EL PASO — Tonight, the Chihuahuas didn’t have to come back; a two-run home run blast by C.J. Hinojosa in the second inning followed by a three-run shot by Brent Rooker provided more than enough to send them to their third straight win over the Texas Rangers’ affiliate the Round Rock Express 7-1.
Tonight, El Paso got four solid innings from right-hander Pedro Avila and their bullpen once again delivered a dominant performance. In the past three games, the Chihuahuas’ bullpen has given up a total of one run in 16.1 innings, with only lefty Tom Cosgrove – who appeared in two contests – making a return to the mound.
In addition to the pair of home runs, Taylor Kohlwey had another strong night with three hits, including his 22nd double. The soon-to-be 28-year-old is having his best year and sitting atop the Pacific Coast League in batting average at .329, with a .427 on-base percentage and a .516 slugging percentage.
“I’m not sure if I am really doing anything differently this season,” said Kohlwey before the game about his success. “Another year of experience always helps, but I have been trying to be more aggressive earlier in the count and a big goal of mine coming into the season was to have more walks than strikeouts.”
Currently, Taylor has 43 walks against 45 strikeouts in 322 plate appearances.
Eguy Rosario stayed hot with a pair of hits and a walk to push his July line up to .400/.492/.742 with eleven of his 20 hits going for extra-bases. Last month, the 5-foot-9 righty, whose body is that of an NFL strong safety, slashed .288/.368/.625 with eight home runs.
As his manager, Jared Sandberg noted in last night’s post-game interview, when Eguy stays in the strike zone, he is an extremely dangerous hitter.
Hinojosa has also started to hit; after struggling in April (.235) and May (.171), Hinojosa hit .296/.347/.421 in June, and in July, his five home runs are more than he hit in the previous three months combined as he is slashing .333/.339/.648 in 55 plate appearances.
The Padres signed him as a minor league free agent from the Astros organization, where he put solid numbers, hitting .316/.351/.481 for Triple-A Sugar Land. This season for El Paso, he has seen time at second, third, and shortstop.
Notes: Center Fielder Jose Azocar made his Triple-A debut for 2022 tonight after being sent down by the big club and was hitless in five trips to the plate with three strikeouts. … The Chihuahuas now are tied with the OKC Dodgers for the lead in the PCL East with a record of 52 and 37 and have won seven of their last ten games.