Andres Muñoz delivers a pitch for Amarillo Sod Poodles

Andres Muñoz struck out the side once again Sunday. (Photo: John Moore/Amarillo Sod Poodles)

Sacramento River Cats 6, Chihuahuas 1

Key Stats: LF Michael Gettys 2-for-4, K; SS Luis Urías 0-for-3, BB, K; 1B Jason Vosler 1-for-3, 2B, BB, R

Prospect Watch: The Chihuahuas had a rare flat day offensively, managing just six total bases and one extra-base hit against the top affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. … As the Padres look for options that improve their outfield defense at the big-league level, two interesting stories have emerged at El Paso. Michael Gettys had logged a total of nine professional innings – all in the first few weeks of his career back in 2014 – in left field until this month. He made his seventh May start in the corner Sunday. The 23-year-old added two more hits and held his strikeout rate for the month at a palatable 22%. Given that the club may want him as a late-inning defensive/baserunning option later in the year, it will be worth watching how much time he gets away from center. … When Gettys has shifted over, it’s allowed Boog Powell to get action in center field. The 26-year-old from Orange County signed as a minor league free agent this winter after logging big league time in both 2017 and 2018. A left-handed hitter who might fit the big league roster better than Gettys, Powell’s carrying tool has always been his speed-fueled defense. Already involved in three different trades for big-leaguers in his career, his skillset is one team’s value in an extra outfielder. With no return imminent for the two left-handed outfielders on the Injured List for the Padres, Powell could get a look at some point. Despite his 0-for-4 Sunday, he’s hit .368/.489/.632 since coming off the El Paso injured list on April 30 and has drawn more walks than he’s struck out. … Speaking of impact on the big league roster, Luis Urías drew a walk and struck out in four trips to the plate to drop his OPS for the month all the way down to 1.142. While the Padres take their off day Monday, Urías and the Chihuahuas continue their four-game series in Sacramento, which is served by more than a dozen scheduled flights into Los Angeles Tuesday.

Sod Poodles 4, Corpus Christi Hooks 2

Key Stats: LF Rodrigo Orozco 2-for-5, 2B, SB (3); 2B Ivan Castillo 1-for-5, HR (1); CF Edward Olivares 1-for-3, BB, SB (9); SS Owen Miller 1-for-3, BB; RHP Emmanuel Ramirez 5.2 IP, 3H, 1ER, 8K, 2BB, 2 Balks; RHP Andres Muñoz 1IP, 0H, 0R, 3K, S (2)

Prospect Watch: Amarillo salvaged the last of their four-game series in Corpus, riding early offense and a strong outing from Emmanuel Ramirez to the win. The top three batters in the Sod Poodles lineup, who all came out of the Blue Jays system, combined for four hits and three of the club’s runs. Rodrigo Orozco, who had been in a 4-for-35 slump, doubled and singled in his final two at-bats, swiping his third base in the ninth. After a torrid start, the switch-hitting Panamanian has struggled with his timing at the plate. Encouragingly, he’s done much of his damage on the road in less offense-inflating environments than Amarillo’s new ballpark. … Ivan Castillo, signed as a minor league free agent after spending last year in Hi-A for Toronto, hit his first homer of the year while Edward Olivares had a hit and walk in the three-hole. Olivares’s .890 OPS paces the team. … While Ramirez bounced back with a strong start and matched his season high with eight strikeouts, the story of the day on the mound was closer Andres Muñoz, who struck out the side to pick up his second save. After starting Chuckie Robinson with a pair of sliders, Muñoz finished him off by blowing fastballs past him. Encouragingly, the 20-year-old got the next two Ks looking on sliders. After walking seven in his first four innings of work this year, Muñoz has issued “just” four in his last nine frames. While even that total isn’t ideal, he’s struck out an absurd 45.2% of the batters he’s faced and just 37% of plate appearances against him have ended with a ball put in play. Opponents have managed just two hits among the eight times they’ve made contact in his last nine innings of work.

Storm 6, San Jose Giants 2

Key Stats: C Luis Campusano 2-for-3, BB; RF Jack Suwinski 2-for-4, 2 2B; 2B Esteury Ruiz 2-for-3, HR (4), RHP Caleb Boushley 4.2 IP, 2H, 0R, 7K, 2BB; RHP Elliot Ashbeck 2.1IP, 1H, 1ER, 1K, 0BB; RHP J.C. Cosme 1IP, 1H, 0R

Prospect Watch: Esteury Ruiz jumped a 2-1 fastball for a two-out, three-run homer in the second and the Storm never looked back as they won their series against San Jose.  Ruiz, 20, has posted a 1.015 OPS this month, cutting his often-troubling strikeout rate to just 15% along the way. … Jack Suwinski, who came in on a 2-for-20 skid, had a pair of doubles and drew a walk. Even with a BABIP of just .286, the 20-year-old outfielder is putting up better than league average offense on the back of a 13% walk rate and an IsoP near .200. … Called upon to make just his second start since the 2017 season,  Caleb Boushley came up one out short of getting the victory. The 25-year-old righty struck out a career-high seven over 4.2 scoreless innings and now sports a 32:7 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 26 innings for the Storm this year. … Elliot Ashbeck and Jean Cosme, key contributors to a Storm bullpen that leads the Cal League with a 2.51 ERA, played big roles on Sunday. Ashbeck got the final out of the fifth with a man on second, then worked two more strong innings. Cosme, now fully healthy after his 2017 Tommy John surgery, closed out the ninth. The 22-year-old Puerto Rican has posted a 1.65 ERA while allowing barely more than a runner per inning and striking out 24 over 16.1 frames this year. While he has no one clear put-away pitch, he works effectively with a three-pitch mix that remains from his pre-injury days as a starter.

The TinCaps had the day off

The Midwest League, without the intervention of any beer companies, was dark to honor Mother’s Day. Fort Wayne continues their road trip at Lake County Monday evening.

Posted by David Jay

David has written for MadFriars since 2005, has published articles in Baseball America, written a monthly column for FoxSports San Diego and appeared on numerous radio programs and podcasts. He may be best known on the island of Guam for his photos of Trae Santos that appeared in the Pacific Daily News.

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