RHP Justin Hancock, the top rated prospect still left in the rotation, was pulled with no outs in the second inning after giving up four runs in the first and two in the second.
“He didn’t have his best stuff and a couple of defensive breakdowns kind of fueled those two innings,” said Chihuahuas’ manager Rod Barajas.
“Defense is important and you have to make those plays.”
The Aces had another offensive explosion in the sixth inning against recent Padres minor league signee LHP Daniel Mosokus. Mosukus, the former fourth overall pick in the 2007 draft by Pittsburgh, gave up four earned runs in an inning and a third.
Down 11-1, the Chihuahuas put up four runs in in the bottom of the inning to give the sell out crowd a modicum of hope before the Aces topped of their night by scoring two more runs in the ninth. Reno finished off their evening with 16 hits for former Padre and current Reno manager Phil Nevin.
A positive on the night was the play of right fielder Hunter Renfroe, who went three for five with three doubles. He was 0-12 in the cold weather of Tacoma, but has hit four doubles in the past two games since getting back into warmer weather.
“He’s been working really hard and has been doing a lot of work with Burky” [Morgan Burkhart, the Chihuahuas’ hitting coach], said Barajas.
While the physical tools have always been there, what has impressed Barajas is the mental growth that he has seen in Renfroe during the past year.
“He is much more engaged in talking about his at-bats and his approaches. We have been very impressed with the types of questions that he has been asking which I think really shows his growth as a hitter.”
Notes: Alex Dickerson was again not in the line-up but came in as a pinch-hitter in the sixth and hit a two RBI single. Dickerson stayed in the game and picked up another hit. Last night he also got a pinch-hit single. Barajas said that against American League affiliate teams Dickerson will be in the line-up full time but against National League affiliate teams he wants also to use him as a pinch-hitter, a role he believes he will have in the big leagues.…Jose Pierla, who came over to San Diego in a trade for RHP Roland Herrera, struggled defensively in the outfield botching a relatively easy fly ball to left in the first inning and make several other chances more difficult than they deserved…catcher Austin Hedges was 1-4, but hit the ball hard in three of his four plate appearances…Jemile Weeks got the start in center field as Manuel Margot was given a day off…The Chihuauhas are carrying six infielders. With the expeption of first baseman James Loney, Carlos Asuaje, Casey MacElroy, Nick Noonan, Weeks and Ryan Schimpf can all play second, short and third base and all are left-handed hitters, except for Weeks who is a switch-hitter. As mentioned, Weeks can play all three outfield positions and Noonan and Schimpf will also get time at first base.