The El Paso Chihuahuas came in hot off the road with a five-game winning streak, but were cooled off Thursday by the Reno Aces and a 49-minute rain delay.
El Paso lost to the Aces 8-2 but remain in first place in the PCL Southern Division, ahead of the Salt Lake Bees by four games.
El Paso starter Jerry Keel, a recent call-up from Double-A San Antonio, was smacked early for five runs – including three home runs – and the Dogs barely let out a growl.
The Aces got their the first run in the second inning via home run by left fielder Yasmany Tomas (.256 BA) that shot out no higher than 50 feet right over the Peter Piper Pizza Porch.
Next came a single by infielder Juniel Querecuto (.327 BA), who went 5-5, and a home run by center fielder Kristopher Negron (.275 BA), Reno 3-0.
Reno added another couple of runs in the third inning off a two-run home run by first baseman Christian Walker (.286 BA), Reno 5-0.
Aces starter James Buchanan (5.72 ERA) skated in and out of trouble several times but pitched well enough to keep the Dogs off the scoreboard until the fifth inning. Right fielder Forrestt Allday (.318 BA) hit a line drive that barely stayed fair over the right-field fence, Reno 5-1.
A heavy rain began to fall at Southwest University Park in the bottom of the seventh inning and finished washing away El Paso’s chances to win.
The Aces piled on three more runs in the eighth inning after reliever Trey Wingenter finished loading the bases on two consecutive walks. A single by lead-off man Ildemaro Vargas coupled with a fielding error added the runs, Reno 8-1.
The Chihuahuas answered the Aces in their half of the eighth inning, on a double by Cory Spangenberg (.290 BA) and a Matt Szcur (.500 BA) single that brought him home, Reno 8-2.
The winning pitcher was Buchanan (6-7) and the losing pitcher was Keel (1-1).
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.