Jorge Salgado

El Paso Chihuahuas crush Reno Aces behind Jemile Weeks

EL PASO, Tex. - After a pair of disappointing losses, both on the offensive and defensive ends, the Chihuahuas burst through with a 14 to 4 thrashing of the Reno Aces on Monday night at Southwest University Park.

But to El Paso manager Rod Barajas, the most important statistics didn’t have anything to do with offense.

“No errors and no walks were two things we have been struggling with and we didn’t do any of that tonight.”

“The fact that we did well in these two parts of the game made the offensive output that much better.”

El Paso rapped out a season-high 19 hits as seven of the eight position players had two hits or more.  

Particularly impressive was the play of Jemile Weeks, who got his first start at second base and fell a home-run short of a cycle on a four-for-six night that also included a stolen base.

“I was reaching for that home run a little in the eighth,” said Weeks on if he was trying to finish off the cycle in his last at-bat, which ended in a strikeout.

Weeks, a switch-hitter, has played four different positions already this season, and Barajas has stated he will put him in the line-up at any position in the infield or outfield.

“I stay busy,” replied Weeks on the amount of work he needs to put in to stay sharp.  “I try to put in the work every day.  I have an idea where I might play that day and also try to get better on the different positions that need a little more work.”

Austin Hedges pushed his batting average to .400 with a three-for-four night, hit his second home run in two nights, and threw out a runner trying to steal second base.  It’s an open question of how long he will be in Triple-A.

Manuel Margot is still only hitting .189, but it appears he is on the way out of his slump.  He opened the game with a triple to right field and then hit a massive home run to left in the seventh.

“He is able to do a lot of things on the field and I think he’s getting his timing and feel back,” said Barajas who noted that Margot missed the final two weeks of spring training with an injury.

Third baseman Ryan Schimpf was 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI and right fielder Jose Pirela was 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles.

Notes:  Both Hunter Renfroe and Carlos Asuaje had the night off…One player who has gone under the radar is Nick Noonan, who had a pair of hits and has been solid in the middle at shortstop.  The Francis Parker alum didn’t get many opportunities in big league camp during the spring, but with the promotion of Alexi Amarista he is making the most of his opportunity to play everyday. 

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