Sugar Land Skeeters 24, Chihuahuas 15

Key Stats: 1B Nick Tanielu 4-for-6, 2B, 2 R; SS Pedro Florimon 3-for-4, HR (4), BB, 3 R, 3 RBI; C Michael Cantu 2-for-4, HR (2), BB; DH Patrick Kivlehan 2-for-4, HR (10); LHP Jerry Keel 4 IP, 11 H, 10 R, 5 K, BB; RHP Sam McWilliams 0.0 IP, 0 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, HBP;

Prospect Watch: With a depleted pitching staff and a game full of offense, the Chihuahuas had to turn to infielder Matt Batten to take the mound with one out in the seventh and roll with him as he gave up eight runs over the final 2.2 frames. The 25-year-old, who was called on for a three-inning appearance earlier in the year, was effective in seven mop-up appearances for El Paso in 2019. With the Padres shuttling pitchers to the big leagues and several members of the Chihuahuas staff on significant workload controls, Jerry Keel labored through four innings, giving up 10 earned runs. After Jordan Guerrero and Parker Markel worked an inning a piece, Sam McWilliams failed to record an out as he walked two and hit a batter and James Reeves, working back-to-back days for the first time all year, needed 20 pitches to get one out. That left Batten as the club’s best option. … The Chihuahuas offense hung with Sugar Land most of the night, putting up 15 runs on 20 hits. The combined 39 runs is a new record for a game involving the Chihuahuas. Nick Tanielu led the club with four hits as eight different Chihuahuas came up with multiple knocks. With Luis Campusano out of the lineup for the second straight game after appearing to injury his throwing hand behind the plate Friday night, Michael Cantu hit a two-run homer and reached base safely three times.

Jose Azocar was 1-3 on the day. (Photo: Joe Alexander)

Northwest Arkansas Naturals 8,  Missions 2

Key Stats: 2B CJ Abrams 1-for-4, 2B, RBI; CF Jose Azocar 1-for-3, BB; RHP Reggie Lawson 0.2 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 2 K, 2 BB; RHP Adrian Martinez 5 IP, 7 H, 3 R (2 ER), 7 K, 0 BB, 2 HBP

Prospect Watch: Reggie Lawson had a rough go in his third outing of the year, failing to make it out of the first inning. The big righty, coming back from Tommy John surgery last April, opened the game by walking the first two Naturals hitters and then giving up a homer to Royals prospect Nick Pratto. After allowing a double, he struck out two in a row before giving way. Lawson threw just 16 of his 31 pitches for strikes and got only three swinging strikes. He’ll likely get a chance to push his pitch count up in July. … Adrian Martinez struck out a season-high seven batters in five innings in a scheduled piggy-back appearance. The 24-year-old righty from Mexicali has a 3.06 ERA with a stellar 20:3 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 17.2 innings of work this month. … The Missions managed just four hits in the contest, with CJ Abrams‘s double standing as the club’s only extra-base effort. After slugging .443 in May, the Padres’ top position prospect has fallen off to a .385 mark in June. With Abrams making the start at second base, Eguy Rosario logged his fourth game at shortstop. The versatile 21-year-old failed to reach base for just the second time this month.

Kelvin Melean had his biggest offensive game of the year Sunday. (Photo: Jeff Nycz)

TinCaps 11, Dayton Dragons 2

Key Stats: C Jonny Homza 4-for-5, 2B, 2R; 3B Kelvin Melean 4-for-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 5 RBI; RF Agustin Ruiz 1-for-3, 2B, HBP, SF, 3 RBI; LHP Ethan Elliott 4 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 5 K, 1 BB, HB; RHP Brandon Komar 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 5 K, 1 BB

Prospect Watch: While Ethan Elliott has frequently dominated this year, Sunday was more of a struggle for the lefty. The 24-year-old labored through four innings, giving up a pair of runs on two solo homers by Mike Siani over four frames. For all his success for the TinCaps, the longball has been a concern all year. Elliott has allowed only 11 total runs over 45.2 innings but has surrendered 10 homers. The 2019 10th-rounder needed 75 pitches as he struck out five but also allowed six batters to reach safely in his shortest outing since opening day. Elliott continues to lead the league in strikeouts and is now second on the circuit with a 2.17 ERA. … Kelvin Melean and Jonny Homza led the TinCaps offense in its best performance of the series. Homza collected his first four-hit game of the year, mixing in a double to push his OPS for June up over 1.000. Melean connected on his first homer of the year and came up a double short of the cycle. The 2015 international signee set a career-high with five RBI out of the eighth spot in the lineup.

Brandon Valenzuela has done much of his damage from the left side. (Photo: Antonio Gonzalez)

Inland Empire 66’ers 5, Storm 3

Key Stats: LF Matt Acosta 1-for-2, HR (4), 2 BB; DH Brandon Valenzuela 1-for-2, HR (4), 2 BB; RHP Dwayne Matos 2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 K, 1 BB; RHP Carlos Guarate 4 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 4 K, 0 BB; RHP Chase Walter 1 IP, 2 K, 1 BB

Prospect Watch: Making his first start in four weeks, Dwayne Matos allowed a two-run homer in the second of his two innings of work. The 20-year-old righty didn’t strike out a batter and issued just one free pass to the same lineup he dominated in his second outing of the year. Working behind Matos, Carlos Guarate gave up four hits over four innings, but three went for extra-bases, costing him a pair of runs as well. On the year, the athletic Venezuelan sports a 35:5 strikeout-to-walk ratio and has held opponents to a .238 average, but he’s given up enough hard contact to own a 3.95 ERA. … Matt Acosta and Brandon Valenzuela each collected their fourth homers of the year and both drew two walks. The rest of the Storm offense, though, managed just four more total bases and two walks between them. Acosta, who grew up just down Route 60 in Chino Hills, had a huge series, going 8-for-18 with a .944 slugging percentage and more walks than strikeouts. … Valenzuela, 20, has hit all four of his homers from the left side, where he sports a .804 OPS. Hitting right-handed, that mark sits at .660.

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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