Chihuahuas 6, Oklahoma City Dodgers 2
Key Statistics: RF Brandon Dixon, 2-for-4, 2 R, HR (13), 3 RBI; LF Taylor Kohlwey. 2-for-4, R; SS C.J. Hinojosa, 2-for-4. R, HR (17), 2 RBI; RHP Pedro Avila (W, 7-2) 6 IP, 3 H, ER, 3 BB, 9 K; LHP Ryan Weathers, IP, H, ER, 2 K; LHP Tom Cosgrove, IP, H, BB, K
Prospect Watch: With the regular season winding down, El Paso is moving closer to a division title. After being throttled in the series opener on Tuesday to fall into a tie, the Chihuahuas have won three straight over OKC and now hold a commanding three game lead over the Dodgers. With two head-to-head games left this weekend and five in the season, the Chihuahuas can wrap up the title this weekend. … At this point, we have run out of superlatives to describe how hot Brandon Dixon has been since joining the Chihuahuas. The veteran slugger had two more hits, including a three-run homer in the second inning. It was Dixon’s 13th homer in just 24 games with the Chihuahuas. In addition to the power Dixon has displayed, he’s also been remarkably consistent. He has hit safely in 23 of the 24 games he’s played with El Paso. In 24 games in the PCL, Dixon is hitting .387/.464/.903. Despite having almost 300 fewer plate appearances, he’s now tied with Marcos Castañon for the organization lead with 23 home runs on the year. … Infielder C.J. Hinojosa had two hits, including his 17th homer of the year. The veteran infielder had never hit more than 11 homers coming into the season but clearly he’s enjoyed the hitter-friendly Southwestern University Park. Hinojosa, 27, is hitting .321/.384/.544 in 58 home games. Interestingly enough, he’s hit more homers (9) on the road than at home (8), despite a drastic difference in OPS (.928 at home, .747 on the road). Overall, Hinojosa boasts a career-high .834 OPS this season.
… Right-hander Pedro Avila continues to make a case for another crack at the big leagues after another stellar outing Friday night. The 25-year-old pitched six splendid innings and allowed just one run on three hits. He walked three and struck out nine – a season-high. Avila touched 95 mph with his fastball on a few occasions, showing more velocity than he did in his brief big league stint earlier this season. His change was especially effective as well, drawing 10 misses on 15 swings. He’s also been remarkably consistent; he has pitched at least five innings in seven straight outings. In five September starts, he is 3-0, with a 3.12 ERA. … Left-hander Ryan Weathers pitched an innings and allowed a solo homer but he did strike out a pair of batters. The former first-rounder has pitched out of the bullpen down the stretch after spending the majority of the season in the rotation. Overall, the results haven’t been encouraging. As a starter, Weathers had a 6.67 ERA this season. Since transitioning to the bullpen, Weathers has allowed eight runs in nine innings. In those nine innings, Weathers has given up 15 hits, including a staggering six homers. Despite the struggles he has endured this season, he’s still just 22.
Roster Moves: With San Antonio’s season coming to an end Thursday night, a few of their players made their way west to El Paso. Infielder Connor Hollis — fresh off of a Texas League batting title, returns for a second stint with the Chihuahuas. Outfielder Tirso Ornelas and catcher/infielder Juan Fernandez also were activated by the Chihuahuas.
To make room on the roster, catchers Adam Kerner and Alison Quintero were placed on the development list. Players placed on the development list are required to stay on the list for a minimum of seven days, so it seems like both players will not return to the El Paso roster. Infielder Kervin Pichardo was moved off the El Paso roster as well.