EL PASO – The El Paso Chihuahuas split a doubleheader with the Reno Aces, playing a pair of seven-inning contests to make up for Thursday’s rainout. El Paso dropped the first game, 9-4 in what was a bullpen game for the Chihuahuas staff, before taking the rainy nightcap by a 6-2 score.
In the first game, El Paso jumped out to a 2-0 lead against Aces starter Matt Tabor, who, prior to his promotion to Reno, pitched seven no-hit innings in the second game of a doubleheader in San Antonio. Taylor Kohlwey hit his fourth triple of the season, an opposite-field liner into the far corner of the park to drive in the first run of the game. Nick Tanielu followed with a single to drive in Kohlwey for the extra run.
In the top of the second, however, Kyle McGrath allowed a two-run home run to tie the game. McGrath, making his fourth start of the season in spot duty, took the loss after allowing five earned runs in 2.1 innings pitched. Tanielu would account for the other two El Paso runs with a home run in the third inning, after which it was all Reno.
After playing the first game mostly in sunshine, the nightcap got underway in a steady rain. Caleb Boushley walked in a run in the first, but also managed to shut the door on a bases loaded rally with a strikeout. Boushley bounced back with three straight scoreless innings until the fifth, when a run scored on an error. Neither run was earned to Boushley, who was rescued from a fifth-inning jam by the timely relief of Nick Ramirez.
The game turned on its head in the fourth inning when Poway native Gosuke Katoh hit his sixth home run of the year, a no-doubt grand slam to deep right field. Katoh, who started the second game in left field, also hit a single and made two timely throws from the outfield to keep runners from advancing a base.
The Chihuahuas got some insurance runs in the sixth inning when Jose Azocar hit an RBI triple, then came home to score when Pedro Florimon reached on an error. Azocar also saved extra bases on a leaping grab of a ball in deep center field. Azocar is now 4-for-11 to begin his Triple-A career, with two doubles and a triple.
On the mound, Evan Miller rescued Ramirez from a jam of his own, taking over in the 6th with one out and runners on first and second. Miller would force a groundout and lineout to end the inning before turning things over to James Norwood, who struck out the side after allowing a leadoff single in the seventh.