The El Paso Chihuahuas powered their way to a come-from-behind win against the New Orleans Baby Cakes 4-3 on Wednesday and stayed in first place in the PCL Pacific Southern Division.
The Chihuahuas and the Salt Lake Bees have been battling for first place since the All-Star break. The Dogs’ win and Bees’ loss on Wednesday left Salt Lake two and half games behind El Paso.
The Cakes started scoring in the first inning off of starter Brett Kennedy (2.72 ERA) who gave up a double to Cakes leadoff man Austin Dean. The next two hitters brought Dean home on consecutive infield but well-placed groundouts, New Orleans 1-0.
Dogs left fielder Shane Peterson came up in the second inning and hit a home run to center field so high, that it hit his profile picture on the scoreboard – at least 400 feet in distance and 60 feet high when it hit the board. El Paso tied it up, 1-1.
New Orleans didn’t miss a step in coming back in the third inning though, they landed a couple of extra-base hits that scored a couple runs on Kennedy, New Orleans 3-1. Kennedy has been one of the Dogs’ best pitchers this year but did struggle a bit on Tuesday. He gave up three runs on six hits in just five innings of work.
The Chihuahuas had a little luck in the fourth inning and were gifted a run on a Javy Guerra flyball that looked to be foul but was so high up it changed directions as it came down and had a trio of Cakes dancing back and forth trying to catch it. Just before landing it veered toward fair territory and hit the foul line in shallow left field while the Cakes’ players helplessly watched from several feet away on the foul side, New Orleans 3-2.
The Dogs threatened New Orleans several times until the eighth inning when they made good. First basemen Allen Craig hit a ball that looked to be a homerun to everybody in the park but suddenly lost steam at the Peter Piper deck. That ball to left field at least gave Craig a double.
Catcher Raffy Lopez came up next and blasted a ball that bounced on top of the center field wall (not the yellow line, the tall green wall in straight center) and likely ended up on Santa Fe Street, El Paso 4-3.
The Cakes went down 1-2-3 in the ninth. Chihuahuas reliever Brad Wieck (5.11 ERA) earned his first win for his two innings of work. The losing pitcher was Jose Quijada and the save went to Trey Wingenter.
Box Score | Team Records: New Orleans (50-58), El Paso (59-49)
Next Game: Thursday, 7:05 pm at Southwest University Park. New Orleans LHP Dillon Peters (2-6, 5.66) vs. El Paso LHP Jerry Keel (3-1, 3.41). The game will air on 600 ESPN El Paso and www.epchihuahuas.com.
Words: Larry Monarrez – Special to the Herald-Post | Pics: ‘Ace’ Acosta – Chief Photographer, El Paso Herald-Post
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.