El Paso and Fort Wayne took tough losses on the road, San Antonio won big in Amarillo, the Storm’s lineup was impacted by a trade and injuries, and some new acquisitions made waves in the Arizona Complex League.

Robbie Podorsky has been a spark plug for the El Paso offense. (Photo: Jorge Salgado)

Sugar Land Skeeters 4, Chihuahuas 3 

Key Stats: LHP Daniel Camarena 2.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 K, 3 BB; Aaron Leasher, 3.1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 K; CF Robbie Podorsky, 2-for-3, 2B, R, BB, SB; C Luis Campusano, 2-for-4, 2B, BB; RF Taylor Kohlwey, 2-for-5, R; 3B Nick Tanielu, 1-for-5, HR, R, RBI;

Prospect Watch: It was a bitter night in Sugar Land for the Chihuahuas, who took the lead in the eighth when Taylor Kohlwey scored on a wild pitch. But El Paso lost the lead when the Skeeters drew blood in the bottom of the ninth, and finally the game in the bottom of the 10th, on a wild pitch of their own. Kohlwey had a two-hit night, raising his average to .362 in 130 at-bats with El Paso this year. His July has been particularly scorching, slashing .393/.440/.607 in 84 at-bats in the month. … Aaron Leasher‘s first relief appearance of 2021 was the finest of his three appearances (two starts) since arriving in El Paso on July 18. The lefty allowed one run on a sac fly, striking out two, and walking none. The 25-year-old Leasher, the Padres’ sixth-round selection in 2017, was promoted to El Paso after impressing down in San Antonio with a 4-4 record, 2.56 ERA, and 52 strikeouts in 52.2 innings pitched for the Missions. … Robbie Podorsky collected a pair of base hits including a double as the outfielder from Baton Rouge, Louisiana kept a mini hitting streak going to three games. The 2017 25th round pick is slashing .370/.452/.556 in 27 at-bats on the road in Triple-A this season. … Luis Campusano followed up a three-hit night Wednesday with a two-hit outing as he continues to feast on Triple-A West pitching in July, slugging a .320/.378/.640 slash line for the month. … Nick Tanielu hit his ninth home run of the season and fourth of July. His .815 OPS in July is his best monthly mark of the season, raising his overall mark to .709.

Esteury Ruiz has been a consistent contributor to San Antonio since returning from injury. (Photo: Joe Alexander)

Missions 10, Amarillo Sod Poodles 3

Key Stats: LHP Osvaldo Hernandez, 5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K; RHP Henry Henry (W, 3-0), 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, K; LHP Joe Beimel, 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, K; SS Eguy Rosario, 3-for-5, 2B, R, 2 RBI; RF Esteury Ruiz, 2-for-5, 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI; DH Michael Curry, 2-for-5, HR, R, 2 RBI; LF Dwanya Williams-Sutton, 1-for-5, HR, R, 2 RBI;

Prospect Watch: You can’t go home again, but the Padres Double-A affiliate sure made themselves right at home in the ballpark that hosted San Diego’s Double-A players in 2019. Osvaldo Hernandez followed up 5.2 scoreless innings on July 24 with 5.2 innings of two-run ball tonight. The 23-year-old native of Havana, Cuba, has done his best work in July, going 2-2 with a 2.73 ERA in five starts. … Henry Henry only allowed one baserunner while recording four outs for his third win of the 2021 season. Henry, who is armed with a good slider and reversible name, is in his second season of working exclusively in relief. The long-limbed righty has picked up where he left off in 2019, going 3-0 with a 3.27 ERA, walking 16 and striking out 28 in 41.1 innings for San Antonio. The 22-year-old Dominican joined the Padres as part of the 2015 signing class. … Joe Beimel, the only Missions player born in the 1970s, delivered a scoreless inning in relief. Beimel, perhaps best-known to Padres fans for allowing Tony Gwynn’s final career home run as a rookie in 2001, has begun a comeback after last playing affiliated baseball in 2016, and last appearing in the big leagues in 2014 for Seattle. Beimel, an El Paso resident, credits new pitch-tracking technology and a willingness to embrace data and make suggested changes for improving his stuff to the point where he felt he could come back and contribute again to a Major League club. … Eguy Rosario has a four-game hitting streak thanks to three hits Thursday. Rosario has followed up a June in which he batted to the tune of a .971 OPS with a July slash line of .330/.407/.521. … San Antonio started the scoring in the top of the third thanks to a double by Esteury Ruiz, who also homered in the top of the eighth to cap off the scoring the Missions. Ruiz has slashed .313/.353/.750 in four games since returning from the IL on July 25. He’s connected on two homers in this stretch after just one in his first 114 at-bats. … Michael Curry continues to swing a hot bat in July, collecting two hits out of the DH slot to extend his hitting streak to four games. Curry’s gotten on base at a higher rate each month this season, something he credits to a changed outlook on pitch selection at the plate, especially with two strikes. In July, he’s hit his way to a .896 OPS, topping a .659 mark in June and .669 in May. … Dwanya Williams-Sutton connected on his third homer of the month. Williams-Sutton, the Padres’ 5th round selection in 2018, has a career .397 OBP in 502 at-bats in the Padres organization. Five of his seven hits in July have gone for for extra bases.

Moises Lugo gave the TinCaps a chance to win with his start Thursday. (Photo: Jeff Nycz)

Lansing Lugnuts 6, TinCaps 3 

Key Stats: RHP Moises Lugo, 5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K; LHP Mason Feole, 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K; 2B Ethan Skender, 3-for-4, 3B, R, RBI; CF Reinaldo Illarrraza, 1-for-4, 3B, 2 RBI;

Prospect Watch: Moises Lugo turned in another solid start, and has now allowed two earned runs in his last 14 innings pitched for Fort Wayne. A member of the 2017 signing class, Lugo is 2-3 with a 3.49 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 59.1 innings of work for the TinCaps. … Mason Feole, a 2019 11th-round pick, made his fifth straight scoreless appearance. After issuing 12 walks in his first 4.2 innings, Feole has issued just three in this current stretch. The University of Connecticut product is playing in his first professional season after undergoing Tommy John surgery just after the draft. … Ethan Skender had a trio of hits, including a triple. The 24-year-old infielder is 11-for-27 with four doubles against left-handed pitching this season. … Reinaldo Illaraza had his third multi-hit game of the month. A member of the 2015 signing class, Illarraza connected on his fourth extra-base hit on the road this season. His successes have come primarily at home, where he is slashing .302/.403/.372.

Fresno Grizzlies 3, Storm 2

Key Stats: DH Brandon Valenzuela 2-for-4, 2B; CF Robert Hassell III 1-for-4; RHP Jesus Lugo 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R (1 ER), 6 K, 1 BB; RHP Jose Ochoa 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 K, 0 BB

Prospect Watch: David Jay was on-hand as a thinned-out Elsinore line-up fell to the Rockies’ Low-A affiliate.


James Wood

James Wood steps into the box for the ACL Padres. (Photo Credit: Mark Wilkens)

ACL Padres 3, ACL Royals Gold 1

Key Stats: RHP Justin Lange, 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 2 K; RHP Jose Luis Reyes (W, 1-0). 2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K; 3B Max Ferguson, 2-for-3, 3B, R, RBI; SS Jackson Merrill, 1-for-2, 3B, R, RBI, BB; CF James Wood, 1-for-1, BB, HBP, RBI, 2 SB; DH River Ryan, 1-for-2, BB, SB

Prospect Watch: While he didn’t have his best stuff with the slider, Justin Lange threw four scoreless innings, avoiding hard contact and showing poise on the mound. Lange reduced his ERA to 4.60, and he now has 21 strikeouts in 15.2 innings of work. The 34th overall pick of the 2020 draft has shown an impressive slider for a pitcher only a year removed from high school. … Two scoreless innings of relief from Jose Luis Reyes kept things going for the Padres and earned the 18-year-old righty the win. A Mexicali native, Reyes signed with the Padres last fall. … Batting in the leadoff spot, Max Ferguson delivered his first two professional hits, the first a bunt single, and then a triple over the center fielder’s head to collect his first RBI. Ferguson, the Padres’ fifth round selection in 2021, played college ball at Tennessee. … 2021 first-rounder Jackson Merrill showed great discipline in three plate appearances, including a walk and an RBI triple he lined down the right field line. Merrill, drafted out of Severna Park High in Maryland, had a growth spurt to 6-foot-3 as he had a breakout senior year. … 2021 second-rounder James Wood made his pro debut. The 6-foot-7 Wood started in center field, and was hit by a pitch in his first plate appearance. He later delivered an impressive RBI single, driving in Merrill with a drive to the opposite field, before walking in his third plate appearance. Wood also stole second base after each free pass. The 18-year-old from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, has received high praise for his potential as a power hitter. … Also making his debut was 2021 eleventh round pick River Ryan, who started in the DH spot. Ryan, a pitcher and second baseman at UNC Pembroke, singled in his first professional at-bat, and also later drew a walk. He is the younger brother of Texas Rangers minor league pitcher, Ryder Ryan.

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 SI.com covering the Padres, Angels and Clippers.


  1. I want to see Lange and Merrill and Wood … that would be FUN!


    1. I’d love to attend the ACL games.


  2. Are those ACL games open to the public? I’d drive out there for a couple days if I could see the games.


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