The wait proved worth it for the Chihuahuas.
El Paso scored the go-ahead run in the ninth inning of a 4-3 win over Colorado Springs that ended at 11:52 p.m. after two hours of rain delays for the 6:35 p.m. game at Security Service Field.
Shortstop Tyler Greene hit a sacrifice fly to deep center field that allowed pinch hitter Yelson Asencio (leadoff walk) to score from third following a bunt single by Brian Bixler and a sacrifice bunt by Jace Peterson.
The Sky Sox stayed within reach when third baseman Rafael Ynoa, whose hit streak ended at 14 games, recovered from bobbling a grounder he intended to hurl to first base by throwing home to put out Bixler.
Colorado Springs was unable to reach base against closer Jerry Sullivan (12 saves) in the ninth.
Right before Monday’s final rain delay, El Paso center fielder Rico Noel was ejected after presumably insulting home plate umpire Jeff Morrow from the dugout. He charged out of the dugout and had to be restrained by crew chief Nick Bailey.
Pitchers Chris Rearick and Keyvius Sampson also were ejected.
Arguing between El Paso players, coaches and Morrow continued while heavy rain fell for several minutes.
The Sky Sox left the field during the downpour only to be called back. Two pitches later, the game was delayed for 93 minutes, resuming at 11:02 p.m.
Earlier in the game, a two-out walk by Cristhian Adames sparked the Sky Sox (53-84) before a single by Kyle Parker moved the shortstop into scoring position.
First baseman Ben Paulsen then delivered his team-high 73rd RBI when he drove El Paso starter Matt Wisler’s offering into center field.
Angelys Nina followed that up with an RBI single to stake the hosts to a 3-1 lead in the fifth.
As usual, no lead was safe in Colorado Springs. El Paso’s Cody Decker hit a one-out home run over the center-field fence to make it 3-2 in the sixth. Two pitches later, Alex Castellanos connected on a triple to center field.
An RBI single by Rocky Gale against reliever Rafael Betancourt scored Castellanos and erased the Sky Sox lead.
A single by Rico Noel to left field prompted Gale to try to score, but an accurate throw by left fielder Tim Wheeler beat Gale home where catcher Jackson Williams made the tag to end the threat before an announced crowd of 2,874 fans.
Sky Sox pitchers, hitters hit 1,000-strikeout plateau in same game
There is a statistic for everything in baseball and in that vein, the Sky Sox accomplished a first Monday night when the team’s pitchers recorded their 1,000th strikeout and the batters took K No. 1,000 (Parker, third inning) on the same day; more specifically, 24 minutes apart. Brian Burres struck out Wisler to end the fourth.
The last time the team hit both plateaus was in 2002 when the hitters struck out for the 1,000th time on Aug. 31 followed by the pitchers cracking 1,000 the next day on Sept. 1.
The first time was 2001 with the pitchers recording their 1,000th strikeout on Aug. 29 and the batters reaching 1,000 four days later on Sept. 2.
It was the fifth time in the franchise’s 27-year history pitchers recorded 1,000 strikeouts and the seventh time for the Colorado Springs batters.