It was a long night for Chihuahuas pitching on Monday as they lost the series opener to the Reno Aces (8-6).
El Paso starter Chris Huffman went five innings giving up a combined six runs in the first three. The barrage started with a triple in the 1st inning by Aces leadoff man Ildemaro Vargas. Then back-to-back homers and a run scored on single in the 2nd inning. Followed by another Aces bomb in the 3rd, this one a two-run knock.
A run-laden beginning of the game made it look like it was going to be an early night, but the Dogs weren’t ready. Huffman settled down and retired the next seven batters with three strikeouts and only one walk in the 4th and 5th innings.
The Dogs seemed inspired in the 5th and began to leave their own mark on the scoreboard facing Aces reliever Anthony Vasquez (LHP). It was Vasquez’s first AAA game this season and the Chihuahuas Cory Spangenberg welcomed him with a triple into the gap.
Infielder Luis Urias walked and lefty Brett Nicholas smacked a long ball to right field and got the crowd of 5,566 back into the game.
Franmil Reyes hit a double to right center and catcher Raffy Lopez took the Aces deep. The Dogs trailed by a run when third baseman Diego Goris tripled and was later driven in by shortstop Javy Guerra.
And what an inning it was for the Chihuahuas and the Aces pitcher, Vasquez. Vasquez (16.20 ERA) was tagged with the six earned runs and a walk, but settled down in the next couple of innings and became the winning pitcher after the Aces capitalized on a couple of El Paso pitching miscues.
Dogs reliever Trey Wingenter (8.10 ERA) struck out the side in the 6th, but also allowed two hits and and hit two batters — including Aces infielder Marcus Littlewood with the bases loaded. That run ultimately made Aces’ pitcher Vasquez the unlikely winner.
Reno tacked on another run in the 8th with a couple of doubles. The Chihuahuas had a couple of chances to rally in 8th and 9th but Reno’s reliever Jimmie Sherfy got all 6 of the remaining outs with strikeouts.
El Paso catcher Raffy Lopez tied the team record on Monday with four consecutive games in which he hit a homer. It was last accomplished by Jabari Blash in 2017.
Box Score | Team Records: Reno (8-17), El Paso (16-9)
Next Game: Tuesday, 6:35 pm at Southwest University Park. Reno RHP Braden Shipley (2-2, 6.26) vs. El Paso RHP Kyle Lloyd (2-1, 7.52). The game will air on 600 ESPN El Paso and www.epchihuahuas.com.
Reno 8 El Paso 6 – Monday
WP: Vasquez (1-0)
LP: Wingenter (1-1)
S: Sherfy (4)
Author: Larry Monarrez – El Paso Herald-Post