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A five-run fifth inning doomed the Diablos' chances to snap a three-game losing streak as the Amarillo Sox came away with a 9-3 victory over El Paso in game one of a three-game set at Amarillo National Bank Sox Stadium.
Unlike the two previous games, the Diablos struck first as they tried for their fourth win of 2012. Nelson Teilon knocked in runs in each of his first two at-bats, a double in the first and a single in the third, that gave El Paso a 2-1 lead.
Starter Osvaldo Rodriguez (1-3), was not sharp, however, and the Sox took a 3-2 lead on a run-scoring ground ball in the third and a passed ball by catcher Patrick Arlis in the fourth.
Amarillo then blew the game open with their five-run fifth. The Sox extended the lead to 5-2 after Chuck Lofgren, who had homered for the first Amarillo run, knocked in another with an RBI single to make it a three-run lead. Three batters later, with two on, catcher Mitch Abeita crushed a three-run home run off Rodriguez to essentially solve the game away.
The Diablos would get one run back on a solo home run by Palmer Karr Jr., his first round-tripper of the season. The Sox eventually reestablished the six run advantage when Jake Opitz's ground ball scored Harrison Kain in the bottom of the eighth.
After a shaky beginning, Sox starter Justin Garcia (1-0) settled down to pitch six innings of five-hit ball, allowing just two runs and striking out four while only walking one. Reliever Chad Povich pitched the final three innings to earn his first save.
The loss is the fourth straight for El Paso, who will look to rebound on Tuesday behind Freddy Flores. The game is scheduled for a 7:05 p.m. start (6:05 p.m. MST)
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