On Saturday night the El Paso Chihuahuas earned their second consecutive win in convincing fashion, bashing three homers in an 8-5 triumph over the visiting Sacramende, err, I mean Sacramento River Cats. Chalk up another tally mark for the canines in the eternal struggle between cats and dogs.
Former major league outfielder Jason Lane continued to progress in his ongoing mission to return to the bigs as a pitcher. Lane was credited with his third victory of the season, against only a pair of losses, while pitching a season-low 5.2 innings. He gave up three earned runs to raise his ERA to 2.70. Of the seven hits allowed by Lane, five were for extra bases including an RBI triple by former Friars farmhand Nate Freiman. Fortunately for Lane and the hometown fans, the Pups' offense put up more than enough runs to compensate.
Designated hitter and antihero Cody Decker opened up the little dogs' scoring in the bottom of the second, drilling his fourth homer of the season to score Jeff Francoeur and, of course, himself. That looked like fun to Francoeur, so he pounced on his next chance and hit his fourth homer the very next inning, sending Kyle Blanks and Brooks Conrad home to put El Paso up 5-1. The Chihuahuas never relinquished the lead; despite the River Cats putting up a picket fence of one slat in each inning from the fourth through the seventh, catcher Adam Moore's second homer of the year provided all the necessary insurance; Conrad's RBI single to drive in Reymond Fuentes later in the sixth was just the cherry on the top.
The win raised El Paso's record to 11-18, still the worst in the entire Pacific Coast League. The club is now nine games behind the Las Vegas 51's, who lead both the division and the league with a 20-9 mark.