Tacoma Rainiers 8, Chihuahuas 2
Key Statistics: SS Tucupita Marcano, 1-for-4, BB; CF John Andreoli, 1-for-4, R, HR (1), RBI; 1B Pedro Florimon, 2-for-4, 2 2B; LHP MacKenzie Gore (L, 0-1) 4 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K; RHP Aaron Northcraft, 1.1 IP, H, 5 R, ER, 3 BB, 2 K
Prospect Watch: It was a rough night for the Chihuahuas in Tacoma, as they drop their first game of the year. El Paso pitchers walked eight. … LHP MacKenzie Gore made his Triple-A debut and pitched to mixed results. Gore made it through four innings unscathed but fell apart in the fifth. After starting the inning with a walk, he hit the next batter before an RBI double knocked him out. Gore struggled to locate his fastball most of the evening although he seemed to find it in the fourth inning. Overall, Gore threw 94 pitches in four-plus innings, throwing 52 strikes. The lefty will need to hit his spots better to become a big-league option. … Center fielder John Andreoli homered – his only hit in four at-bats. The 30-year-old outfielder was signed to a minor league contract in February. He has 26 games of major league experience, having seen action in 2018 with Baltimore and Seattle. He is a career .267/.374/.395 hitter in the minors. … RHP Aaron Northcraft followed Gore and struggled to throw strikes. The side-winding Northcraft could not throw his fastball for a strike and Tacoma capitalized, scoring five runs off of him, with only one being earned.
Missions 5, Corpus Christi Hooks 4 (10 innings)
Key Statistics: CF Robbie Podorsky, 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 3B, BB; 2B CJ Abrams, 1-for-5 2 B, 2 RBI; C Juan Fernandez, 2-for-5, R; SS Matthew Batten, 2-for-5, 2 RBI; LHP Osvaldo Hernandez, 4 IP, H, ER, 6 K; LHP Sam Williams (W, 1-0) 2 IP, BB, 2 K.
Prospect Watch: The Missions won in extras to even up the six-game series at two wins a side. … CJ Abrams only had one hit but it was another double – his third of the year. Abrams is off to a .250/.368/.438 in his first four Double-A games. Abrams has struck out twice in each of the last three games; not exactly a surprise for a 20-year-old playing above Low-A for the first time. In 2019, Abrams’ K-rate was under 10% in the AZL. … Robbie Podorsky had a pair of triples and scored a pair of runs Friday night. The 26-year-old outfielder has eight hits in the first four games of the season and has struck out just once in 17 plate appearances. … LHP Osvaldo Hernandez made his first Double-A start and pitched four solid innings, allowing just one earned run while striking out six. It was the first time since 2018 that Hernandez cleared four innings. The last time we saw the 22-year-old Cuban, he was limited to three-inning outings in High-A. If Hernandez’s arm issues are behind him, he has a chance to blossom in the Missions rotation. … LHP Sam Williams pitched the final two innings and notched the victory. The former undrafted free agent bounced around in the Padres’ system in 2019, racking up 33 innings between his three stops. In three innings this year, Williams has allowed just one hit – a homer– while notching three strikeouts.
TinCaps 10, West Michigan Whitecaps 3
Key Statistics: DH Jawuan Harris, 2-for-4. 2 R, 2B, HR (1), 2 RBI, BB; 2B Reinaldo Ilarraza, 2-for-4, 2 R, BB; CF Agustin Ruiz, 2-for-3, 2 R, HR (1, grand slam), 4 RBI, BB; 3B Justin Lopez, 2-for-4, R, 2B, RBI; RHP Edgar Martinez, 3 IP, 2 H, ER, 4 BB, 2 K; RHP Brandon Komar (W, 1-0) 3.2 IP, H, 2 BB, 2 K.
Prospect Watch: John Conniff was on site for the TinCaps’ drubbing of the Tigers’ Low-A affiliate Read his recap here.
Storm 9, Visalia Rawhide 8 (10 innings)
Key Statistics: CF Robert Hassell III, 2-for-5, 3 R, HR (2), 2 RBI; 2B Jordy Barley, 3-for-5, R, HR (2) 2 RBI; C Brandon Valenzuela, 2-for-5, R, HR (2), RBI; 1B Jack Stronach, 2-for-5, R, HR (1), RBI; RHP Dwayne Matos, 4 IP, 4 H, 3 R, ER, 2 K; RHP Michell Miliano, 2 IP. H 2 R, BB, 6 K; RHP Jose Geraldo (W, 1-0) 2.2 IP, H, R, 2 K.
Prospect Watch: The Storm used a four-homer attack to beat the Rawhide in extra innings. Lake Elsinore scored nine runs despite striking out 14 times without drawing a walk and going just 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. … Robert Hassell III is making this professional baseball thing look really easy. The 19-year-old outfielder tripled and slugged his second homer of the year in Friday’s victory. After going hitless in his pro debut, Hassell has six hits over his last three games, along with a pair of stolen bases. … Catcher Brandon Valenzuela hit a homer as part of a multi-hit effort. The switch-hitting catcher has two homers in this series, after hitting just one in nearly 400 at-bats prior to 2021. Valenzuela is an excellent defensive catcher who could become a really interesting prospect if he can continue to flash more power. … Jordy Barley slid over to second base and had a three-hit night while also hitting his second blast of the year. The 21-year-old shortstop is off to a blistering .316/.350/.737 start with three stolen bases. Perhaps just as importantly, his strikeout rate is at a manageable 25% through four games. … RHP Michell Miliano threw a pair of frames Friday night and struck out six while allowing an unearned run. Miliano has struggled to harness his fastball but he only walked one batter in his two innings. The 21-year-old righty has punched out 10 in his first four innings with Lake Elsinore.