It was an international day as Cuban starters Michel Baez and Osvaldo Hernandez pitched exceptionally well for the Storm and TinCaps. Elsewhere, Canadian Josh Naylor homered twice for the Missions, and Dominican Esteury Ruiz led the system in hits with three for the TinCaps.
Albuquerque Isotopes 11 – Chihuahuas 5
Key Stats: RHP Colin Rea (L, 0-1) 4 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, BB, 2 K; RHP Phil Maton 2 IP, H, 3 K; 2B Luis Urias 0-4, 2 K; CF Forrestt Allday 2-4, 2B, HR (1), 2 R, 2 RBI
Prospect Watch: While the Chihuahuas had their hands full with recently demoted Rockies starter Jon Gray, the Isotope batters did not have the same problem with the Padres’ former big leaguer Colin Rea. Rea faced the minimum through two innings before the game got away from him. Rea gave up five hits in the third, including a single to his counterpart, then allowed a two-out, two-run homer in the fourth. Of the nine hits Rea allowed, five came with two outs including a triple and a home run. … On the other hand, Phil Maton has looked every bit as dominant as he was in May in San Diego. The only hit he allowed was a double by Gray, but he escaped the inning by retiring the next two. Maton has struck out six in 3.2 innings over his last two outings. …
Roster News: With Kirby Yates on paternity leave (congrats to the Yates family, who are all doing well), Colten Brewer joined the big league club temporarily, Erik Johnson came up to El Paso, and Colby Blueberg moved up to San Antonio to fill his spot.
Missions 7 –Arkansas Travelers 6
Key Stats: SS Fernando Tatis Jr.; 1-5, 2B, R, 3 K; RHP Miguel Diaz 3.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R, ER, 3 BB, K; RHP Lake Bachar (W, 1-4) 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, BB, 7 K; LF Josh Naylor 2-5, 2 HR (12), 3 RBI; 3B Ty France 4-5, 2B, 2 R, SB (2); DH Nick Schultz 1-3, HR (1), 2 RBI
Prospect Watch: Left fielder Josh Naylor had his third multi-homer game of the year – all against Arkansas. While he connected on a homer in the All-Star game, he hadn’t had one in a regular-season game since June 10. Naylor’s first inning solo shot eclipsed his home run total, then his ninth inning two-run shot tied his career high set in nearly 150 more plate appearances in 2016. Naylor, who turned 21 two weeks ago, is the second youngest player in the top 20 for homers in the Texas League (though he’s only five days younger than Yordan Alvarez). … The youngest player on the list is Fernando Tatis Jr. who is 18 months younger than Naylor. He struggled for most of the game before getting a ninth inning double (and scoring on Naylor’s second home run). The three strikeouts push Tatis over 100 for the year, and he has struck out at least once in 19 straight games.
Modesto Nuts 4 – Storm 3 (10 innings)
Key Stats: RHP Michel Baez 5 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K; 1B Hudson Potts 2-4, 2B, RS; C Luis Torrens 2-4, RS; RF Nate Easley 2-3, RS, BB
Prospect Watch: The Storm led through most of the game, but with two outs and a runner on second in the eighth, David Bednar got a strike out in the dirt, but Luis Torrens‘s errant throw allowed the hitter to reach. A few pitches later, another ball that should have been handled in the dirt squeaked by Torrens allowing the tying run to score. Torrens had two hits on the night and has hit reasonably well in Lake Elsinore (.264/.307/.399), but has struggled defensively. His 12 errors and 15 passed balls both lead the league… The first time through the lineup Michel Baez struck out six of the nine batters, allowing two walks and no runs. The next time through,he gave up four hits and one run, with no strikeouts. After the lineup turned over the third time, three of five Nuts collected hits, while Baez recorded his last strikeout.
TinCaps 2 – Great Lakes Loons 0
Key Stats: LHP Osvaldo Hernandez (W, 6-3) 6+ IP, 6 H, 5 K: DH Esteury Ruiz 3-4, 2B, RS, 2 SB (28); 3B Luis Almanzar 2-4; CF Jeison Rosario 1-3, 2B, RS, BB
Prospect Watch: Midwest League ERA leader Osvaldo Hernandez – one of three TinCaps in the top 10 – once again threw a terrific game to drop his ERA to 2.00. The 20 year-old Cuban allowed no runs for the fourth time in his last ten starts, and he hasn’t allowed more than two runs in a game since April 15th. Hernandez allowed a home run in the third inning of his first start and hasn’t allowed another one in 69 innings since. … DH Esteury Ruiz had his first three hit game in nearly a month. He is hitting .293/.326/.512 since the All-Star break. He swiped another pair of bases and now ranks third in the league with 28.
Boise Haws 7 – Dust Devils 3
Key Stats: RHP Henry Henry (L, 1-1) 6 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, BB, 8 K; LF Grant Little 1-3, RBI; 3B Olivier Basabe 1-2, RS, 2 BB; 2B Luke Becker 2-4, RBI
Prospect Watch: Henry Henry allowed four of the first five hitters to reach base and that was pretty much the night for him. He did bounce back to retire 11 of the final 12 batters he faced and the eight strikeouts were a new career high for the Dominican. In the past, he has tended to spiral when things go badly. This was the first time since April 12 that Henry allowed more than two runs in an outing (remember that he was in the bullpen in Fort Wayne before being sent down). … Competitive Balance pick Grant Little has had at least one hit and one RBI in each of the three games so far with the Dust Devils.
No games in Arizona