Chihuahuas Top OKC to Snap Losing Streak, Bellinger Excites El Paso Crowd
The El Paso Chihuahuas snapped their six-game losing streak by topping the Oklahoma City Dodgers, 6-4, in front of a sold-out crowd at Southwest University Park.
The night was headlined by Dodgers All-Star Cody Bellinger in what was likely his final night on MLB rehab assignment before he rejoins the Los Angeles this weekend. A full capacity crowd, flooded with a sea of Dodger fans, watched the center fielder go 1-for-4 with a single, walk and a run.
Thursday night was the first night where Southwest University Park went full capacity for their crowd since the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year, while patrons that are fully vaccinated were allowed to attend the game without masks.
OKC got on the scoreboard first as shortstop Elliot Soto hit a 2 RBI double in the fourth inning, giving them a 2-0 early lead. Things were rocky for the Dodgers in the fifth inning after starting pitcher Mike Kickham left the mound due to a finger injury. That's when the scoring frenzy started for El Paso.
First, center fielder John Andreoli drove in Tucupita Marcano with an RBI single. Right after Andreoli, right fielder Patrick Kivlehan hit a three-run homer to give the Chihuahuas the go-ahead lead, 4-2.
OKC briefly tied the game in the top of the eighth after Rangel Raelo doubled on a ground ball, sending Bellinger and Zach McKinstry home.
But at the bottom of the eighth, Nick Tanielu responded with a solo home run to right center field. Ben Ruta also scored on a throwing error to give the Chihuahuas a pair of runs going into the ninth.
Mason Thompson was credited with the save, while James Norwood (1-1) took the victory for El Paso.
Tomorrow, the Chihuahuas and Dodgers will take the mound at 7:05 PM for their second matchup of the six-game series.