Brad Zunica celebrates a home run for Amarillo Sod Poodles

Brad Zunica continues to create reasons to celebrate. (Photo: John Moore)

Tacoma Rainiers 5,  Chihuahuas 4

Key Stats: LHP Jerry Keel 5 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, BB, 3 K; 1B Ty France 1-4, HR (2), RBI; RF Jose Pirela 2-4, HR (1), 2 RBI

Prospect Watch:  The Chihuahuas came back to tie the game with two outs in the ninth on a Josh Naylor RBI single, but Phil Maton couldn’t hold the lead. The righty gave up two hits and a walk without recording an out. He’s allowed six baserunners in 2.2 innings since being optioned from the big league club. … The Chihuahuas jumped out to an early lead thanks to home runs from 1B Ty France and RF Jose Pirela.  France has now reached base safely in all six games, scoring seven runs and driving in eight. … On the other end of the spectrum, CF Michael Gettys struck out in all four at-bats and committed an error in the field. While Gettys has always swung and missed frequently, he has failed to make contact in 13 of his 21 at-bats this season. … Naylor finished with a hit and walk and has hit in each of his first six games.

Sod Poodles 8, Midland RockHounds 2

Key Stats: RHP Emmanuel Ramirez 6 IP, 4 H, ER, 2 BB, 6 K (W, 1-0); RHP Andres Muñoz 0.2 IP, H, ER, 3 BB, K; CF Buddy Reed 2-5, RS, 3 RBI, SB (1); 1B Brad Zunica 2-4, 2 HR (5), 5 RBI; DH Jorge Oña 2-4

Prospect Watch: A new franchise means that the season will be full of firsts and new records. The Sod Poodles set a new high in runs and winning margin Tuesday. Brad Zunica had the first multi-home run game for the Sod Poodles and set a franchise high with five RBI. Zunica, who has always had huge raw power since the Padres drafted him in the 15th round in 2015, didn’t hit his fifth home run last year until June 1.  He’s posted a stellar .476/.542/.1.238 line with five homers in six games, but has also struck out nine times.  In 21 at-bats, Zunica has 10 hits, nine strikeouts, and just one groundout and one flyout, making for a ridiculous .714 BABIP. … RHP Emmanuel Ramirez is the second-longest tenured Padres in the organization, having signed in 2012.  While he has spent the last few years bouncing around levels, Ramirez has been consistent, averaging more than a strikeout per inning at every level and carrying a respectable ERA.  Despite his experience in the organization, Ramirez is still only 24-years old and pitched to a 2.63 ERA in Double-A last year with a 10.1 K/9. He added a split-fingered fastball last year that has given him a legitimate swing-and-miss offering.

Storm at Lancaster postponed

Gale-force winds in the high desert postponed the Storm game.  The clubs will play a doubleheader Wednesday with LHP Tom Cosgrove starting game one, while fellow lefty Aaron Leasher throws the nightcap.

TinCaps 5, Dayton Dragons 4

Key Stats: RHP Angel Acevedo 5 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 K; LF Grant Little 3-5, RS; 2B Justin Lopez 1-3, RS, BB; 3B Luis Almanzar 2-4, GS (2)

Prospect Watch: A big strike zone and a free-swinging TinCaps line-up combined for 11 strikeouts through six innings as Fort Wayne was shut down and shut out early. The game looked hopeless until the club loaded the bases in the eighth. With two strikes, Luis Almanzar launched a no-doubt grand slam deep to left-center field. Almanzar now has as many home runs through four games as he tallied in 63 TinCaps games last year.  His four-game hitting streak is already longer than his longest last year. The recipient of a $4 million signing bonus in 2016, Almanzar struggled to make contact in his first two campaigns, but retooled his swing in the AZL last summer. …  After a blown save, the TinCaps won in a walk-off as the speedy Xavier Edwards raced around to score the winning run on a double by Dwanya Williams-Sutton.

Posted by Ben Davey

Writer for MadFriars since 2011. San Diego raised. Grossmont alum. Die hard SD and sports fan. Currently keeping my day job as an AP Chemistry Teacher.

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