Albuquerque (42-51) scored three runs in the third inning, but that was it for the lineup. Casio Grider led off with a walk, went to second on Stephen Fife's sacrifice bunt and scored on Trayvon Robinson's single to right field.
After rehabbing Dodger Carl Crawford reached on catcher's interference, Jamie Romak ripped a two-run double to right-center. That put the Isotopes ahead 3-1, but the lead would not last.
"We didn't get a lot of hits tonight, that's the bottom line," manager Damon Berryhill said. "They pitched a decent game against us but offensively ... we just need to get better production up and down the lineup."
Rocky Gale's sacrifice fly brought El Paso (45-48) within 3-2 in the fourth. That would be all the damage Fife would allow as he went six innings, scattering five hits and two walks while striking out three.
"It was a good quality start," Berryhill said. "He gave us the six innings that we needed. We're just trying to get him back built up to his pitch count. I thought the effort tonight was good. Only allowing two runs, that's a ballgame we need to win."
Robert Carson (0-1), making his Isotopes debut, came on in the seventh and walked Chris Nelson. Jace Peterson reached on a fielder's choice, Tyler Greene singled and Jonathan Galvez followed with an RBI single to tie the game.
After Jeff Francouer flew out to center, Cody Decker singled to right, scoring Greene with the go-ahead run. That lead would hold the rest of the way.
"It was just one of those (games)," Berryhill said. "We didn't get the bats going and we couldn't hold the lead."
Crawford, in what was likely his final rehab appearance, went 2-for-2 with a triple in the first inning. Overall, he was 5-for-11 with two triples in four games.
Another outfielder working his way back from injury, Joc Pederson, could be back soon. Pederson has been working hard to show his injured right shoulder has healed.
"There's probably a good chance Carl is leaving after today," Berryhill said. "Pederson, we're going to give him a full day of batting practice (Wednesday). Depending on how he feels we'll make a decision then. But he's been progressing every day so there's a good chance we'll activate him (Wednesday)."
The Isotopes and Chihuahuas will continue their series Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. Albuquerque will send right-hander Jeff Bennett (4-3, 3.38 ERA) to the mound against San Diego Padres No. 2 prospect Matt Wisler (5-4, 5.63).
Around the Lab
Carson joined the roster to take the spot of reliever Pedro Baez. The right-hander was called up by the Dodgers to replace Josh Beckett, who went on the disabled list Tuesday. ... Outfielder Roger Bernadina, signed by the Dodgers as a free agent, also joined the Isotopes. He came on as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning and was called out on strikes. Infielder Alex Liddi was sent to Double-A Chattanooga to make room for Bernadina.