Tulsa Drillers 2 Sod Poodles 0
(Tulsa leads the best-of-five series, 2-1)
Key Statistics: SS Ivan Castillo 2-for-4, 2B; CF Taylor Trammell 1-for-4; RHP Kyle Lloyd (L, 0-1) 7 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K; RHP Evan Miller IP, 3 K.
Prospect Watch: The Sod Poodles lost a low-scoring affair on the road in Tulsa. Amarillo will be facing an elimination game Saturday night. … Ivan Castillo had a two-hit game, including a double, but was the only Sod Poodle to reach base multiple times. The 24-year-old infielder has hit safely in all eight playoffs games after struggling down the stretch. Castillo hitting just .262/.325/.355 in August. Despite the rough stretch, the former Blue Jay and Indian farmhand won the Texas League batting title. Absent a promotion to the 40-man, Castillo will again be able to become a minor league free agent this winter. … RHP Kyle Lloyd took the hard-luck loss after allowing a two-run homer in the sixth inning. Lloyd allowed just four hits over seven innings, walking two and striking out six. The 28-year-old has thrown at least seven innings in his last four starts, including two in the playoffs. Friday night may have been Lloyd’s final start in the Padres’ system, as he is eligible for free agency this off-season if he is not added to the 40-man roster. Lloyd and big league outfielder Hunter Renfroe are the only players remaining in the Padres’ system from the 2013 draft. Lloyd was taken in the 29th round that year. … RHP Evan Miller relieved Lloyd and struck out the side in a scoreless frame. Miller broke out in the first half with Lake Elsinore, where he pitched to a 1.15 ERA with 10 saves, earning a spot on the Cal League All-Star team. Miller’s ERA spiked a bit with Amarillo but his peripheral numbers were actually better in Double-A. Miiler is one of many pitchers who will be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft this winter.
Visalia Rawhide 4 Storm 2
(Visalia leads the best-of-five series, 2-1)
Key Statistics: 2B Xavier Edwards 3-for-4, 2B; SS Gabriel Arias 1-for-4, R, HR (1), 2 RBI; C Jalen Washington 1-for-2, 2B, BB; RHP Caleb Boushley 7 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, BB, 4 K; RHP Henry Henry (L, 0-1) IP, 2 H, 2 ER.
Prospect Watch: Like the Sod Poodles, the Storm will be facing an elimination game on the road Saturday night. … Shortstop Gabriel Arias smacked a two-run homer for the only runs the Storm would tally Friday night. The young shortstop put together his immense skills in the second half of the season, flashing power while drastically reducing his strikeouts at the plate. Overall, Arias’ production was 20 percent above league-average this year. He won’t turn 20 until after he reports to Peoria next year. … RHP Caleb Boushley did his best to keep the Storm in the game, pitching seven solid innings. The 2017 33rd-rounder quietly performed well for the Storm all year, providing quality innings from both the rotation and bullpen. The former Wisconsin-La Crosse starter averaged more than a strikeout per inning and his K/BB ratio was second in the Cal League among pitchers who threw 100 innings. … Xavier Edwards once again provided a spark at the top of the lineup, collecting a double among his three hits and scoring on Arias’ homer. The 20-year-old switch-hitter is 12-for-28 in the playoffs with six walks against three strikeouts in seven games. After a quick start in the Cal League following his July promotion, the Padres’ 2018 competitive balance pick struggled in August as more advanced pitchers challenged him with velocity in. … Henry Henry had a rough night, giving up the two winning runs to Visalia in the eighth. The 20-year-old righty, who hit just four batters in 80 innings through the regular season, plunked two of the first three hitters he faced Friday. After three frustrating years working as a starter, the talented hurler converted to a multi-inning role at the back of the Fort Wayne bullpen this year. He showed flashes of dominance, and will be asked to continue to develop as a late-inning reliever in 2020.