Memphis Redbirds Crowned PCL Champs as Chihuahuas Fall 3-1

Breyvic Valera grounds into a double play (Credit: EVT Sports)

El Paso, Texas

After an impressive series comeback, the El Paso Chihuahuas fell to the Memphis Redbirds on Sunday, crowning Memphis as the PCL Champions.

Kyle Lloyd started and allowed two runs in five innings while striking out six.

Prior to the game, a season ticket holder mentioned that he’d seen Lloyd running sprints in the outfield a few weeks ago, and manager Rod Barajas had described him as the hardest worker on the team. The outing was good enough that his unimpressive ERA does not have me worried heading into 2018.

Chihuahua bats were quiet once again as starter Matt Pearce allowed only one run on a home run by Chase d’Arnaud.

That solo shot came in the bottom of the 5th inning as an immediate response to Patrick Wisdom‘s two-run home run in the top of the inning. Both teams threatened early and often, with Memphis ending the game with six runners left on base and El Paso ten.

Hunter Renfroe went 1-4 with two strikeouts, but looked better than he did in the previous two games. He was taking breaking balls away for balls and lined out on a hard hit shot in the first inning. That was with two runners on and was part of a two on/nobody out failure to produce.

Down by two runs entering the bottom of the 9th, the Chihuahuas again had their first two hitters reach base. What was starting to look like a magical moment turned into a rough disappointment when the next three hitters went 1, 2, 3 with two strikeouts, followed by a pop out.

On Monday, the Padres recalled Hunter Renfroe, Travis Jankowski, and Tim Melville, and also promoted Christian Villanueva, who hit .296 on the season with 20 home runs, and Rocky Gale, who played 11 games with the Padres in 2015.

On their first day in San Diego, Renfroe hit a three-run home run and Christian Villanueva started at third base for his major league debut.

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Eric Killian on Twitter
Eric Killian
I’m Eric. I’m a lifetime baseball fan, recreational fantasy baseball player and serious baseball collector. Unlike most of the team, it’s my love of collecting that got me into prospecting. I just moved to El Paso, home of the San Diego Padres Triple-A club, the El Paso Chihuahuas. I was able to watch a few Padres prospects in the Arizona Fall League this November. Beyond that I hadn’t seen Padres minor league baseball since 2007. The San Antonio Missions had just become affiliated with the Padres and the team was named the Baseball America Minor League Team of the Year. They had guys like Will Venable, Chase Headley, Wade LeBlanc, Dirk Hayhurst, Nick Hundley, and the everlasting Chad Huffman. I say “everlasting” because Huffman is still in the minors battling for a job and will attend spring training with the Cardinals this year.

I’m in the Army which is what brought me to El Paso. I’m originally from Texas and at heart I’m a Reds fan, but my situation makes it much more sensible for me to cover the Padres. I have a girlfriend, two cats and about a million baseball cards and books. Moving to a city with a AAA baseball team is very exciting and I plan on attending several games throughout the season. I’m on Twitter at @USKillian.

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