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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