Chihuahuas riding high after first half of play

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Christopher Zacherl

El Paso Chihuahuas go into the All-Star break holding the best record in the Pacific Coast League.

Adrian Broaddus, Sports Editor

After the first half of play is under wraps, the El Paso Chihuahuas will take a three-day break for the Triple-A All-Star week, which will feature the annual All-Star Game on Wednesday, July 13, in Nashville, Tennessee.

The Chihuahuas (53-37) have the best record in the Pacific Coast League and sit in first place of their division, six-and-a-half games ahead of the Las Vegas 51’s.

Prior to the split in action, the Chihuahuas had back-to-back road series against the Albuquerque Isotopes and the Salt Lake Bees. After winning the series in Albuquerque, 2-1, the Chihuahuas fell behind early and were down two games against the Bees.

The Chihuahuas closed the series strong, however, defeating the Bees in the last two games by a combined score of 23-3.

On Sunday, July 10, standout batter Austin Hedges set the team record for single-game RBIs. In the Chihuahuas 11-2 win over the Bees, Hedges went three-for-five, including two home runs and eight RBIs—all of which came in during the first three innings.

Other notable batters on Sunday were Luis Urias (two-for-two with a home run), Alexi Amarista (two-for-five with a home run) and Jabari Blash (three-for-four). Pitchers Michael Kelly, Frank Garces, Michael Dimock and Leonel Campos all threw exceptionally well and did not allow a run while they were on the mound.

Chihuahuas making noise in the big league

Midway into the season, ex-Chihuahuas players who have moved up to the MLB affiliate San Diego Padres, have made noise in the big leagues. Gravitating players such as Blash, Hedges and Amarista have been back and forth between clubs; whereas players such as Alex Dickerson, Jose Pirela and Ryan Schimpf have found a home in San Diego.

Dickerson, Pirela and Schimpf, who have all spent significant time in El Paso, have been notable additions to the Padres. Dickerson, who spent the majority of the first half of play with the Chihuahuas, is now batting fifth for the Padres. He has a .286 batting average and is in the starting rotation.

Dickerson, who plays right field, has 12 hits, two doubles and 44 at bats.

Schimpf, who comes in as a pinch hitter and plays third base for the Padres, is batting .183 and has contributed with 11 hits, nine runs and four home runs. Pirela, who is also used as a pinch hitter, has contributed with six hits and two runs.

This raises the possibility of other Chihuahuas’ standout players such as Hedges, Hunter Renfroe, Carlos Asuaje and Manuel Margot, being added to the 40-man roster before the season ends.

After the All-Star break, the Chihuahuas will return to Southwest University Park and take on the Nashville Sounds from July 14-17.

Adrian Broaddus may be reached at [email protected]