Pedro Avila makes his first start in over two years, while Agustin Ruiz leads an offensive explosion for the TinCaps.
Chihuahuas (29-41): El Paso split their most recent six-game series, and now travel to face first-place Sugar Land (41-30). Catcher, and commonly suggested trade bait, Luis Campusano has been on fire the last three weeks, hitting .310/.364/.634 with five home runs, and an even more surprising two triples.
Amarillo Sod Poodles 11; Missions 7
Key Stats: RHP Pedro Avila 3 IP, H, ER, 2 K; SS Eguy Rosario 2-for-4, 2 2B, RS, RBI, BB; RF Esteury Ruiz 2-for-4, RS, BB, SB (16); 1B Kyle Overstreet 2-for-5, RS
Prospect Watch: On April 11, 2019, RHP Pedro Avila made his major league debut throwing 5.1 innings allowing just one run against the Diamondbacks. A week later, he was back in Amarillo making the start for the Sod Poodles. He ended up leaving the start with an elbow injury. Fast forward two years to tonight, and Avila was back in Amarillo making his first start since that fateful outing. Avila has been pitching all year out of the pen. He has allowed runs in only six of his previous 25 outings going into tonight. While he has thrown 36 innings this year, tonight’s three-inning performance was his longest since 2019. Avila is still only 24 and has good enough talent, that when he is fully healthy he could slide in as a solid back of the rotation pitcher for the Padres. While he is likely to make more starts do not expect to see him go more than three in any of them, as three innings have been the max for players coming off injury.… Since CJ Abrams went down, shortstop Eguy Rosario has not only slid over to short but has taken the mantle of offensive leader. After posting a .571 OPS in May, he has had a .971 OPS in June, and now a .904 OPS in July. His .280/.370/.472 line is by far his best line since his .895 OPS has a 16-year-old in the DLS/AZL when many were touting him as the next great Padres prospect.
TinCaps 15, Lansing Lugnuts 5
Key Stats: RHP Anderson Espinoza 3 IP, 3 H, R, BB, 4 K; LF Grant Little 2-for-4, 2 RS, 2 RBI, 2B, BB; CF Agustin Ruiz 4-for-5, HR (13), 4 RS, 2 RBI, BB, 2B; RF Tirso Ornelas 3-for-6, 2 RS, 2 RBI, 2B; C Jonny Homza 3-for-5, 2 2B, 2 RS, 2 RBI; 1B Luiz Almanzar 2-for-5, 2 2B, RS, 4 RBI
Prospect Watch: Pedro Avila went three innings in the season coming off of surgery. It should be no surprise then that Anderson Espinoza also went three innings today. In fact, this was his sixth start throwing three innings, never more. Espinoza is starting to find his groove. His pitches are starting to get more spin and horizontal movement on them. He is still not back, but if you watch the video from his starts in May to today, he looks a lot more polished. Espinoza has struck out 10 over his last two starts (5.2 innings). … The story of the game was the offense. The TinCaps had 16 hits and eight extra-base hits, including four from outfielder Agustin Ruiz. While Ruiz has now reached base safely in all but four games this month, he collected just his third multi-hit game of the month. The four hits raised his month’s OPS over 100 points to .720. … Tirso Ornelas collected his lead leading 24th double. … Since the surprise release of Seamus Curran last week, first baseman Luis Almanzar has stepped up and started hitting. Since the release Almanzar has gone 5-for-16, 5 2B, 2 RS, 4 RBI, BB, SB. .313/.353/.625.
Fresno Grizzlies 4, Storm 1
Key Stats: CF Robert Hassell III 2-for-4, CS; 1B Matthew Acosta 1-for-3, HR (5), RBI; C Brandon Valenzuela 1-for-4; RHP Levi Thomas (L, 2-5) 5 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, BB, 4 K
Prospect Watch: After a rare 0-fer yesterday, CF Robert Hassell was back to his hitting ways. He reached base twice which slowly crept up that July OBP closer to .500 (currently at .478). The 36 hits thus far in July is also a career-high. … Matthew Acosta accounted for the lone Storm run. He hit a blast to deep right-center field for his fifth home run of the year. While the .255 batting average and .426 slugging do not particularly stand out for the former USC Trojan, Acosta has walked 42 times in 62 games and boasts a .382 OBP. That .382 OBP ranks him in the top 15 in the league (though behind three Storm players in Hassell, Joshua Mears, and Eurbiel Angeles).
The Arizona Padres have the day off. Jackson Merrill and the ACL Padres are in Peoria against the Royals tomorrow night.