EL PASO, TEXAS (KTSM) – The El Paso Chihuahuas beat the Albuquerque Isotopes 9-3 Monday to win their sixth consecutive game.
The Chihuahuas’ 8-3 record is the best start in team history and their six-game winning streak is the longest active win streak in Triple-A baseball.
El Paso’s Taylor Kohlwey went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and now has eight RBIs in five Triple-A games this season. Ben Ruta and Matthew Batten hit back-to-back home runs for the Chihuahuas in the fourth inning. It was the first set of back-to-back homers for El Paso since August 8, 2019, when Webster Rivas and Rodrigo Orozco did it vs. Round Rock.
Nick Tanielu and Gosuke Katoh both had two hits in the win for El Paso. Chihuahuas relievers Jordan Guerrero and Chase Johnson both threw scoreless outings Monday.
The Chihuahuas will go for the six-game series sweep of the Isotopes on Tuesday at Southwest University Park, and on paper they have to like their chances of doing so.
El Paso ace MacKenzie Gore will make his second start of the homestand on Tuesday. He was the Chihuahuas’ starter last Thursday in their home opener, throwing six innings with five strikeouts. He also retired the last seven batters he faced.
The top pitching prospect in all of baseball is the best prospect to ever come through El Paso. He unequivocally got better as he went along, and he’s looking to build on that on Tuesday.
“It was definitely better. I was somewhere in the upper-80s in pitches through 6 innings,” Gore said of his May 13 start against the Isotopes. “We were efficient, we had some traffic early, so I thought it was solid. We were throwing strikes early and we just had to make adjustments to what they were doing. We finished strong.”
There doesn’t seem to be a definitive timeline for when Gore could be called up to the San Diego Padres, but he said on Monday that he wasn’t aware of any innings restriction that the MLB club might be placing on him in El Paso.
“I’m just going to pitch until they take the ball from me,” Gore said. “I hope they let me (throw more than 100 innings this year). I keep up with (the Padres). I don’t watch every pitch but I keep up, and it’s nice that they’re playing well and winning games right now.”
At just 22, Gore’s best days are no doubt ahead of him, both in El Paso and in MLB. While he’s in Triple A, he knows he’s still got some kinks to iron out before getting the call to the Big Leagues.
“I needed to build up some, and clean up the command,” Gore said. “It’s really just getting into a good routine and getting into a good rhythm.”
In two starts with the Chihuahuas in 2021, Gore is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA, eight strikeouts and a 1.70 WHIP in 10 total innings. He could easily get called up to the Padres later this year, but first, he’ll look to get his first Triple A win on Tuesday night.
The Chihuahuas and Isotopes will wrap up the six-game series at 6:35 p.m. at Southwest University Park.