Chihuahuas 8 – Las Vegas 51’s 5
Key Statistics: C Stephen McGee 1-for-3, HR (1), 2BB; RF Nick Schulz 3-for-5, 2B, 3RBI; CF Travis Jankowski, 1-for-4, 3K, Sac, OF Assist; RHP Chris Huffman 5.2IP, 7H, 2ER, 4K, 1BB
Prospect Watch: Through six innings, Chris Huffman and USD alum PJ Conlon kept the offenses in check, but the Chihuahuas posted three-spots in each of the final two frames to claim the series victory. Huffman, 25, allowed a pair of runs over 5.2 innings of work. A two-run homer in the fourth by former Padres was the only significant blemish as the righty from Virginia turned in a typically strong result. … Luis Urias posted a rare two-strikeout game as he shifted back over to second base after a turn at shortstop Saturday. The 20-year-old Sonoran also collected a single and a walk, maintaining an on-base percentage north of .500 through the first series of the year. … Catcher Stephen McGee made the most of his first start of the year, blasting a two-run, game-tying homer in the eighth inning, and walking twice in the game. The 27-year-old signed as a minor league free agent last offseason and provided solid offense in a platoon role for the Missions in 2017.
Missions 8 – Northwest Arkansas Naturals 4
Key Statistics: CF Michael Gettys 2-for-5, HR (1), BB, 2K; DH Josh Naylor 3-for-6, HR (3), 3RBI; SS Fernando Tatis, Jr. 3-for-5, 2RBI; LF Rod Boykin 2-for-4, BB, SB (1); LHP Jerry Keel 5IP, 7H, 1ER, 9K, BB, HBP
Prospect Watch: The Missions scored early and often to roll to a series-opening win. Michael Gettys got things started with a leadoff homer and later scored again after reaching on an error. The athletic center fielder added a single and a walk in six trips to the plate. He also struck out two times and has whiffed in six of his 12 trips to the plate thus far. The 22-year-old will be asked to improve his pitch recognition skills this season, the last before the organization will need to decide whether to protect him on the 40-man roster. … Following a mid-year promotion in 2017, Josh Naylor hit a pair of homers in 42 Texas League contests. He’s already surpassed that total in four games this year. The big Canadian launched a two-run shot in the fourth inning Sunday for his third round-tripper in two days. He got off to a fast start in Elsinore last year, hitting five homers in April. It will be worth following whether he can keep things going deeper in the year, or if teams will be able to exploit holes in his swing as the eight-team league gets familiar with him. … Fernando Tatis won’t go hitless this year. The organization’s top prospect had a three-hit day after being held in check through his first three games. … Big lefty Jerry Keel held the Naturals in check all afternoon, striking out nine and giving up only one run. The 24-year-old saw a big spike in his strikeout rates last year as he incorporated a curveball more effectively. Going back to the end of last year at Lake Elsinore, Sunday was the third time in four outings he struck out at least nine.
Stockton Ports 8 – Storm 4
Key Statistics: 3B Hudson Potts 2-for-4, 2B, RBI; SS Ruddy Giron 2-for-4, 2RBI; DH Jorge Ona 1-for-4, HR (1); RHP Pedro Avila 4.2IP, 7H, 4ER, 3K, 3BB
Prospect Watch: Starter Pedro Avila couldn’t get through the fifth and the offense was slow to get going once again Sunday as the Storm dropped their third straight to Stockton. Avila, 21, labored in allowing one first-inning run, but then settled in for a few frames. In the fifth, though, he compounded a leadoff homer by issuing a pair of walks. After allowing an RBI single, he gave way to Trevor Megill, who allowed one inherited runner to score. The Venezuelan struggled in his first pass at the Cal League last spring, sometimes relying too heavily on his big downer curve. He worked to be more aggressive with his fastball early in counts in Fort Wayne and saw big results from it. He’ll need to maintain the approach to continue his success in his second crack at High-A. … Hudson Potts looked very impressive in spring training, including some exposure with the big league club. The 19-year-old Texan has kept it going in the regular season, clubbing his fourth double on Sunday. He’ll be asked to focus on increasing his walk rate this year, but his power should play up in the Cal League.
Storm Notes: Megill was added to the roster yesterday when RHRP Hansel Rodriguez went to the Disabled List with elbow pain. When we saw Rodriguez in Arizona, his velocity was down 3-to-5 MPH from the high-octane velocities he showed after moving to the bullpen last year.
Lake County Captains 10, 12, TinCaps 8, 1
Key Statistics: RHP Henry Henry 3IP, 4H, 4R, 2K, 3BB; LHP Osvaldo Hernandez 3.2IP, 8H, 4R (3ER), 3K, 3BB; LF Jack Suwinski 1-for-3, HR (1); RF Tirso Ornelas 2-for-3;
Prospect Watch: The TinCaps endured a rough afternoon, dropping the restart of Friday night’s snow-suspended game, and then getting blown out in their regularly-scheduled contest. The offense scraped together only three runs in 15 innings as the early-season cold remained a factor in the Midwest League. Henry Henry struggled through his full-season debut, allowing four runs in his three innings of work. The long-limbed righty needed 59 pitches, often working behind in the count. At 19, Henry will get a chance to see if his performance can more closely match his immense potential than it has to date in his career. … On the same day that his first full-season homer became official, Tirso Ornelas also recorded his first two multi-hit games. While his home run came Friday night, the left-handed swinging outfielder added an RBI single in the resumed contest and then collected two more hits in the nightcap. He was the only TinCaps hitter to reach base multiple times in the nightcap … Even by his standards, Jalen Washington wore a variety of hats Sunday. He finished game one behind the plate, started game two at first base, and then came on to record the final four outs of the game as a mop-up reliever. The 29th-rounder out of Ohio State logged time at shortstop in college as well.