The El Paso Chihuahuas turned on the bats against the Las Vegas 51s on Friday and leapt to a 6 1/2 game lead in the PCL Pacific Southern Division.
El Paso’s closest competitor are the Salt Lake Bees and they lost to the Reno Aces 8-7 on Friday. El Paso and the Bees are locked in the pennant race with only 16 games left in the regular season.
The Dogs’ bats were on fire all night, landing 12 hits and scoring runs in all but three of the eight innings they were up. El Paso started the hit parade in the first inning by loading the bases on Vegas starter Drew Gagnon. Left fielder Allen Craig followed with a sacrifice fly and scored Luis Urias, El Paso 1-0.
El Paso added another three runs in the third inning, starting with shortstop Javy Guerra’s 11th home run. El Paso starter Logan Allen hit a ball so high to shallow right field that he had time to watch its decent from first base as a trio of 51s tried tracking it – they were unsuccessful and Allen happily received the gift single.
Second baseman Carlos Asuaje followed with a two-run homer off the Dog House wall, El Paso 3-0.
The 51s scored their only two runs in the top of the fourth inning on back-to-back home runs by Bryce Brentz (.265 BA) and Patrick Kivlehan (.299 BA), El Paso 4-2.
The Chihuahuas continued making it the Dog show in their half of the fourth inning with an Urias (.285 BA) RBI single, El Paso 5-2.
The fifth inning was more bad news for the 51s because the Chihuahuas were able to add another couple runs.
The first came on an RBI single by Craig who scored Ty France from second. With two men on base, Guerra hit a looper over third base and down the left field line to score Craig, El Paso 7-2.
The last blow to the 51s came in the seventh inning by way of another Asuaje RBI single, El Paso 8-3.
The winning pitcher was Allen (2-0) and the losing pitcher was Gagnon (5-5).
El Paso 8 Las Vegas 2 – Friday: WP: Allen (2-0) | LP: Gagnon (5-5) | Time: 3:06 | Attn: 8,526
Box Score | Team Records: Las Vegas (61-63), El Paso (71-52)
Next Game: Saturday, 7:05 pm at Southwest University Park. Las Vegas LHP P.J. Conlon (3-8, 7.02) vs. El Paso RHP Cal Quantrill (1-0, 2.25). The game will air on 600 ESPN El Paso and www.epchihuahuas.com.
Words by Larry Monarrez – El Paso Herald-Post