The Diablos broke a string of six straight losses in a big way in their series opener against the Grand Prairie AirHogs, pounding out 15 hits en route to a 9-4 victory at Cohen Stadium.
In the first game for El Paso newcomers Jimmy Rohan and Brian Ramirez, it was a set of familiar faces that drove the Diablos to their fourth victory of 2012. Right-hander Scott Hodsdon (1-0) delievered one of the best outings of the season for any El Paso starter, throwing seven solid innings and allowing only two runs on seven hits while striking out seven and walking just one to earn his first victory of the season.
At the plate, the Diablos were paced by three separate four-hit efforts, as Bryan Frichter, Brian Joynt and Kory Drew each produced a quartet of knocks. Frichter drove in three runs, including two with a triple in the seventh that turned a tight game into a slightly more comfortable 7-2 lead for the Diablos, who had lost five of their last six contests by one run.
The AirHogs jumped out to a 1-0 first inning lead, but it was the last time Grand Prairie would enjoy the lead on the night. Starter Lance Janke (0-3) lasted just one inning, walking three Diablos batters and allowing two runs on 35 pitches before giving way to the bullpen.
Joynt scored two runs and drove in two more hitting from the third spot in the order for the first time in 2012, and made several sparkling plays out in left field, while Kory Drew continued to make a case as one of the best number nine hitters in the league with a 4-for-5 evening with a run scored.
Kyle Cremers pitched a scoreless eighth inning for the Diablos, who at that point led 9-2, and Reyes Dorado finished the game off in the ninth despite allowing two late runs on a double by Keanon Simon.
The win moved El Paso to 4-16 on the year and dropped the AirHogs to 10-9. Game two of the series is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. (MST), with Colin Allen the projected starter for the Diablos.