MacKenzie Gore pitching in El Paso

MacKenzie Gore got the nod in the Chihuahuas’ opening day. (Photo: Jorge Salgado)

With the Major League club off Thursday, the farm system more than made up with action, though the Chihuahuas brought home the only win for the Padres organization.

Chihuahuas 5, Albuquerque Isotopes 3

Key Stats: LHP MacKenzie Gore, 6IP, 8 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 5 K; 1B-LF Gosuke Katoh, 2-for-4, 2B, RBI; C Luis Campusano, 1-for-3, BB; 3B-1B Nick Tanielu, 1-for-2, 2 R, RBI, BB; RHP Mason Thompson (S,1), 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R,  0 BB, K;

Prospect Watch: A late rally gave El Paso the win in their home opener in front of an electric crowd of 6,365 at Southwest University Park. … MacKenzie Gore made his debut in front of the home crowd in El Paso, and ended up with a good line in the box score after some ups and downs. After a quick first inning, Gore got knocked around a bit in the second and third, allowing three runs on six hits, including three doubles. The star lefty then pulled it together, dispatching seven straight Isotopes to end his evening. He wrapped up his outing by striking out the side before sharing in the emotions of the crowd after his last out. Gore threw 53 of his 89 pitches for strikes. … Gosuke Katoh made Rancho Bernardo High proud with a two-hit night.  Katoh got the Chihuahuas on the board with an RBI double in the bottom of the fifth, and scored in the seventh on a wild pitch to give El Paso the lead. … Luis Campusano got on the board with a sharp single.  Three of Campusano’s seven hits have come in the past two games. He is officially heating up. … Mason Thompson logged his first professional save without allowing a baserunner in the ninth. Thompson, the Padres’ 2016 third round selection, has struggled with command and health as a pro, but his tantalizing stuff and frame earned him an addition to the 40-man roster in the offseason. While he had developed as a starter before 2021, he has made four relief appearances on the year, and is 1-for-2 in save opportunities.

Padres prospect Esteury Ruiz for Lake Elsinore StormEsteury Ruiz has been dynamic when he’s made contact throughout his career. (Photo: Jerry Espinoza)

Midland RockHounds 9,  Missions 7 

Key Stats: LF Esteury Ruiz, 4-for-4, 3B, R, 2 RBI; 2B Chris Givin, 1-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI, BB; 1B Brad Zunica, 1-for-5, 2B, RBI, R; DH Olivier Basabe, 1-for-3, 3B, R, RBI; CF Jose Azocar, 3-for-5, 3B, R; RHP Jose Quezada, 2.1IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K

Prospect Watch:  The RockHounds jumped out to an early lead, and broke out with a 5-run fifth inning after San Antonio tied the game in the top of the fourth.  A night after getting a breather at DH, CJ Abrams returned to shortstop, going hitless for the second night in the row, but reached base safely in his ninth straight game via a walk. … Esteury Ruiz had himself a night, with three singles and a triple.  The 22-year-old is now slashing .333/.438/.481. Ruiz was bypassed for a 40-man spot this winter after finishing the 2019 season on the shelf and not getting an invite to the alternate site last summer. Now playing exclusively left field, Ruiz has always shown elite bat speed and plus run times since the Padres acquired him in 2017, but struggles with contact and in-game decision-making. … Olivier Basabe tripled, scored a run, and drove in a run in the DH spot. The 23-year-old utilityman has a pair of hits in two games since joining San Antonio. … Outfielder Jose Azocar had three hits, including a triple.  The 25-year-old hit prospect radar when Detroit brought him stateside back in 2015, but hasn’t gotten to the power some thought would emerge. He joined the Padres organization as a minor league free agent this winter. … Jose Quezada has put all zeroes on the scoreboard through three appearances. The right-hander is just 5-foot-9, but he has struck out 109 in 87.1 innings since the Padres drafted him in the 10th round in 2018.

Roster move: OF Michael Curry was promoted from Fort Wayne after San Antonio played with a two-man bench on Wednesday.

Lake County Captains 8, TinCaps 2

Key Stats:  3B Ethan Skender, 2-for-2, 2B, R, HBP;  C Adam Kerner, 1-for-2, 2B, R, RBI, BB; 1B Jonny Homza, 1-for-4; 2B Kelvin Melean, 1-for-4, RBI

Ethan Skender has squared up the ball regularly for Fort Wayne. (Photo: Jeff Nycz)

Prospect Watch:  Fort Wayne got tagged for 17 hits by Lake County in a rough loss. Ethan Skender paced the TinCaps offense with two of the club’s five hits for the evening, including a double and run scored.  Although Skender is 24 and was drafted in 2016, injuries and the pandemic have led to this being his first full season of pro ball. So far, he’s slashing .306/.375/.446. … USD alum Adam Kerner had an RBI double. All three of Kerner’s hits in his first pro season have gone for extra bases, including one triple … Jonny Homza got out from behind the plate and logged his first career start at first base. The 21-year-old lined one single to left field in four trips to the plate.

Inland Empire 66ers 3, Storm 0

Our own Kevin Charity was in attendance at the Diamond in Lake Elsinore, and has the recap for this game.

Posted by Mark Wilkens

Born in San Diego and raised in Escondido, Mark now calls Phoenix home. Prior to MadFriars, Mark had multiple articles featured on Bleacher Report and covering the Padres, Angels and Clippers.

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