by Matthew Leland
The Diablos won consecutive games for the first time in 2012, getting six shutout innings from starter Reymond Cruz (2-3) and a tape measure home run from first baseman Jonathan Cisneros en route to a 5-2 victory in game one of a three game series with the Sioux Falls Pheasants.
Cruz was excellent from pitch one, allowing just four hits over his six innings of work and striking out seven. The right-hander did not walk a batter and earned his second win of the season.
Meanwhile, the offense again jumped on the opposing starter early, scoring a run in each of the first three innings off Pheasants starter Alan DeRatt (2-2). Maikol Gonzalez scored in the first inning on a double play grounder and then again in the third on a sacrifice fly off the bat of new acquisition Mitch Einertson. In between, Patrick Arlis knocked in Brian Joynt with a single to right in the second inning.
In the seventh, Cisneros stepped to the plate with newcomer Reid Fronk on first base and launched a two-run blast completely out of Sioux Falls Stadium, his second tater of the year, giving El Paso a 5-0 advantage.
The Pheasants would draw to within three runs with two in the eighth, but relievers Kyle Cremers and Tim Adleman stemmed the tide before Marcel Prado pitched a scoreless ninth for his fourth save.
The win is only El Paso's second road victory of 2012 and moves the team to 9-27 overall.
The Diablos will try and earn their first series victory behind left-hander Juan Peralta in the second game of the series on Wednesday evening. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. (MST).