The El Paso Chihuahuas started out the 2018 season on fire, but in the last 14 games seem to be in some kind of funk. They’ve lost 11 of the last 14, and that trend continued Wednesday night as the Dogs dropped their fifth straight game Wednesday, this time to the Tacoma Rainiers 8-5.
El Paso scored first in the bottom of the 2nd inning when infielder Javy Guerra scored from second base on a hit single from catcher Stephen McGee (.125 BA). Tacoma answered in the 3rd with a two-run homer by third baseman Taylor Motter (.190 BA).
It was still a close game and El Paso starter Walker Lockett (1-3) seemed to settle down until the 5th in which he gave up a triple to outfielder John Andreoli. Andreoli scored on a single to center by shortstop Zach Vince. Vince scored on a sacrifice fly to left center field.
The Rainiers scored again when infielder Gordon Beckham hit a sacrifice fly to center and scored outfielder Ian Miller.
Tacoma tacked on three more runs, one in the 6th charged to Lockett and two in the 9th on a two-run homer by Cameron Perkins off of Dogs’ reliever Robert Stock (.450 ERA).
The crowd of 6,592 were treated to a suspenseful 9th when El Paso shortstop Javy Guerra started a modest rally the inning with a single on a throwing error. Then outfielder Shane Peterson singled with one out. Outfielder Cory Spangenberg doubled them in and advanced to third base on a wild pitch.
It looked like there was still hope as the heart of the lineup was set to come up with only one out. Second baseman Luis Urias drove in Spangenberg on a 4-to-3 groundout. But then, the rally fizzled on a Brett Nicholas fly ball to centerfield.
Rob Whalen (4-2) was the winning pitcher. Lockett (1-3) was the losing pitcher.
Box Score | Team Records: Tacoma (16-17), El Paso (18-16)
WP: Whalen (4-2) LP: Lockett (1-3) S: None Time: 2:52 Attn: 6,592
Next Game: Thursday, 6:35 pm at Southwest University Park. Tacoma RHP Max Povse (1-5, 7.58) vs. El Paso RHP Luis Perdomo (2-1, 3.13). The game will air on 600 ESPN El Paso and www.epchihuahuas.com.
Author: Larry Monarrez – El Paso Herald-Post
Gallery by Steven Cottingham, Photographer, El Paso Herald-Post