EL PASO – The El Paso Chihuahuas fell to the Reno Aces 10-5 in the fourth game of a six-game series between the Triple-A affiliates of the Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Chihuahuas got off on the wrong foot as starter Luke Westphal allowed a pair of home runs in the first inning, the first coming on the second pitch of the game. Westphal, who signed as a free agent mid-year, couldn’t get out of the third inning, when the Aces followed Seth Beer’s second home run of the night with a double and Jose Azocar committed an error to plate the fourth run of the game with two outs.
Westphal was relieved by Evan Miller, who got the final out of the third, before becoming the first El Paso player to reach base in the bottom of the frame, reaching on a throwing error. The Chihuahuas would be no-hit until the fifth inning, when Nick Tanielu hit his first triple of the season.
He scored on a sacrifice fly by Pedro Florimon. The Chihuahuas had a chance to do more damage in the inning after a single by Michael Cantu and double by Azocar, but a pair of strikeouts stranded both runners and ended the threat for El Paso. Azocar, who also doubled in the ninth, extended his hitting streak to five games. The last time he did not get a hit was his Triple-A debut on August 9.
The game got out of hand in the fifth inning, when Reno scored three more runs off Miller on a walk followed by a single, double, and triple in order. After a mound visit from pitching coach Eric Junge, a walk and a groundout led to the eighth run of the game, and fourth run charged to Evan Miller.
Shaun Anderson relieved Miller and allowed an inherited runner to score on a single, and gave up a run of his own on an ensuing double. Anderson settled down after that, pitching a scoreless sixth with two strikeouts in his third appearance since being claimed off waivers by the Padres on August 7.
The Chihuahuas got two scoreless innings from Steven Wilson, who struck out three while allowing two hits and walking a pair of batters. The ninth inning marked the fourth pitching appearance of the season for infielder Matt Batten, who delivered a scoreless frame. Batten started at second base and went 1-for-5 with four strikeouts.
Jurickson Profar started in left field and hit second on the first day of a rehab assignment. Profar, who played only one game this month before landing on the IL August 6, led off the sixth inning with a single, and worked two walks. In the field, his catch at the track helped the Chihuahuas end the Reno rally in the third inning.
With their backs against the wall, the Chihuahuas mounted a rally in the ninth, started by a triple off the bat of Florimon. Cantu drove him in with a groundout, and Azocar’s second double led to him scoring on a single off the bat of Gosuke Katoh.
Pitcher of record Matt Batten singled, and Profar walked to load the bases with one out. Ivan Castillo delivered a two-RBI single to make it a 10-5 game with one out. After Patrick Kivlehan worked an 0-2 count into a walk, Tanielu hit into a double play, ending an impressive El Paso rally, and the game.
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