Oklahoma City Dodgers 8, Chihuahuas 3
Key Statistics: RF-CF Brian O’Grady 3-for-5, RBI; SS Tucupita Marcano 2-for-4, R, BB; RHP Jesse Scholtens (L, 2-4) 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K; RHP Parker Markel 0.0 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, K
Prospect Watch: The Chihuahuas saw their three game winning streak come to an end as the bullpen faltered late at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. El Paso managed eight hits, all singles. … Jesse Scholtens deserved a much better fate, exiting the game trailing just 1-0. The former Wright State Raider tossed six solid innings before departing, lowering his ERA to 3.47, good for third best in the Triple-A West. … Parker Markel, who came in to relieve Scholtens, was far less fortunate. After the leadoff hitter reached base on a strikeout wild pitch, former Padre Carlos Asuaje tripled and Keibert Ruiz launched a two-run home run, which sent Markel to an early exit and essentially put the game out of reach. Offensively, the Chihuahuas were led by Brian O’Grady, who reached base safely three times. The 29-year-old has been a victim of the numbers game at the big league level, but continues to post stellar numbers in El Paso, with an OPS of 1.119. … Tucupita Marcano aided the offensive effort with a pair of singles and a walk. Marcano, 21, continues to showcase his ability to make consistent contact while shuffling around the diamond defensively. In eight June games, Marcano owns a .452 average.
Missions 5, Northwest Arkansas Naturals 3
Key Statistics: SS CJ Abrams 1-for-3, RBI, CS (1); 2B Eguy Rosario 3-for-4, 2B, 2 SB, 2 R; CF José Azocar 2-for-4, 3B, RBI, R; RF Jack Suwinski 1-for-3, HR (11), RBI, 2 R, BB; RHP Reggie Lawson 2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 K: RHP Adrian Martinez (W, 2-3) 5 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 5 K; RHP Tom Cosgrove (S, 1) 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, K
Prospect Watch: Mother Nature was the star of the show early, as a rain delay halted action in the top of the third inning for over an hour. Before the skies opened up, Reggie Lawson took another step forward in his return from Tommy John surgery. The talented 23-year-old righthander threw two spotless innings, recording a pair of strikeouts and needing just 25 pitches to stifle a talented Naturals lineup. Lawson’s future may ultimately be in the bullpen, but the stuff plays. … Adrian Martinez entered the game in the third and tossed five efficient innings, giving the Missions some valuable length in relief. The 24-year-old Mexicali native struck out five, lowering his ERA to 4.06 on the season. Offensively, Jack Suwinski continues to be hotter than the surface of the sun. The 22-year-old “pop up” prospect blasted his eleventh home run of the season in the fifth, vaulting him into a three way tie for the league lead. Suwinski’s slash line in June now stands at .357/.451/.905. … Not to be overshadowed, Eguy Rosario posted a three hit effort, including his seventh double of the season while adding a pair of stolen bases. Rosario, 21, has quietly raised his OPS to a solid .803 after scuffling in May.
Dayton Dragons 5, TinCaps 4
Key Statistics: C Jonny Homza 2-for-5, RBI, R, 3 K; 3B Kelvin Melean 2-for-4, R; LHP Ethan Elliott 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, BB, 5 K; RHP Brandon Komar 2.1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 4 K; RHP Sam Williams (L, 1-1) (BS, 1) 0.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, BB
Prospect Watch: The much-maligned TinCaps bullpen entered the contest with an ERA of 6.74 and did themselves no favors, squandering a three run lead in the ninth to lose in walkoff fashion in Dayton. The unfortunate ending spoiled another gem by staff ace Ethan Elliott, who continued his dominant run with six innings of one run ball, needing just 81 pitches. The polished lefty out of Lincoln Memorial University (Tennessee) has limited opposing hitters to a .182 average in 41.2 innings on the season. Sam Williams came on in relief of Brandon Komar, inheriting a runner at second and a 4-2 lead. The Dragons greeted Williams with a pair of singles and a walk before ending the game with a two run double off the bat of Reniel Ozuna. The TinCaps were led offensively by rising prospect Jonny Homza out of the leadoff spot. The 22-year-old Alaskan posted a multi-hit effort, but did strike out three times, part of a whopping 18 strikeout effort by the visitors. Homza still holds a stellar .937 OPS in his first season in the Summit City… Kelvin Melean contributed two hits of his own, while managing to be the only player to escape the strikeout column. The Venezuelan has struggled to make contact at a consistent rate in 2021, with a strikeout rate north of 27%.
Storm 6, Inland Empire 66ers 2
Key Statistics: DH Zack Mathis 3-for-4, 1B Sean Guilbe 1-for-3, 2B, HBP, RBI, R; C Gilberto Vizcarra 1-for-4, 2 RBI; SS Jordy Barley 1-for-5, HR (6), 2 RBI, R; RHP Carlos Guarate 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 K; LHP Ramón Pérez (W, 3-2) 2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
Prospect Watch: With Robert Hassell III getting the night off, the Lake Elsinore offense was thoroughly held in check by 66ers starter Robinson Pina through seven innings. The Storm, though, took advantage of a bullpen implosion to pull away late for the road victory in San Bernardino. Jordy Barley put the visitors ahead for good with his sixth home run of the year in the eighth inning. The enigmatic 21-year-old out of the Dominican Republic is the definition of toolsy, but has been erratic defensively and inconsistent offensively throughout his minor league career. … The other decisive blow came from Gilberto Vizcarra, who hit a rare three run single in the ninth, capitalizing on some shoddy outfield defense from the hosts. Vizcarra, 22, has seen limited playing time behind well-regarded catching prospect Brandon Valenzuela, posting an OPS of .557 in 25 games. … Storm starter Carlos Guarate locked in a duel with Pina, twirling six stellar innings of his own. The 20-year-old from Tinaquillo, Venezuela threw 57 strikes in his 74 pitch effort. Ramón Pérez backed up Guarate’s performance with two innings of his own, earning the win. The Cuban southpaw has been a solid contributor out of the bullpen, owning a 3.13 ERA over 37.1 innings in 2021.