The El Paso Chihuahuas might have lost 3-4 to the Reno Aces on Wednesday, but outfielder Franmil Reyes’ hitting made it a show worth watching anyway.
Reyes went 2-for-3 with a walk and scored all three of the runs El Paso put on the board. He started with a walk in the 2nd inning and moved up to third base on subsequent plays. At third base and with two outs, Reyes scored on an errant pickoff attempt by Aces pitcher Taylor Clarke.
Reno answered in the 4th, loading the bases with one out against El Paso starter Walker Lockett (4.91 ERA). A sacrifice fly to left field by Aces infielder Marcus Littlewood scored outfielder Socrates Brito.
Lockett ended the inning in a tie by striking out Kristopher Negron.
In the El Paso half of the 4th, Reyes came to the plate with one out and no one on base. Reyes let loose on the Aces’ pitch and sent it 400-plus feet to center field, missing the bottom of the scoreboard by a few feet. Clarke made the Chihuahuas come to heel and ended the inning with a ground out and a strikeout, but El Paso led by another Reyes run.
The top of the 5th can only be described as one of those things that happens in baseball: a series of events that if separated or even had happened in a different order might have ended in a Chihuahuas win.
Aces third baseman Jack Reinheimer walks with two outs, then steals second and scores on a single by Brito who moved to second base after an El Paso throwing error (Reyes). Ex-Chihuahua Cody Decker then tripled on a hit off the center field wall and in comes Brito.
Again, still on two outs, Aces catcher Anthony Recker (.341) skies a fly ball to third baseman Diego Goris, who apparently tracked it and lost it in the bright desert sky. Decker was running home on contact because there were two outs and scored when the ball lightly bounced on the grass a few feet beside Goris and shortstop Dusty Coleman.
Goris made it up to the home crowd with a dazzling over-the-shoulder catch which he nearly had to be in a full sprint to get in foul territory; finally, the third out.
The Dogs had one more flash of brilliance in the 6th, again by power-man Reyes. He slammed another Clarke pitch to right center field, this time into the top-deck seats of the center field building. The crowd of 8,843 (mostly area schoolchildren) roared as Reyes circled the bases and brought the Dogs within a run.
Unfortunately for El Paso and the schoolchildren, it didn’t happen today. Aces relief pitchers Albert Suarez and Jimmie Sherfy shut down the Dogs in the 8th and 9th, striking out a combined four of the six batters they faced — including Reyes in the 9th.
The winning pitcher was Clarke (2-4) with the save going to Sherfy (5 saves). The losing pitcher was Lockett (1-2).
Box Score | Team Records: Reno (9-18), El Paso (17-10)
Next Game: Thursday, 6:35 pm at Southwest University Park. Reno RHP Troy Scribner (2-1, 6.05) vs. El Paso RHP Brett Kennedy (3-0, 1.29). The game will air on 600 ESPN El Paso and www.epchihuahuas.com.
Reno 4 El Paso 3 – Wednesday
WP: Clarke (2-4)
LP: Lockett (1-2)
S: Sherfy (5)
Author: Larry Monarrez – El Paso Herald-Post