The El Paso Chihuahuas beat the Albuquerque Isotopes on Monday, winning their third straight game and sliding into first place in the PCL Pacific Southern Division.
Their 6-1 victory over the ‘Topes and 8-3 loss of the Salt Lake Bees to the Las Vegas 51’s gave the Dogs sole possession of the division’s top spot and put the Bees in second.
The Chihuahuas have been on a roll in recent weeks, winning 12 of 16 games since June 16.
El Paso starter Chris Huffman gave up only four hits and one run in his five innings. The only run came in the first inning on a fielder’s choice ground ball. Huffman (6.71 ERA) came back to dominate the ‘Topes with five strikeouts and four consecutive three-up-three-down innings.
The Dogs had 11 hits to the ‘Topes’ five hits – three of which came from the Albuquerque lead off man Garret Hampson (.321 BA). The Dogs’ lineup saw the ball well on Thursday and spread the hits around.
The first El Paso runs came in the third inning after a couple of singles by center fielder Forrestt Allday (.245 BA) and second baseman Luis Urias (.275 BA) and a well-placed double to center field by first baseman Allen Craig (.300 BA), El Paso 2-1.
The Chihuahuas added another run in the fourth inning after a couple of singles and an errant throw to second base by first baseman Ryan McMahon which allowed Diego Goris to score from third base, El Paso 3-1.
El Paso added their last three runs on a bomb to the Green Seats in center field by third baseman Goris (.270 BA) in the fifth inning, El Paso 6-1.
The El Paso bats were strong Thursday but the pitching also was very good. Relievers Jonathon Aro (two innings) and Kyle McGrath (two innings) shut the ‘Topes’ offense down allowing only one hit and no runs.
The winning pitcher was Huffman (3-4) and the losing pitcher was Sam Howard (3-6).
Larry Monarrez is a local journalist and longtime El Pasoan. Larry arrived in El Paso after proudly serving as an infantryman in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division and earned a communication degree from the University of Texas El Paso.
At UTEP, Larry worked as a reporter and eventually became the editor-in-chief of the school’s newspaper, The Prospector.
Larry also worked as a news assistant, general assignments reporter and copy editor at the El Paso Times before working in public relations at an area school district.
He also spent a few years at KDBC 4 News as the assignments editor, where his most memorable experience was keeping the news crews operational during times of crisis like the storms of 2006 that flooded the station’s building.