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Chihuahuas lose second straight


It was a close game until the top of the eighth inning. The Omaha Storm Chasers scored as many runs in that inning as they had in the previous seven and beat the Chihuahuas for the second straight night by a score of 9-4. Chihuahuas and Storm Chasers took turns at putting up runs, trading punches throughout the first seven innings of play, but the El Paso defense was less than spectacular recording a franchise-high five errors on the night.

“(Chris)Smith pitched very, very well…we swung the bat great, so we should win a game like that,” said Chihuahuas manager Pat Murphy. “(But) we played horrible defense.”

For the third straight game in the series the Chihuahuas got on the board in the first inning. With men on first and second, first baseman Cody Decker singled to bring in designated hitter Melvin Upton Jr. Right-fielder Rymer Lyriano added another one on the board thanks to a single from Tommy Medica.

El Paso starting pitcher Chris Smith struck out the first three batters he faced and allowed just one hit in the next two innings, before Omaha finally answered and put two runs of their own the board in the fourth to tie the game up.

Smith would pitch into the fifth inning, allowing two more runs in his last inning of work to finish the night allowing four in total, three of them earned.

Going into the bottom of the sixth the Chihuahuas trailed 4-3 when Upton Jr. came to the plate. The 30-year-old outfielder who is in El Paso on a rehab assignment blasted a ball over the left field wall and into the street to tie the game up at four.

“He (Upton) is capable, this guy has a lot of years in the majors,” Murphy said. “(He is) trying to find himself, looks like he’s moving in that direction.”

That would be the last run the Chihuahuas would score on the night, but the Storm Chasers were not close to being done.

After Omaha’s leadoff batter walked, the Storm Chasers’ Moises Sierra hit a grounder straight up the middle. El Paso’s second baseman Ramiro Pena and shortstop Mike McCoy both could have made a play on the ball, but both hesitated and let go a chance at a double play. The Chihuahuas were never able to recover from the mental error and four runs would come to the plate to seal El Paso’s fate.

“That double-play that got up the middle, that’s a back-breaker,” Murphy said. “That’s a game-changing thing.”

Omaha would add one more run in the ninth.

El Paso will close out the eight-game home stand tomorrow night, looking to avoid losing the series to the Storm Chasers. Now two games under .500, the Chihuahuas are still just two-and-a-half games behind the division leading Las Vegas, who have lost nine straight games.

El Paso will take the field at 6:35 hoping for a better night than this one and looking to finally take advantage of the struggles the division leaders are currently undergoing.

Luis Gonzalez may be reached at [email protected].

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Chihuahuas lose second straight