The El Paso Chihuahuas played their first home game since July 9th, on Friday.
Peter Van Gansen started at 2B after making his Triple-A debut yesterday in Sacramento, and Chase d’Arnaud started at third base. That made it the first game in front of the El Paso home crowd for both of them. Also, Travis Jankowski, still on a rehab assignment, was transferred to the Chihuahuas today as he nears his return to the big leagues after a D.L. stint.
Michael Kelly started for the Chihuahuas, facing off against Eric Skoglund of the Omaha Storm Chasers. The Storm Chasers struck first, scoring after a walk and two base hits in the 1st inning. They scored again in the 2nd after Dean Anna doubled, advanced to third base on a Logan Moon sacrifice bunt, and then was knocked in by a Jack Lopez single. A three-run home run from Frank Schwindel in the top of the 3rd made it 6-0 Omaha.
El Paso bats came alive in the 6th inning. Nick Schulz led the inning off with a home run. He was followed by Van Gansen, who hit a hard line drive single. Then Chase d’Arnaud and Nick Buss followed up with infield singles to the shortstop. Hitting next, Christian Villanueva hit another ground ball to the short stop. Lopez fielded it and went to third to try to get the force there. He overthrew Cheslor Cuthbert, and the bases remained loaded with the score now 6-2 in favor of Omaha. The play was originally ruled a single with the scorekeeper saying that d’Arnaud would have possibly been safe with a good throw.
After looking it over a few more times, he switched it to a fielder’s choice and throwing error, ruling that Lopez could have thrown out Villanueva. D’Arnaud would go on to score on a Ryan Schimpf sacrifice fly. Tony Cruz and Dusty Coleman both struck out to end the inning and strand two.
Omaha tacked on their seventh run in the 7th when Cam Gallagher knocked in Ruben Sosa but the Chihuahuas continued their scoring in the 7th and 8th, bringing them to within one run in the bottom of the 9th. Kyle Zimmer, who had replaced Skoglund in the 8th inning retired the side in order to get the save.
Despite the loss, the Chihuahuas looked good after those first three rough innings. The bullpen didn’t allow any runs in 2 2/3 innings and the defense didn’t commit any errors.
- Nick Schulz’ 2 for 4 day brought his Triple-A average up to .157. He needs more than a few good games for El Paso to prove he belongs there, and with so many Padre outfielders coming off the D.L. or paternity list soon, he won’t get that chance soon. He’ll be demoted soon regardless of performance.
- On that note, several guys who have spent a lot of time with the Chihuahuas are currently with the Padres, but with the return of Hunter Renfroe, the upcoming returning of Travis Jankowski, and the fact that Manny Margot won’t be on the paternity list long, we can expect to see some guys who are performing well return to El Paso.
- Logan Bawcom has been looking good for a few weeks now and with the regular promotions and demotions of Chihuahua relievers, he’s starting to look competitive for a promotion
- Ryan Schimpf hit his tenth Triple-A home run of the year.
- This was Chase d’Arnaud’s home debut since his demotion to Triple-A.
- Dusty Coleman, who is struggling, and Nick Buss, who is not struggling at all, hit two singles each.