Matt Strahm making his first rehab appearance of the year. (Photo: Jorge Salgado)

Game 1: Albuquerque Isotopes 10, Chihuahuas 6 (7 Innings)

Key Statistics:  RF Tucupita Marcano 1-2, RBI, SB (4), BB; SS Pedro Florimon  0-1, 2 BB; LG Gosuke Katoh1-2, 2B, RBI, BB; 3B Chris Batten 1-2, 2B, 2 RBI, SB (11); LHP Jerry Keel 4.0 IP 9 H 7 R 7 ER 2 BB 4 K 4 HR; RHP Mason Thompson (L, 3-3) 2.0 IP 3 H R ER BB 2 K; LHP Matt Strahm 1.0 IP 2 H 2 R ER 3 K.

Game 2: Chihuahuas 3, Albuquerque Isotopes 2 (7 Innings)

Key Statistics: LF Taylor Kohlwey 2-2, BB; Nick Tanielu 2-3, 2 HR (8) 2 RBI; C Luis Campusano 1-3 HR (8), RBI; LHP Aaron Leasher 3.2 IP 7 H 2 R 2 ER 6 K; RHP Jordan Guerrero  (W, 2-0) 2.0 IP BB

Aaron Leasher in action for Game 2 on Saturday night. (Photo: Jorge Salgado)

Prospect Watch: In the first game, El Paso could not overcome three home runs by Isotopes third baseman Taylor Motter, all given up by Chihuahuas starter Jerry Keel. The big news for the Padres organization in the first game was the return of Matt Strahm, making his first rehab appearance after off-season knee surgery. After striking out the first batter, Strahm ran into a little trouble with an error and back-to-back singles, before striking out the final two. The lefty will be asked to be a major contributor to the big league staff down the stretch. … Mason Thompson took the loss in a two-inning stint. The 6-foot-7 Texan has the stuff, with a big fastball that sits in the high-90s, but has a 5.61 ERA on the year with 22 strikeouts against eight walks and 24 hits in 25.2 innings. He has solid control, but the command of the fastball remains a question. … In Game 2 it was El Paso with three home runs, two by Nick Tanielu and one by Luis Campusano. The 22-year-old catcher has now hit half of his eight homers for the year this month to go with a .981 OPS in July. … Aaron Leasher had a better second outing in Triple-A than his first with six punchouts in 3.2 innings.  He does not have an overpowering pitch but relies on pinpoint command of his four-seam fastball to set up his changeup and slider. His big advantage is that he has a very good understanding of what he is – and what he is not – as a pitcher.

Transactions;  RHP Chase Johnson was released by the organization.  The Fallbrook native had a 10.80 ERA in 30 innings with El Paso.  INF Zack Mathis, an undrafted 2020 free agent who was with the Low-A Storm before moving up to fill a void for the Chihuahuas is now on his way to the High-A TinCaps. With Lake Elsinore, he has mainly played third base but has also seen time at second and first. When San Diego signed him the intention was to move him behind the plate. Both LHP Daniel Camarena and RHP Miguel Diaz were optioned back to El Paso by the Padres.

Adrian Martinez had another strong outing. (Photo: Joe Alexander)

Game 1: Missions 2, Springfield Cardinals 0 (7 Innings)

Key Statistics: SS Eguy Rosario 1-3, HR(9), RBI; 3B Allen Cordoba 1-2, BB; RHP Adrian Martiniez (W, 6-3)  6.0 IP 2 H 3 BB 3 K; RHP Jose Quezada (S,10)

Game 2: Missions 2, Springfield Cardinals 0 (7 Innings)

Key Statistics: RF Jack Suwinski 2-2, HR (15), RBI, BB; 3B Allen Cordoba1-2, 2B, RBI; LHP Osvaldo Hernandez (W, 3-6) 5.2 IP 3 H bb 5 K; RHP Pedro Avila (S,2) 1.1 IP.

Osvaldo Hernandez got the win in the second game. (Photo: Joe Alexander)

Prospect Watch: The Missions won their two games with the same scores and same types of performances. In the first game, Adrian Martinez continued to make a strong push for promotion with six more shutout innings to drop his ERA to 0.39 ERA in 23 innings in July. After struggling to an 0-3 record and a 4.91 ERA in May, the 24-year-old has gone 6-0 since, giving up just eight earned runs in 41.1 innings with his sinker/slider combination. The best move right now could be promoting him to Triple-A where hitters have more experience waiting out quality sinkerball pitchers. … Also after a rough first month, Eguy Rosario is having another solid month, hitting .316/.398/.500. The 21-year-old has nine home runs and 24 extra-base hits overall, and is going to have to be added to the 40-man roster this offseason. The versatile infielder could be a trade piece at the deadline. … In the second game, Osvaldo Hernandez threw his second shutout in July, pushing his ERA for the month to 2.61 in 20.2 innings. The diminutive Cuban signee from 2016 is one of the more athletic pitchers in the organization. When he is on, the 23-year-old can throw a wide array of pitches from multiple arm angles. … Jack Suwinski went 1-2 in the opener then reached base all three times with a home run in the nightcap. He ranks fourth in the Double-A Central with both a .949 OPS and 15 home runs.

Erik Sabrowski has thrown well as a starter. (Photo: Jeff Nycz)

Dayton Dragons 4, TinCaps 3

Key Statistics:  CF Reinaldo Ilarraza 1-2, 2B, BB, SB 2 (25)(CS); DH Agustin Ruiz 1-3, 2BBB; LHP Erik Sabrowski 5.0 IP 4 H R ER 3 BB 4 K;  RHP Felix Minjarez (L, 3-4) 2.0 IP 5 H 3 R 3 ER BB K; LHP Sam Williams 1.0 IP 2 K; RHP Sam Keating 1.0 IP H 2 K

Reinaldo Ilarraza has 25 stolen bases on the year. (Photo: Jeff Nycz)

Prospect Watch: Down 4-2 in the eighth inning, the TinCaps waited out a 33-minute rain delay before Tirso Ornelas score on a wild pitch to close the gap, but the club couldn’t do more against the Reds’ affiliate. … Erik Sabrowski had another strong outing, allowing just one earned run over five innings.  A 14th-round selection out of Cloud County Community College in 2018, the 23-year-old Canadian has struck out 41 in 29 innings with the TinCaps this season after a long injury delay to start to his career. After building up in the bullpen when he joined the club, the lefty he has gone five innings in all of his first three starts and given up only four earned runs. … After reaching base twice and swiping a pair of bases, Reinaldo Ilarraza is now fifth in the High-A Central with 25 stolen bases and a .348 on-base percentage while splitting time between center field and second base.

Transactions: Before the game, the TinCaps announced the release of catcher Andelson Arias, who was an international signee in 2018; first baseman Seamus Curran, who was signed as a minor league free agent in late May and had a .706 OPS; and outfielder Jawuan Harris, the Padres’ seventh-round selection out of Rutgers in 2018. Harris was a multi-sport athlete at Rutgers and was one of the fastest players in the organization, but struggled this season with a .290 on-base percentage.

Inland Empire 66ers 9,  Storm 4

Key Statistics: C Brandon Valenzuela 2-4; LF Angel Solarte 2-4, 2B; RHP Nick Thwaits 4.0 IP 4.0 IP 5 H 3 R 3 ER BB 5 K; LHP Gabe Morales (L,2- 2-2) 2.2 IP 5 H 5 R 5 ER 2 BB 6 K 2 HR  

Padres prospect Brandon Valenzuela plays for the Lake Elsinore Storm

Brandon Valenzuela has been a stalwart behind the plate for Lake Elsinore. (Photo: Dinur Blum)

Prospect Watch: Down 3-0 going into the top of the sixth, the Storm surged to a brief lead on the back of three RBI singles, but two home runs including a grand slam in the bottom of the seventh, sent Lake Elsinore home with the loss. … With a pair of hits, Brandon Valenzuela pushed his slash-line in July to an impressive .359/.414/.516. The 20-year old Hermosillo, Mexico native spent 2019 with the AZL Padres hitting .248/.399/.290 in 183 plate appearances before he’d physically developed. For the season, he is batting .302/.384/.442. With the depth the TinCaps above, Valenzuela should stay with the Storm for the full season and consolidate his gains. … With Joshua Mears hitting the injured list, the club will rely more on outfielder Angel Solarte. The 20-year-old had a single and double and has hit in 10 of 11 games. Held back in the desert to open the season, the Venezuelan is hitting .352 this month, though he’s drawn just one walk in 76 plate appearances.

ACL Mariners 5, ACL Padres 2

Key Statistics: 1B Anthony Nunez 1-3, 2B, BB; Justin Lange (L, 0-1) 3.0 IP 4 R 4 ER 4 BB 5 K; RHP Josh Paulina 4.0 IP 4 H R ER BB HR

Prospect Watch: Justin Lange pitched better than in his last outing, but is still struggling with some feast-or-famine outcomes. The Padres’ Competitive Balance pick last year was always seen as somewhat of a development project and was expected to spend most of the year refining his massive tools. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Texan is particularly focused on his command and secondary pitches. … Joshua Paulina, the rare high schooler to sign as an undrafted free agent, has piggybacked with Lange, striking out 14 in 13.1 innings against six walks and 11 hits. 

Transactions: The Padres released catcher Wilfredo Tovar, 19, and RHP Edgar Martinez, 20, from the ACL, a day after announcing that righties Frank Lopez and Manny Guzman, and infielder Luis Paez had been let go. Organizations can only have 180 active minor league players under contract in the US, so there may be additional moves in the coming days as the team prepares to activate some of their 18 draftees and six undrafted free agents.

Posted by John Conniff

John grew up in Poway and has written for MadFriars since 2004. He has written articles for Baseball America, FoxSports San Diego, the El Paso Times, San Antonio Express-News, Amarillo Globe-News, Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette and Pacific Daily News in addition to appearing on numerous radio programs and podcasts. He can also break down the best places to eat for all five of the affiliates. There is no best place to eat in Peoria, Arizona.

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