Reno vs El Paso, Southwest University Park, El Paso, TX , July 12, 2018 Andres Acosta El Paso Herald-Post
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).
Reno 8 El Paso 2 – Thursday
WP: Buchanan (6-7) | LP: Keel (1-1) | S: None | Time: 3:15 (:49 delay) | Attn: 7,043
Box Score | Team Records: Reno (43-48), El Paso (50-41)
Next Game: Friday, 7:05 pm at Southwest University Park. Reno RHP Neftali Feliz (2-3, 5.75) vs. El Paso RHP Chris Huffman (3-4, 6.75). The game will air on 600 ESPN El Paso and www.epchihuahuas.com.
Words: Larry Monarrez El Paso Herald-Post | Pics: Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta – Chief Photographer, El Paso Herald-Post