The strength of the Padres system has been pitching, and Tuesday was no exception. Luis Perdomo, Jake Nix, and Michel Baez posted strong starts to carry the system. Michael Gettys and Brad Zunica continued their home run rampages.
Omaha Storm Chasers 6, Chihuahuas 5
Key Stats: RHP Luis Perdomo 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, BB, 4 K; RHP Miguel Diaz (L, 0-2) 3 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K; RF Forrestt Allday 3-5, 2B, RS; DH Carlos Asuaje 1-3, 2B, 2 RS, BB; 2B Luis Urias 0-5, 2 K; C Brett Nicholas 2-4, 2B, RS, 2 RBI; 1B Allen Craig 2-4, 2B, RS, RBI
Prospect Watch: Former Padres starter Luis Perdomo came off the disabled list to make his first start in two weeks. The righty threw another strong outing. Since a rough second start in El Paso, Perdomo has posted five consecutive starts allowing no more than two earned runs. Perdomo needed only 65 pitches to get through five innings, but by design was only going to throw five with Miguel Diaz following him. If Joey Lucchesi isn’t ready to throw by the next trip through the Padres rotation, Perdomo seems likely to get the opportunity. … Luis Urias went on a brief run to bring his batting average back to .290 and look more like the top second base prospect in baseball. But over the last week, Urias has cooled off considerably again, going just 2-for-29 (.069/.100/.069) in the last eight games.
Missions 5, Midland RockHounds 4
Key Stats: RHP Jacob Nix (W, 1-0) 5 IP, 2 H, BB, 4 K; SS Fernando Tatis Jr 2-4, 2 R; LF Josh Naylor 2-4, R; 3B Ty France 3-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI; C Austin Allen 2-3, 2 2B, RBI; 2B Peter Van Gansen 2-4, R; CF Michael Gettys 1-4, HR (10), 2 RBI
Prospect Watch: Two starts in, Jacob Nix has thrown nine shutout innings on four hits, walking one and striking out six. Not a bad 2018 debut for the 22-year-old righty, who came into the year ninth overall on our top Padres prospects list. Nix did have some control issues throughout the start. He opened the game with a walk and hit batter. While he managed not to walk anyone else, only 42 of his 74 pitches went for strikes and he got strike one on only six of the 19 batters he faced. … Every day this week has been Michael Gettys watch, as he has now homered four times in five games. One of the best athletes in his 2014 draft class, the Georgia native has never been able to turn that talent into elite production. Now 22, he is on pace for over 20 home runs for the first time in his career. He has hit in 12 straight games, raising his OPS 138 points and, more importantly, striking out just 11 times in 49 plate appearances. While his K rate is down from last year’s gaudy 37% to 29% this season, he will need to continue to make improvements in both pitch recognition and swing mechanics to sustain his success. … Austin Allen doubled twice Tuesday and is having a nice start to June. In four games he has eight hits including five extra-base hits, compared to one strikeout. He has hit in seven of eight games.
Storm 7, Inland Empire 66ers 0
Key Stats: RHP Michel Baez (W, 2-5) 6 IP, H, 8 K; RHP Phil Maton IP, 2 H, BB, 2 K; LF Buddy Reed 1-5, R, 2 RBI; CF Edward Olivares 3-4, 3 RBI, SB (7); 1B Brad Zunica 1-4, HR (7), 2 RBI
Prospect Watch: Michel Baez finally delivered the start everyone has been waiting for. The big Cuban allowed just one hit over six innings, walking none while striking out eight. He didn’t allow the hit until one out in the fifth, then doubled off the runner on the next hitter. He came back to strike out the side in the sixth. What did Baez do different? He pounded the zone. He worked up with a fastball that sat in the mid-90s and was getting his breaking ball to fall in for strikes a bit more. Baez needed 81 pitches (53 strikes) to get through the six strong innings. … First baseman Brad Zunica is right behind Gettys on his own hot streak. The big first baseman has hit three home runs in the last four games and has added 98 points to his slugging percentage in the last 12 games. Zunica already has more RBI in four June games, than he did in the entire month of April. Not only has he hit well, he has walked five times in the last five games and has struck out only five times in his last 32 trips to the plate.
South Bend Cubs 8, TinCaps 7 (11 innings)
Key Stats: RHP Mason Thompson 5 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 4 K; LHP Aaron Leasher 4 IP, 2 H, BB, 8 K; CF Jeisson Rosario 2-5, RBI; RF Tirso Ornelas 2-6, 2B, RS; C Luis Campusano 2-4, HR (3), 2 RBI, BB; DH Justin Lopez 2-5, 3B, R; SS Gabriel Arias 2-3, 2 R, 2B, RBI, BB
Prospect Watch: While Mason Thompson‘s stats from Tuesday don’t look great, his numbers were really a result of one bad pitch. He gave up a three-run home run on a mistake in the first inning, before settling down. He allowed only one baserunner over the next three innings until an error cost him another run in the fifth. The biggest positive for Thompson was getting through his first start all year without walking a batter. After back-to-back brutal outings in April, the 20-year-old Texan has a 3.03 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 29.2 innings over six appearances. … Lefty Aaron Leasher came out of the pen in a piggyback role for the second time this year and tied a career-high with eight strikeouts. The first college player selected by the Padres last year, the sixth-round pick still has a 3.08 ERA, .249 BAA, and a 9.23 K/9 in 52.2 innings. … Luis Campusano homered and singled and has reached base safely at least twice in five straight games. In the process, he has raised his OBP from .336 to .359. He is one of a handful of talented teenage catchers in the Midwest League this year.