Josh Naylor continues to have a storybook month and the kids in Fort Wayne are starting to gel.  El Paso drops its second game in a row and the Storm are shut out at home.

Salt Lake City Bees 7, Chihuahuas 5

Key Statistics: CF Travis Jankowski 2-3, RBI, BB; 1B Brett Nicholas 1-4, HR (7), RBI; RF Franmil Reyes 1-4, HR (5), RBI; C Raffy Lopez 1-4, HR (4), RBI; RHP Walker Lockett 6.0 IP 8 H 4 R 4 ER 6 K 2 HR; RHP Jonathan Aro (BS,2), (L, 2-2) 1.2 IP 3 H 3 R 3 ER BB 3 K HR.

Prospect Watch: The Bees scored three runs in the top of the eighth inning as former Chihuahuas Jabari Blash doubled, Rymer Liriano walked and Ryan Schimpf singled as El Paso dropped their second in a row. The Bees bullpen sent down the final 11 batters in a row…Travis Jankowski had his seventh straight multi-hit game and is now hitting .351/.432/.442…First baseman/catcher  Brett Nicholas may be 29-years old but he is certainly making the most of his opportunity with the Chihuahuas.  Nicholas hit his seventh home run tonight and the left-handed hitter now has 14 extra-base hits in 20 games to go along with a .347 batting average.

Chihuahua Notes:  Second baseman/shortstop Luis Urias was not in the lineup for the second straight day, but took batting practice and fielded ground balls as the Padres continue to be cautious about putting him back in the lineup after a slight hamstring pull on Wednesday night.

SA-Quantrill-18-938

Cal Quantrill had one of his better starts on Friday night. Photo Credit: Rey Holguin/San Antonio Missions.

Missions 4, Midland RockHounds 3

Key Statistics: C Kyle Overstreet 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI;  LF Josh Naylor 2-5, 2B, RBI; SS Fernando Tatis, Jr. 1-3, BB; 3B Ty France  2-2, 2B, RBI; RHP Cal Quantrill 6.0 IP 6 H 2 R 2 ER BB 4 K; RHP Rowan Wick 1.2 IP H 3 K; LHP Jose Castillo (BS, W, 2-1) 1.1 IP 2 HR 2 BB 2 K.

Prospect Watch:  Josh Naylor, playing his sixth game in left field, made a key throwing error in the top of the ninth inning to allow the RockHounds to tie the game.  In the bottom of the ninth, after Fernando Tatis, Jr. walked for the second time this year, Naylor doubled down the left field line for the walk-off win…Naylor is hitting .378/.458/.707 and came into the game tied for the Texas League lead with seven home runs, second in slugging percentage to teammate Austin Allen and third in the league in on-base percentage. Naylor was the main player sent over by the Marlins in the Andrew Cashner trade in 2016, where Cashner lasted only a half season with Miami before going to Texas and now Baltimore. How hot is Naylor?  He has 12 extra-base hits, 13 walks, and only nine strikeouts…In Cal Quantrill’s first two starts he walked eight batters, in his last three, he has walked two in 16 innings.  Quantrill dropped his ERA to 3.16 after tonight’s game.

Stockton Ports, 2, Storm 0

Key Statistics: 1B Brad Zunica 2-3, BB; DH Jorge Ona 2-3;  RHP Pedro Avila (L, 1-2) 6.0 IP 4 H 2 R 2 ER 2 BB 2 K; RHP Blake Rodgers 2.0 IP 3 K.

Prospect Watch: The Storm had seven hits tonight, all singles, and failed to score as Lake Elsinore was shut out for the fourth time this season. … Brad Zunica had a nice night at the plate as he moved his batting average above the .200 mark.  Zunica showed as much progress as anyone in the system last year in Fort Wayne, despite an up-and-down season caused by nagging injuries.  If the six-foot-six Floridian can get all the moving parts working he could put up some big numbers in the Cal League…Once again Pedro Avila demonstrates that the won-loss record is not the best way to evaluate how well a pitcher performed.  After a rough season debut, where he gave up four earned runs in 4.2 innings pitched, he has given up the same amount in his last three starts.

TinCaps 6, Dayton Dragons 5

Key Statistics: 2B Esteury Ruiz 1-4, HR (3), RBI, BB; 1B Carlos Belen 2-3, HR (3), 2 RBI, BB; LF Jack Suwinski 2-4, 2B, RBI; LHP Osvaldo Hernandez (W, 2-2) 5.2 IP 2 R 2 ER BB 5 K; RHP Travis Radke (S,2) 1.2 IP H K. 

Prospect Watch:  The TinCaps were up  6-1 before some bullpen woes made the game closer than it should have been…Since he was signed by the Padres in 2012, the organization has consistently believed that Carlos Belen is one of their more talented players. Unfortunately, the statistics haven’t backed it  Last season he hit .238/.308/.426 in the hitter-friendly Cal League with 121 strikeouts in 347 plate appearances.  The Padres moved him from third to first base and sent him back to Low-A, where he played in 2016 and hit .222/.278/.394.  So far this season they are beginning to see some progress with the 22-year old as his plate discipline has picked up somewhat along with his power for a .246/.372/.431 line.  While 31 strikeouts in 20 games are still troubling, they are offset by his on-base percentage.  Belen is the classic case of a player with superlative tools attempting to turn them into results on the field…After losing their first six games of the season, the TinCaps have improved their record to 9-13. 

The other night Missions’ play-by-play announcer Mike Saeger took an age-related shot at me – despite Mike listening to Flock of Seagulls in the 80s at the same time too – during his broadcast.  Thanks to our subscribers we are able to send David Jay to San Antonio for the weekend in early May to visit him. If you would like to join us in torturing Mike, please consider subscribing here.

For the box scores of all the games please go to the MiLB.com scoreboards.

Posted by John Conniff

John grew up in Poway and has written for MadFriars since 2004. He has written articles for Baseball America, FoxSports San Diego, the El Paso Times, San Antonio Express-News, Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette and Pacific Daily News in addition to appearing on numerous radio programs and podcasts. He can also break down the best places to eat for all five of the affiliates. There is no best place to eat in Peoria, Arizona.

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