuesday, though Albuquerque native Brian Cavazos-Galvez was one of four Dodgers farmhands who will suit up for the Glendale Coyotes. Cavazos-Galvez, who played for the Isotopes last season, has hit .267 with seven home runs, 40 RBI and 15 stolen bases for Double-A Chattanooga this season.
- Four pitchers will be eventually named by the Dodgers to join the Glendale roster before AFL opening day on Oct. 8.