EL PASO, Texas.— Late in the season is a good time to be playing your best baseball. The Reno Aces continued to do just that and edged the El Paso Chihuahuas, 4-3 on Monday night to win their fourth consecutive game and improve to 64-53.
Dating back to July 28 when the Aces shutout the Isotopes 6-0 at home, Reno has won seven of eight games and continue to nip at the heels of the Sacramento Rivercats.
Another tight game at Southwest University Park featured four errors, leading to several runs for both teams.
Aces starter Andrew Chafin, pitching for the first time since July 27, struggled with his command from the get-go. He walked the lead-off hitter Taylor Lindsey on four pitches to start the bottom of the first inning.
It came back to hurt him later in the inning when El Paso’s Cody Decker gave the Chihuahuas a 1-0 lead with a sacrifice fly.
The lead didn’t last long as Argenis Diaz answered with a two-out, RBI single in the top of the second to even the game at 1-1.
In the fourth, newcomer Zach Borenstein drilled a two-run homer to give the Aces a 3-1 lead. It was Borenstein’s first home run with the Aces and third in Triple-A this season.
Chafin walked four over four innings before turning it over to a short-handed bullpen which was without Will Harris who began his three-game suspension.
El Paso made it a 4-3 game against Mark Serrano in the sixth after the right-hander hit Jake Goebbert to start the inning. Cody Decker then reached on an error by second baseman Ronny Cedeno. Both runners scored, but Joe Paterson wiggled out of a jam and stranded two runners when he retired Lindsey on a pop-up to end the threat.
From there, Blake Cooper, Kevin Munson and Jake Barrett shut down the Chihuahuas over the final three innings. Cooper got an inning-ending double play in the seventh, Munson struck out the side in the eighth, and Barrett worked a perfect ninth to nail down the win and his ninth save of the year.
Sacramento has dropped two straight games, narrowing the gap between the Rivercats and Aces to just two games. The teams wrap their respective series Tuesday and enjoy and off-day Wednesday before beginning a crucial five-game series set to begin Thursday at Aces Ballpark.
The Aces will have a chance at their first series sweep of the season in Tuesday’s finale. Right-hander Mike Bolsinger (6-2, 3.65) starts for Reno against right-hander Donn Roach (3-4, 4.74) for El Paso. First pitch is slated for 6:05 PST.