The El Paso Chihuahuas – the Pacific Coast League’s most hittingest team – hadn’t scored a run in 17 innings before catcher Francisco Mejia’s sacrifice fly to center on Friday night.
The Dogs lost 8-5, but at least their bats showed a lot more life. Sure, they weren’t the sexy 400-plus-foot home runs that fans have become accustomed to this season, but they ended a streak that a first-place team hardly ever experiences.
Tacoma started their assault in the 2nd inning with a two-run blast by designated hitter Robert Perez that rocketed over center field and landed somewhere by the playground. And they just never stopped.
In the 9th inning and with a cacophony of actual barks coming from the stands on dog night, the Chihuahuas growled and showed some teeth.
Right fielder Jose Pirela lifted a ball just past the Peter Piper Pizza Porch, Tacoma 8-3.
Designated hitter Seth Mejias-Brean smacked a liner to short that took a bad bounce into shallow center field and scored two, Tacoma 8-5.
The dogs – and now their owners – barked as center fielder Franchy Cordero stood at home with two men on base and two outs. Cordero represented the tying run if he could only hit one of those sexy home runs. Heck, even a garden variety home run would have done it.
Cordero knew it. He took a big swing and launched that ball to center field – the deepest part of the outfield. It was the longest and most heartbreaking out of the night, it stayed Tacoma 8-5.
The winning pitcher was Reggie McClain (1-1, 5.14 ERA). The losing ptcher was Jerry Keel (4-2, 5.85 ERA). The save went to Matt Festa.
There were 7,011 fans and scores of canines at Southwest University Park. With the loss El Paso (34-21) has hit a three-game skid this homestand against the Tacoma Rainiers (29-27), dropping the first three games of a five-game series.
Tacoma 8 El Paso 5 – Friday | Box Score | Team Records: Tacoma (29-27), El Paso (34-21)
WP: McClain (1-1) | LP: Keel (4-2) | S: Festa (2) | Time: 3:07 | Attn: 7,011
Next Game: Saturday, 7:05 pm at Southwest University Park. Tacoma LHP Justus Sheffield (2-3, 5.06) vs. El Paso LHP Dillon Overton (0-2, 6.60). The game will air on 600 ESPN El Paso and www.epchihuahuas.com.
Author: Larry Monarrez | Photos: Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta – Chief Photographer – El Paso Herald Post