Edwin Rodriguez has been named the fourth manager in El Paso Chihuahuas history, the Chihuahuas and San Diego Padres announced on Thursday.
Rodriguez is entering his third season in the Padres organization after managing the High-A Lake Elsinore Storm from 2017-2018. He was the Major League manager for the Florida Marlins for parts of the 2010-2011 seasons, becoming the first Puerto Rican manager in MLB history.
Rodriguez managed Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic in 2013 and 2017. As a player, Rodriguez reached the Major Leagues for parts of three seasons in the 1980s with the Padres and New York Yankees.
He has previous minor league managing experience in the Marlins, Cleveland Indians and Tampa Bay Devil Rays organizations. Rodriguez replaces former Chihuahuas manager Rod Barajas, who was named San Diego Padres bench coach in late October.
Hitting coach Morgan Burkhart returns for his fourth season with El Paso and seventh in the Padres organization. Morgan’s brother Lance returns as El Paso’s fielding coach, his second year with the Chihuahuas and fifth in the Padres organization. Pitching coach Bronswell Patrick is also returning, with 2019 set to be his fifth season with El Paso and 12th in the Padres organization.
The Chihuahuas 2019 training staff will include Athletic Trainers Dan Turner and Dan Leja, as well as Strength Coach A.J. Russell.
“As we head into our sixth season, the All-Star Season, we are glad to welcome our new manager, Edwin Rodriguez, and look forward to his leadership with some of the Padres top prospects that will continue to come through El Paso,” said Chihuahuas Senior Vice President and General Manager Brad Taylor. “It’s also great to see those coaches and trainers that have given us such tremendous on-field success return. Bronswell Patrick, Morgan Burkhart, Lance Burkhart, Dan Turner, A.J. Russell – it’s awesome to be able to continue to work with them.”
The Chihuahuas have had five consecutive winning seasons and have won four consecutive Southern Division titles. El Paso’s 2019 season begins on Thursday, April 4 at home versus the Las Vegas Aviators (Oakland A’s affiliate). The Chihuahuas have 70 regular season home games scheduled in 2019 and will host the Triple-A All-Star Game on Wednesday, July 10.
Season Seats and Paw-Tial Plans are available now by calling 915-533-BASE.
Former El Paso Chihuahuas All-Star, Cody Decker, returns to Southwest University Park on Sunday, January 20,, 2019 to host two 2-hour indoor hitting clinics.
The first session will take place from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. for ages 10-12 and the second session is to take place from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. for ages 13-15 with check-in beginning one half hour prior to the start of each clinic. The cost is $35 per player and space is limited on a first come first served basis.
“The City of El Paso has given me so much in my career and life,” Decker said. “I cannot begin to say how excited I am to give something back and instruct some young players in the community that supported me so well.”
The clinic is part of a two-day weekend of festivities for Decker who will be a guest at Temple Mount Sinai’s showing of “Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel.” The movie recounts the rise of Team Israel into a contender at the World Baseball Classic.
Decker, who recently signed a minor league contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks, played with the Chihuahuas in 2014 and 2015. After earning a spot in the Pacific Coast League’s All-Star game in 2015, he made his Major League debut with the San Diego Padres.
Decker is the Chihuahuas all-time home run leader with 48 dingers.
The El Paso Chihuahuas unveiled a new set of alternate logos and jerseys on Thursday ahead of the 2019 All-Star Season.
The unveiling included a new Howling Chihuahuas logo and two updated El Paso and “EP” marks. The Chihuahuas will also have a new look for Wednesday’s Diablos Days, as they bring back the Diablos’ “Chile D” Pepper logo worn by the El Paso Double-A team from 1999-2004.
“In our sixth season, the All-Star Season, it was time to add to the iconic family of Chihuahuas logos,” said Senior Vice President and General Manager Brad Taylor. “These logos embody the fun we, and the community, associate with Chihuahuas baseball. We are also proud to add the star on the mountain to our primary road jersey.”
The Howling Chihuahuas logo features the profile of the Chihuahuas logo wearing a sombrero with “EP” across the brim signifying El Paso. A black alternate jersey will feature the Howling Chihuahuas with colorful trim on the sleeves similar to a serape – a traditional cloak or blanket in the Hispanic culture.
The Chihuahuas debuted a new road jersey, featuring a graduated gray landscape of the Franklin Mountains with the mountain star. The El Paso word mark has been updated from the original dual tones of white and tan to a clean and crisp white look. The enhanced word mark will also be featured on a new all black alternate jersey.
The Chihuahuas home jersey and red alternate jersey will remain the same.
Jerseys, apparel and some of the new logoed caps are now available for purchase at the Chihuahuas Durango Team Shop and online. The team shop is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 4p.m. The jerseys are also available online.
The reveal also included the on-sale of the 2019 Triple-A Baseball All-Star Game and Home Run Derby ticket bundles that will be made available to the general public on Cyber Monday.
Full Season Seat Holders will be given the first opportunity to purchase bundle packages to the 2019 Triple-A Baseball All-Star Game and Home Run Derby beginning at 8 a.m. on Friday.
For all ticketing information, prices and availability, interested fans can visit the Chihuahuas’ website.
SAN DIEGO – On Wednesday, the San Diego Padres announced the members of Manager Andy Green’s coaching staff for the 2019 campaign.
Joining the Major League club will be Rod Barajas as bench coach and Damion Easley, who will primarily work with infielders and serve as assistant hitting coach.
Johnny Washington, the Padres’ assistant hitting coach last season, will serve as hitting coach in 2019. Returning to the staff will be pitching coach Darren Balsley, bullpen coach Doug Bochtler, third base coach Glenn Hoffman and first base coach Skip Schumaker.
Barajas, 43, enters his sixth season in the Padres organization and his first as bench coach for the Major League club. The 2018 season marked his third as manager of Triple-A El Paso, and he led the Chihuahuas to their third consecutive Pacific Coast League division title (fourth straight overall) and a franchise-best 82-57 record.
Prior to taking the helm of El Paso, Barajas spent the 2015 season as hitting coach for Single-A Lake Elsinore before taking over as manager of Double-A San Antonio that June. He began the 2014 campaign as manager of the organization’s Rookie-Level affiliate in Peoria, Ariz. and finished the season with Lake Elsinore as hitting coach.
Barajas joined the Padres organization after a 17-year playing career, including parts of 14 Major League seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks (1999-2003), Texas Rangers (2004-06), Philadelphia Phillies (2007), Toronto Blue Jays (2008-09), New York Mets (2010), Los Angeles Dodgers (2010-11) and Pittsburgh Pirates (2012). The former catcher hit .235 (812-for-3460) with 187 doubles, one triple, 136 HR, 480 RBI and 396 runs scored in 1,114 career games.
Originally signed by Arizona as a minor league free agent in 1996, he made his big league debut for the Diamondbacks in 1999 and was a member of the 2001 World Series Championship team. A native of Ontario, Calif., Barajas played for Team Mexico in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, and while with Toronto, was honored as the Blue Jays’ nominee for the 2009 Heart and Hustle Award.
Easley, 48, enters his eighth season with the Padres organization and his first as a coach at the Major League level. He spent his previous seven seasons with the Padres in Peoria, Ariz., holding the title of rehab hitting coach since 2015.
The former All-Star infielder hit .253 (1386-for-5484) over parts of 17 Major League seasons, compiling 287 doubles, 27 triples, 163 home runs, 684 RBI, 735 runs scored and 88 stolen bases in 402 career games between the California Angels (1992-96), Detroit Tigers (1996-2002), Tampa Bay Devil Rays (2003), Florida Marlins (2004-05), Arizona Diamondbacks (2006) and New York Mets (2007-08).
Easley was originally selected in the 30th round by the Angels in the 1988 First-Year Player Draft. Born in New York, NY, he graduated from Lakewood (CA) High School in 1987 and played baseball at Long Beach (CA) City College from 1987-88. Easley was named to the All-South Coast Community College Conference and All-Southern California first teams, and he was also his club’s Most Valuable Player and a second-team All-State selection.
Washington, 34, enters his fourth season with the Padres organization, third on the Major League coaching staff and first as hitting coach, serving as first base coach in 2017 and assistant hitting coach in 2018. He originally joined the organization in 2016 as hitting coach for Double-A San Antonio.
Prior to his time in San Diego, Washington spent the previous eight seasons in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, the last seven in a coaching capacity.
Originally selected by the Texas Rangers in the 27th round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft out of Mount San Jacinto (CA) Junior College, Washington enjoyed a seven-year professional career as an infielder in the Texas Rangers (2003-06) and Dodgers (2008-09) organizations, in addition to three seasons of independent league baseball. He retired as a player during the 2009 season and immediately joined the coaching ranks as hitting coach for Rookie-Level Ogden.
After serving three seasons (2009-11) as hitting coach with Ogden, Washington went on to coach at Camelback Ranch in 2012 and was hitting coach for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga in 2013. In 2014, he served as hitting coach for Single-A Great Lakes and held the same position in 2015 for Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Balsley, 54, returns for his 17th season as the Padres pitching coach. Balsley is the longest tenured pitching coach in the National League and is tied with Don Cooper of the Chicago White Sox among all MLB pitching coaches. A native of Newport Beach, Calif., Balsley graduated from Mt. Carmel High School in San Diego and attended Palomar College.
Bochtler, 48, returns for his fourth season as bullpen coach after rejoining the Padres organization in 2016. He spent the previous five seasons coaching in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, serving as the pitching coach for the Single-A Kane County Cougars in 2015 after serving in the same capacity for South Bend (2014), Missoula (2013) and Yakima (2011-12).
Originally selected by the Montreal Expos in the ninth round of the 1989 First-Year Player Draft, Bochtler made his Major League debut for the Padres in 1995 and pitched parts of three seasons (1995-97) for San Diego.
Hoffman, 60, returns for his 14th season as the Padres third base coach and his 21st as a coach at the Major League level. The 2019 season will be his 44th year overall in professional baseball.
Schumaker, 38, returns for his second season on the Major League coaching staff as first base coach, and he enters his fourth year with the Padres organization. He previously served as an assistant to baseball operations and player development after joining San Diego’s front office in 2016.
The former outfielder and second baseman played 11 Major League seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals (2005-12), Los Angeles Dodgers (2013) and Cincinnati Reds (2014-15). A two-time World Series Champion with the Cardinals (2006, 2011), Schumaker hit a combined .278 (905-for-3252) with 169 doubles, 13 triples, 28 home runs, 284 RBI and 416 runs scored in 1,149 career games.
Additionally, Griffin Benedict, 31, will return for his ninth season as bullpen catcher and coaching assistant, and Keith Werman, 29, returns for his second season as development coordinator
The El Paso Chihuahuas announced their 2019 season schedule, including the dates for the 2019 Triple-A All-Star game.
The season kicks off in El Paso on April 4th versus the Las Vegas 51s (New York Mets) at Southwest University Park.
The 140-game schedule includes the 32nd edition of the Triple-A Baseball All-Star Game to be played at Southwest University Park, July 8-10, in a nationally televised game. The game includes a number of events including the Home Run Derby.
“The Chihuahuas ownership and staff are looking forward to the All-Star season filled with new promotions, fun and events. Our sixth season will also see our 3-millionth fan!” said Sr. Vice President and General Manager Brad Taylor.
As members of the Pacific Coast League’s (PCL) Pacific Conference, the Chihuahuas will face Albuquerque, Fresno, Las Vegas, Reno, Sacramento, Salt Lake and Tacoma four times, twice each in home-and-away series.
The Chihuahuas will take on each member of the American Conference once, including visits to Iowa (June 4-6), Omaha (June 7-10), Nashville (July 30-August 1) and Memphis (August 2-5). Round Rock will visit El Paso in a three game series, August 7-9, and San Antonio, who will make the move from Double-A to Triple-A in 2019, will follow, August 10-13.
Opening Day is scheduled for Thursday, April 4th in a five game home series vs. the Las Vegas 51s to kick-off a 12-game April home schedule that includes Easter Sunday on April 21st. The Chihuahuas will play 15 home games in May and June, including Father’s Day on June 16th, 10 home games in July and finish the home season on Thursday, August 29th.
The regular season ends in Sacramento on Labor Day, September 2nd.
The Chihuahuas ended their Fifth Season Celebration with their fourth consecutive PCL Pacific Southern Division title, won 82 games – the most since making the move to El Paso, and welcomed more than 500,000 fans through the Southwest University Park gates for the fifth consecutive season.
The Chihuahuas are currently taking deposits for 2019 Season Seats, Groups and Premium Hospitality Events. All patrons who purchase Season Seats and Paw-tial Plans, as well as any groups who place deposits, will receive priority purchase for the 2019 Triple-A All-Star Game and Home Run Derby.
After being held scoreless on one hit through six innings Saturday, the El Paso Chihuahuas rallied for five consecutive hits and four runs in the top of the seventh inning and beat the Fresno Grizzlies 4-2.
It was the Chihuahuas’ second consecutive win to tie the best-of-five series 2-2.
Fresno scored in the top of the first inning and the Grizzlies’ 1-0 lead held until the Chihuahuas’ seventh-inning rally. Saturday was the first time in the series the team that scored first didn’t win the game.
Colin Rea pitched well in a no-decision for El Paso, allowing only one run in 5.1 innings. Brett Nicholas went 2-for-4 with a double and a game-tying RBI single.
Recently-promoted El Paso reliever Gerardo Reyes pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his second save in as many nights.
The winner of Sunday’s game will face Memphis or Oklahoma City in a best-of-five series for the Pacific Coast League championship.
The El Paso Chihuahuas rallied for three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning Thursday but lost to the Fresno Grizzlies 7-5 in Game 2 of the Pacific Conference Finals.
The Grizzlies now hold a two games to none lead in the best-of-five series.
Ty France went 4-for-5 with three RBIs for El Paso and is hitting .667 through the first two games of the series.
The Chihuahuas had double-digit hit totals in both games of the series. This is the second time Fresno has taken a 2-0 playoff series lead over El Paso, as the 2015 Grizzlies did the same thing in an eventual four-game series win.
The Grizzlies, who set the single-season league strikeout record in 2018, struck out 15 Chihuahuas on Thursday. The Chihuahuas are now 12-10 all-time in playoff games.
Box Score | Team Records: Fresno (2-0), El Paso (0-2)
Next Game: Pacific Coast League Playoffs, First Round, Game 3 – Friday, 8:05 pm at Chukchansi Park. El Paso RHP Cal Quantrill (0-0, -.–) vs. Fresno RHP Rogelio Armenteros (0-0, -.–). The game will air on 600 ESPN El Paso and www.epchihuahuas.com.
The Fresno Grizzlies (1-0) survived the El Paso Chihuahuas (0-1) 8-7 in 10 innings in game one of the PCL Pacific Championship Wednesday night from Southwest University Park.
Fresno improved to 6-6 in extra frames and 26-11 in 2018 set openers. Brendan McCurry (1-0) enjoyed the victory after one and one-third innings of shutout ball. Brad Wieck (0-1) suffered the decision despite whiffing two in one-plus frames.
Fresno jumped out to a 4-0 advantage in the top of the first. After a pair of free passes and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases, Yordan Alvarez scorched a two-run double to left. Both Kyle Tuckerand Jack Mayfield came around to score. Then, an error and fielder’s choice plated two more for the Grizzlies.
In the bottom of the second, El Paso cut the deficit to 4-3. Allen Craig crushed a pitch to dead center. The solo shot was his first of the postseason. Three batters later, Dusty Coleman connected on a pitch and powered it over the left-center wall. His first homer of the series knocked in a pair.
An eight-hitter bottom of the third put the Chihuahuas up 5-4. Ty France (2-for-4) spanked a single to center, adding Forrestt Allday. Then, Brett Nicholas (2-for-4) stroked a single to right, knocking in France.
Tucker evened the contest at five in the top of the fifth when he sprinted home on a wild pitch. Later, Nick Tanielu (2-for-4) made it 7-5 Fresno when he rocketed a two-run clout to left field. It was his first of the playoffs. That would end the evening for El Paso righty Walker Lockett. He was charged with seven runs (five earned) on four hits, five walks and three strikeouts in four and two-thirds frames.
On the other side, Brady Rodgers departed after four innings. He scattered six hits, five runs (earned), while walking three and punching out four. Ralph Garza followed Rodgers and flung two scoreless frames, whiffing one. Riley Ferrell mustered one and two-thirds innings of shutout relief, too.
A two-run bottom of the seventh by the Chihuahuas knotted the score at seven. Raffy Lopez (2-for-5) found green grass to right, notching Shane Peterson. Then, a sacrifice fly to deep center by Coleman allowed Craig to waltz home.
Myles Straw provided the Grizzlies with an 8-7 lead in the top of the tenth. He roped a single to right, inching Alex De Goti home. With the one-run advantage, Matt Ramsey fanned Nicholas with two runners on to end the ballgame. He secured his first save in the process.
Garrett Stubbs recorded two hits and a walk in the win. Both teams combined for 15 walks, four hit batters and 17 punchouts.
Both squads continue the PCL Pacific Championship series with game two Thursday evening from Southwest University Park. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 PT. Fresno RHP Trent Thornton (0-0, 0.00) and El Paso LHP Logan Allen (0-0, 0.00) are the probable matchup.
Gallery by Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta, Chief Photographer, El Paso Herald-Post
Story Courtesy MiLB.com | Video courtesy El Paso Chihuahuas
The El Paso Chihuahuas might have lost 5-4 to the Tacoma Rainiers in the season’s last game on Monday, but they were still the 2018 PCL Pacific Southern Division champions for the fourth consecutive year.
El Paso started strong in the first inning with a two-run double by left fielder Shane Peterson (.286 BA), Peterson ended the season with a 12-game hitting streak, El Paso 2-0.
The Dogs were gifted a run by Tacoma starter Casey Lawrence in the second inning when Forrestt Allday (.281 BA) smacked a two-out gentle roller near the mound with Brett Nicholas (.291 BA) on third base.
Allday sped toward first and Lawrence, undoubtedly pressured, slipped as he reached for the ball and couldn’t get a grip. Allday reached and Nicholas scored, El Paso 3-0.
Tacoma was determined to get those runs back in the third inning when catcher Cameron Rupp (a 6-foot-2-inch monster of a ball player with 260 pounds on him) smashed a fast ball off of El Paso starter Colin Rea (5.08 ERA) that ended up somewhere over the big green wall in center field – with two runners on base. The game was tied and the crowd of 7,523 grew quiet.
Fresh off of a 17 home-game winning streak, the Chihuahuas came back to smack Lawrence around in the third inning. Top prospect Francisco Mejia (.328 BA) doubled to the right field corner and moved to third on a Ty France groundout. Peterson, who had three RBIs in the game, smacked a single to right field and brought in Mejia, El Paso 4-3.
Unfortunately for El Paso, Lawrence (3.31 ERA) gave way to the Tacoma bullpen in the fourth inning and the Dogs’ fortune went with him. The Chihuahuas were hitless against the bullpen, striking out seven times and only getting on base once in the ninth with a walk.
Tacoma on the other hand, added runs in the fourth and seventh innings, Tacoma 5-4.
The winning pitcher was Trevor Frank (1-0) and the losing pitcher was hop-stepper Carter Capps (1-1). Daniel Schlereth earned his first save with a fly-ball out to left and two strikeouts.
Now the focus changes, as the Dogs will begin the best-of-five first-round playoff series at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday at Southwest University Park against the Fresno Grizzlies – the Houston Astros’ AAA affiliate. The series promises to be an exciting match-up for El Paso, who went 7-9 against Fresno in the regular season.
Box Score | Team Records: Tacoma (65-73), El Paso (82-57)
Next Game: Pacific Coast League Playoffs, First Round – Wednesday, 7:05 pm at Southwest University Park. Fresno RHP Brady Rodgers (0-0, -.–) vs. El Paso RHP Walker Lockett (0-0, -.–). The game will air on 600 ESPN El Paso and www.epchihuahuas.com.
Words by Larry Monarrez – El Paso Herald-Post
Gallery by Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta – Chief Photographer, El Paso Herald-Post
The playoffs-bound El Paso Chihuahuas beat the Tacoma Rainiers 9-4 on Sunday in a no-nonsense style poised for post-season success.
The Dogs came in hot from losing a 17 home-game winning streak on Saturday and established their dominance early and never looked back. El Paso put three runs on the board against Tacoma starter David Rollins in the first inning by stringing hits together. Rollins faced eight Chihuahuas and gave up five singles and three RBIs, El Paso 3-0.
The assault on Rollins (9.61 ERA) continued in the bottom of the second with a two-run shot that was launched off of Francisco Mejia’s bat and straight into the glove of a fan on the Peter Piper Pizza Porch.
Three consecutive singles brought in one more run and Rollins finally managed to get out of the inning by striking out Dusty Coleman, El Paso 6-0.
Tacoma showed a little life in the fourth inning with an RBI single by Seth Mejias-Brean (.266 BA), El Paso 6-1.
El Paso answered in their half of the fourth inning by loading the bases with no outs before Allen Craig hit into a double play but brought in Mejia to make it El Paso 7-1.
The Rainiers came back in the seventh and eighth and threw up another three inconsequential runs making it El Paso 7-4.
The fiery dogs came back in the eighth and added another couple of runs just to remind the Rainiers who was on top and go to the ninth with a five-run lead, El Paso 9-4.
El Paso righty Kyle Lloyd set them down in order in ninth inning and giving teammate Cal Quantrill (3-1) the win and Rollins his third loss.
After Monday’s final game in the Tacoma series, El Paso (82-56) will begin their quest for the 2018 PCL title against the Fresno Grizzlies (81-57) on Wednesday.
Words by Larry Monarrez – El Paso Herald-Post / Video and Stats Courtesy El Paso Chihuahuas
It might have been “Harry Potter” night on Saturday at Southwest University Park, but there was no more magic for the El Paso Chihuahuas in their 5-4 loss to the Tacoma Rainiers.
The loss was a bit of a surprise to most of the 9,559 muggles who were undoubtedly there to watch the playoff-bound Dogs win their 18th consecutive home game, but instead saw the Rainiers conjure up a 10th-inning rally.
Tacoma scored four of their five runs via the long ball. The first home run came in the third inning and was a monster that left so fast and high over the Peter Piper Pizza deck in left field, that most of the people in that area seemed unaware a rocket was hit toward them, Tacoma 2-0.
The fiery Chihuahuas came back in their half of the fourth inning and put up four runs of their own to take the lead. The first two runs came from a Francisco Mejia (.301 BA) two-run blast into the Big Dog House in right field and tied the game at 2.
Third baseman Dusty Coleman (.201 BA) came up big with a blooper to center field that scored two more runs for the Dogs, El Paso 4-2.
Tacoma whittled away at the lead with a home run over the right field corner in the sixth inning, and tied it up in the eighth inning with another blast into the Big Dog House in right field.
The Dogs were muzzled in the ninth and were forced into extra innings.
Tacoma started out the 10th inning with a runner on second base – as per the new MILB rule intended to expedite the game. One pitch by Chihuahuas reliever Kyle McGrath (2.75 ERA) to the lead-off man Gordon Beckham (.303 BA) brought that runner home, Tacoma 5-4.
El Paso seemed destined to win this game, too. But, well, the magic was not there. The Chihuahuas loaded the bases with no outs in their half of the 10th inning but the next two batters failed to get the ball out of the infield and the game ended with a 4-3 double play.
The winning pitcher was Mike Morin (5-2) and the losing pitcher was McGrath (7-3). Ryan Garton earned his third save despite loading the bases with a passed ball and a walk.
Story by Larry Monarrez – El Paso Herald Post | Stats/Video courtesy EP Chihuahuas
The El Paso Chihuahuas were doing something Friday they hadn’t done in more than 40 days: losing a game at home. But thanks to the Big Dog in the sky, the Chihuahuas magically beat the Tacoma Rainiers 7-6.
The Dog’s ninth-inning heroics kept their home-game winning streak alive at 17.
The Chihuahuas (81-55) have already clinched a playoff berth and really could have just played casually without giving this game much thought. And a loss seemed likely in a game that was full of peculiarities including an El Paso home run that appeared fair to everyone in the park but one umpire.
El Paso starter Walker Lockett (4.73 ERA) kept the Tacoma lineup at one run until the fifth inning when the Rainiers threw up five runs. Lockett gave way to righty T.J. Weir who restored order and got the final out to end the inning, Tacoma 6-0.
Tacoma starter Ross Detwiler (4.89 ERA) went seven strong innings keeping El Paso scoreless until the fifth, when right fielder Forrestt Allday singled in a run to center field, Tacoma 6-1. There could have been another two runs on what appeared to be a Nick Schulz home run down the left field line that looked like it sailed fair past the foul pole then curved behind it.
The crowd of 9,178 amateur umpires in the stands let official umps hear it.
El Paso catcher Raffy Lopez was tossed after the umpires objected to reliever Carter Capps’ unusual wind-up motion. Capps has used a “hop-step” delivery for most, if not all, of his career and has stirred controversy for years. El Paso manager Rod Barajas was tossed shortly after Lopez, apparently also arguing in favor of Capps’ style.
Capps changed his motion and walked a batter to allow lefty Brad Wieck to finish warming up.
The Dogs started to growl again in the eighth inning with a two-run Ty France long ball that bounced off the third deck of the Dog House in right center field, Tacoma 6-3.
Wieck (3.63 ERA) was lights-out in his two innings of work, allowing only two hits but striking out six batters.
And then the magic.
First baseman Brett Nicholas led off the ninth inning with a home run that bounced of the Dog House – within a few feet of where France’s blast had hit the inning before, Tacoma 6-4. Dusty Coleman doubled down the left field line. Auston Bousfield popped a looper over the second baseman’s glove to put runners on the corners.
Schulz, who was apparently robbed of that home run in the fifth, hit a sinking liner to center field that was caught but brought home the speedy Coleman, El Paso 6-5.
Allday walked and moved Bousfield to second base. France came up as the Dogs’ last hope to keep the streak alive with two outs. He hit a long fly ball that appeared to be headed to that same spot on the Dog House he had already marked and the Rainier center fielder chased after it and threw up his arm to catch it. The ball slipped through and fell at the base of the wall, El Paso walked off 7-6.
The winning pitcher was Wieck (3-0) the losing pitcher was Tyler Higgins (1-1).
Box Score | Team Records: Tacoma (64-72), El Paso (81-55)
Next Game: Saturday, 7:05 pm at Southwest University Park. Tacoma RHP Christian Bergman (8-10, 5.00) vs. El Paso LHP Logan Allen (4-0, 0.82). The game will air on 600 ESPN El Paso and www.epchihuahuas.com.
The Fresno Grizzlies beat the El Paso Chihuahuas 5-1 Thursday to give El Paso its first series loss since July 12-15 versus Reno.
Fresno won two of the three games but the Chihuahuas won four of seven on their road trip.
Luis Perdomo allowed three runs on eight hits in 3.1 innings in his second MLB injury rehab start for the Chihuahuas. Kyle Lloyd and Dillon Overton pitched scoreless relief outings following Perdomo’s start.
Brady Rodgers threw seven shutout innings for Fresno Thursday, facing the minimum number of Chihuahuas’ batters through the first five innings.
El Paso’s lone run came on an RBI double by Shane Peterson, who went 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. The Chihuahuas remain one victory behind the Memphis Redbirds for most wins in the Pacific Coast League this season.