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Luis Torrens is off to a hot start after sitting on the bench with the Padres in 2017. (Photo: Cherished Memories)

El Paso and San Antonio both struggled offensively on Saturday night, but Michael Gettys‘s home run helped put the Missions over the top.  Both Lake Elsinore and Fort Wayne won, although the TinCaps needed to go into extra-innings.

Fresno Grizzlies 4, Chihuahuas 0

Key Statistics: C Stephen McGee 1-2, 2B, BB; RF Nick Schulz 1-3, 2B; LHP Dillion Overton (L, 0-1) 5.0 IP 6 H 4 R 4 ER 4 BB 2 K 3 HR; RHP Robert Stock 2.0 IP 2 K.

Prospect Watch: The Chihuahuas dropped their third game in their last four outings as the offense was held to only four hits…Designated Hitter Hunter Renfroe was hitless in four at-bats in the third game of his rehab assignment. He struck out once on the night. … Luis Urias, 20, playing shortstop tonight, was 0-for-4 tonight and has been struggling at the plate. His slash line has dipped to .259/.391/.381. The organization has listed a few things they want to see Urias improve upon, one being gap power. He has only 11 extra-base hits in 166 plate appearances.  He also has very big splits between his offensive numbers during the day, .459/.565/.838 in 46 plate appearances, and at night, .186/.325/.216 in 120 plate appearances. … Javier Guerra sat for the night in the midst of a major slump. He is hitting just .050/.095/.075 with 16 strikeouts in 42 plate appearances this month. Guerra started off the year hot, but his overall numbers are now .190/.243/.389 as he has seen a steady diet of offspeed pitches and breaking balls after feasting on fastballs early. His strikeout rate has been consistently high all season.

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Michael Getts hit his sixth home run on Saturday night. (Photo: Grant Wickes)

Missions 3, Midland Rockhounds 2

Key Statistics: CF Michael Gettys 1-4, HR (6), 2 RBI; 1B Kyle Overstreet 1-3, BB; 2B River Stevens 0-2, RBI, BB; RHP Seth Simmons 4.0 IP 2 H R ER 5 K; RHP Erik Johnson 3.0 IP 3 H 2 K; RHP Jason Jester (BS,1) (W, 2-0); LHP Brad Wieck (S, 3) 1.0 IP 2 K.

Prospect Watch: The Missions were held to three hits on the evening, but one of them was Michael Gettys‘s two-run home run in the second inning. San Antonio went ahead in the ninth inning when River Stevens was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to bring in the winning run.  Six-foot-nine Brad Wieck got the save, striking out the last two batters of the game. It looks like he’ll be the primary closer for the team following Jose Castillo‘s promotion. …Seth Simmons was one of the Missions’ best pitchers in 2016 but had Tommy John surgery early last year. He pitched very well in his first start back. Simmons, 29, threw a very efficient 51 pitches until he turned it over to Erik Johnson, 28, “the other player” in the James Shields trade.  What is interesting is that Johnson, a second-round pick out of the University of California in 2011 and with four seasons with the White Sox, was considered the main player coming to San Diego.  Like Simmons, he sat out 2017 recovering from Tommy John surgery and is starting to find his groove.  Overall Johnson has a 3.68 ERA in 14.2 innings, but has not given up any runs in his last eight…With RHP Miguel Diaz being promoted to El Paso, MadFriars David Jay reported in his Notes column that the organization could move Johnson into the starter’s spot, but RHP Chris Paddack’s dominating performances in Lake Elsinore could force a change and keep him in the bullpen.

Roster Notes: Starter Jacob Nix has yet to pitch this year because of a groin injury. However, the 22-year-old righty is now working in games in Extended Spring. He worked two innings Saturday. He’ll need enough starts to build up, but unless there’s a setback, watch for him to head out to join the club amid the mid-season roster changes.

Storm 10, Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 7

Key Statistics: CF Edward Olivares 3-5, HR (4), 2 RBI; C Luis Torrens 4-5, RBI; 3B Hudson Potts 1-3, 2B, 2 BB; RF Jorge Ona 3-4, 2B, RBI; RHP Pedro Avila (W, 3-2) 6.2 IP 6 H 3 R 3 ER 3 BB 8 K; RHP David Bednar (S,3) 1.1 IP BB 3 K.

Prospect Watch: Pedro Avila got his second straight win as the five-foot-eleven Venezuelan did what made him successful last year in Fort Wayne: pound the zone and force batters to swing the bat. Early this season, he struggled somewhat with command, giving up twenty walks in 44.1 innings, but his punchouts (40) are starting to approach one an inning. … With a 3-for-4 night with a double and walk, Jorge Ona continued a season-long trend. The 21-year-old Cuban has hit .322/.352/.529 on the road, but just .167/.227/.250 at home. … Last year with the Padres, Rule 5 selection Luis Torrens, 22, got 135 plate appearances, so far this year he has 144 in the middle of May to go along with a .314/.366/.479 slash line, which has been even better in May at .375/.420/.531.  The defense has been a work in progress. He committed his ninth passed ball Saturday to go along with nine errors in 26 games behind the plate. Torrens has thrown out 33% of runners attempting to steal this year.

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Catcher Luis Campusano has been one of the better hitters for the TinCaps. (Photo: Jeff Nycz)

TinCaps 5, South Bend Cubs 4 (10 innings)

Key Statistics: CF Jeisson Rosario 0-2, 3 BB, 2 CS; C Luis Campusano 3-4; 3B Luis Almanzar 1-3, BB; SS Gabriel Arias 2-5, 2B, RBI; RHP Mason Thompson 5.1 IP 4 H 3 R 3 ER 3 BB 3 K; RHP Jared Carkuff (BS, 2) (W, 3-0). 

Prospect Watch:  Gabriel Arias‘s line drive single to center in the tenth inning to bring home the first baseman Jalen Washington gave the TinCaps their third straight win. Jeisson Rosario,18, walked three more times Saturday and now has 33 – against just 35 strikeouts – on the year. He also has a total of just three extra-base hits in 147 plate appearances. … Rosario, along with fellow 18-year old outfielder Tirso Ornelas have justifiably received a lot of attention, but Luis Campusano, 19, may be the most impressive position player in the Summit City.  We profiled him at the end of Spring Training, where we noted that he had made impressive strides in his defense, and his bat has been solid with a slash line of .282/.330/.359.  The second round pick from the 2017 draft hasn’t yet tapped into his power yet but has shown some impressive plate discipline with only 14 strikeouts in 111 plate appearances.

TinCaps Notes:  LHP MacKenzie Gore’s start has been pushed back from Sunday by a because of a blister after his bullpen the other day.  Fellow lefty Thomas Cosgrove will get the start in his place.

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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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