Osvaldo Hernandez is having one of the better seasons in the organization. (Photo: Jeff Nycz)

Both the Chihuahuas and Missions struggled on the mound, but a pair of Cuban lefthanders came up big for Lake Elsinore and Fort Wayne on Saturday night.

Sacremento River Cats 8, Chihuahuas 4

Key Statistics: SS Javy Guerra 2-4, 2B, RBI, 2E; RF Forrestt Allday 2-3, 2B; RHP Jesse Scholtens 4.0 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2BB, 4K; LHP Fred Schlichtholz 3 IP, 2 H, 4K; LHP Tyler Webb (L, 1-1) 1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2K; RHP Robert Stock (BS, 1) 1 IP, 2H, 3R (1ER), 2K.

Prospect Watch: Javy Guerra’s RBI double in the top of the eighth inning put El Paso up by a run until the River Cats sent nine men to the plate and scored five runs in the top of the ninth to send the Chihuahuas to their third straight loss. … After a truly dreadful May when Guerra hit .110/.151/.134, he has put together a five-game hitting streak. … Coronado High School’s Fred Schlichtholz, a 13th-round pick in last year’s draft, made his Triple-A debut.  Earlier this year he struggled with the TinCaps, mainly with his control, before being sent back to Extended Spring. He will likely move back down the organization when Walker Lockett and Kaz Makita report back to the club in the next day.

Springfield Cardinals 11, Missions 6

Key Statistics: CF Michael Gettys 2-4, HR (9), RBI; C Austin Allen 1-3, HR (12), HBP; RHP Colin Rea (L, 0-2) 3.1 IP 8 H, 5 ER, 3K, BB, 2 HR; RHP Lake Bachar 3.0 IP 9 H, 6 ER, 2K, 2BB, HR.

Prospect Watch: The game really wasn’t this close as the Missions were down 11-2 going into the top of the eighth inning before San Antonio scored four times; aided by a pair of Cardinals errors. … Colin Rea, who is on a major league rehab, has struggled in all three of his outings in Double-A. The league is hitting .385 against him and he has given up 20 hits in 11.1 innings. In 2015, Rea had a 1.08 ERA for the Missions in 75 innings. … Lake Bachar, after a strong debut when he threw five shutout innings, has seen his ERA balloon to 6.75. … Michael Gettys homered in his third straight game.  In May, Gettys hit .289/.346/.464 after hitting .195/.279/.377 in April. After a stretch of 20 straight games with a strikeout, the 22-year-old outfielder hasn’t Ked in back-to-back games. … Austin Allen also homered for the second consecutive night. However, the real story with Allen has been his improvement defensively.  He has yet to make an error behind the plate and has thrown out 33 percent of attempted base-stealers. Last year with the Storm he was barely at 20 percent.

Storm 5, Inland Empire 66ers 1

Key Statistics: LF Buddy Reed 3-4, 2B; 1B Brad Zunica 2-4, HR (6), 2 RBI; LHP Adrian Morejon (W, 3-3) 5 IP, 5 H, 1R, BB, 7K, HR; RHP Blake Rogers 1 IP, 2 K.

Prospect Watch: Adrian Morejon had one of his better starts of the season as he went over five innings for only the second time. Morejon has struck out 47 batters in 45.1 innings against only 16 walks while flashing an upper-90s fastball as a 19-year-old. Over his last four outings, he has a 2.35 ERA. Buddy Reed is simply having a much better season than any of us thought possible.  After hitting .234 last year for Fort Wayne and .254 in short-season Tri-City in 2016, he has a .343/.383/.575 line in 220 plate appearances.  The switch-hitter has been particularly good against right-handed pitching at .355/.389/.574. … As David Jay noted last night in his game story from the Diamond, Brad Zunica is starting to get more comfortable with his quieter swing – he ditched his big leg kick this winter. When that happens, baseballs usually get deposited over the outfield walls. In his first two games in June, he has already hit as many home runs (2) as he did in all of May.


Justin Lopez is the youngest player in the Midwest League. Photo Credit: Jeff Nycz.

TinCaps 5, Great Lakes Loons 3

Key Statistics: 2B Justin Lopez 3-3, RBI, 2 BB; LF Robbie Podorsky 4-5, 3B, SB (7); LHP Osvaldo Hernandez (W, 3-2) 6.0 IP 4 H BB K; RHP Evan Miller (S,1) 1.0 IP 2 H 2 K.

Prospect Watch: Very quietly, Osvaldo Hernandez is having one of the better years in the Padres organization. Since May 3, he has thrown 26 innings and given up a grand total two earned runs with 25 strikeouts against only seven walks. Hernandez, 20, was one of the many pitchers the Padres signed from Cuba in the J2 signings of 2016. This spring, the organization was working with him on cutting down the number of different pitches he throws and emphasizing his fastball more. … Justin Lopez began the year as the only 17-year old to make an Opening Day Midwest League roster. In April he struggled hitting .197/.265/.246, but improved in May hitting .267/.315/.465. The switch-hitter may be taller than six-foot-two now and the rangy Lopez is one of the better defensive infielders in the organization. The Padres believe he will show more power as the season goes on…Robbie Podorsky began the year in Extended Spring, but he is doing what Robbie Podorsky always does when someone doubts his ability – make them regret it.  Podorksy’s slash line has climbed to .385/.442/.538 in 11 games since he got to Fort Wayne and already has seven stolen bases in nine attempts.

The Dominican Summer League kicked off today with the DSL Padres losing 8-5 to the DSL White Sox.  We will not usually include them in our wrap-ups but several of the players in yesterday’s profile had big days.

Thanks to your subscription dollars, we will have additional coverage of the TinCaps starting next week as I go out to visit Travis Barnett’s “office”. If you want to subscribe to MadFriars and read all the on-site interviews and coverage, you can subscribe here and not drink a cup of overpriced coffee one day a month.

For the box scores from all of last night’s games, please go to 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, Amarillo Globe-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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