The El Paso Chihuahuas beat the Albuquerque Isotopes 4-2 Wednesday in 12 innings in the first of a five-game series between the top two teams in the Southern Division.
The victory puts El Paso in first place by 5.5 games with 12 games remaining on the Chihuahuas’ regular season schedule.
Bryan Rodriguez threw only 50 pitches in a six-inning start, allowing only one run on a solo home run by Albuquerque’s Brandon Barnes. Down 1-0 in the seventh, the Chihuahuas scored twice with the help of an Isotopes’ error and wild pitch. Former Chihuahua Alex Castellanos scored on a pinch-hit double by former Chihuahua Chris Nelson to tie the game 2-2 in the bottom of the eighth.
Carlos Asuaje and Hunter Renfroe both had RBI hits in the top of the 12th to put El Paso ahead 4-2. Derek Eitel, Daniel Moskos and Leonel Campos combined for three scoreless innings at the end of the game.
The Isotopes lost for just the third time in their last 18 contests. El Paso’s magic number to clinch a playoff spot is eight. The Chihuahuas are now 5-3 in extra innings this season.
Team Records: El Paso (69-62), Albuquerque (63-67)
Next Game: Thursday at 6:35 pm vs. Albuquerque at Isotopes Park. El Paso LHP Frank Garces (5-7, 4.63) vs. Albuquerque RHP Matt Flemer (5-3, 4.10). Game coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. on 600 ESPN El Paso andwww.epchihuahuas.com
El Paso 4 Albuquerque 2 – Wednesday – 12 Innings
WP: Eitel (5-1)
LP: McCoy (2-1)
S: Campos (1)