Sacramento River Cats 4, Chihuahuas 2
Key Statistics: C Webster Rivas, 2-for-4; LF Yorman Rodriguez, 1-for-2, R, HR (3), RBI; CF Matthew Batten, 1-for-3; LHP Kyle McGrath (L, 2-2) 4 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, BB, 3 K; RHP Taylor Williams, IP, H, K.
Prospect Watch: The Chihuahuas lost their third straight as they fell to Sacramento. … Yorman Rodriguez had El Paso’s only extra-base hit of the evening, connecting for a homer in the third inning. It was Rodriguez’s fourth homer of the year and his third in a Chihuahuas uniform. The 24-year-old has enjoyed his limited time since reaching Triple-A, slashing .364/.417/.773 in 22 plate appearances. He had never played above Low-A before the Padres selected him in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft last winter. … LHP Kyle McGrath started for El Paso and took the loss despite pitching pretty well. McGrath threw a season-high four innings and allowed five hits and two earned runs, walking one and striking out three. McGrath, 29, started seven games for El Paso in 2019 so he has some experience but he has worked primarily out of the bullpen this year. The soft-tossing lefty doesn’t miss many bats these days – his strikeout rate is fifth-lowest among pitchers who’ve thrown 20 innings in the Triple-A West, but he should be able to eat innings for an El Paso staff that is light on depth. McGrath’s outing lowered his ERA to an unholy 6.66 this season. … RHP Taylor Williams continued his rehab assignment and fired a scoreless inning, punching out one. It was the second outing for Williams, as he makes his way back from a knee injury. … Luis Campusano missed his fifth straight start since exiting last Sunday’s game with a muscle strain. The 22-year-old catcher was able to come off the bench to pinch hit, flying out in his only at-bat.
Corpus Christi Hooks 9, Missions 2
Key Statistics: LF Esteury Ruiz, 1-for-5; 3B Allen Cordoba, 1-for-4, R; 2B Olivier Basabe, 2-for-4, R; RHP Matt Waldron (L, 0-3) 4.1 IP, 7 H, 7 ER, 3 BB, 6 K; RHP Brandon Komar, 3.2 IP, 2 H, ER, BB, 5 K.
Prospect Watch: The Hooks broke this one open in the fifth inning with a seven-run outburst and cruised to a win. Starter Matt Waldron cruised through the first four innings before running into trouble in the fifth. Waldron walked the leadoff batter, hit the next hitter, and allowed a single before uncorking a wild pitch and walking the bases back loaded. He struck out the next batter, but then allowed two singles before he was pulled from the game. Brandon Komar relieved him and allowed a three-run homer to the first batter he faced. When the smoke cleared, Waldron had allowed a career-high seven earned runs. The 24-year-old righty has been much more hittable since being promoted to San Antonio. Double-A batters are batting .303 against the former Nebraska hurler in four starts. If there is a positive, Waldron has had similar strikeout numbers since being promoted but the walks and hard contact have increased significantly. … Infielder Olivier Basabe was the only Missions player to find the hit column twice, collected a pair of singles. It was just the third multi-hit game all year for the 24-year-old. The former eighth-round pick has played sparingly for San Antonio since being promoted from Fort Wayne (more out of necessity than performance). Since June 26, Basabe has only had 53 plates appearances.
TinCaps 8, Great Lakes Loons 7
Key Statistics: LF Grant Little, 2-for-4, 2 R, BB, SB (15); CF Reinaldo Ilarraza, 2-for-5, R, 2 RBI; 3B Zack Mathis, 3-for-4, R, HR (2), BB, 4 RBI; 2B Ethan Skender, 2-for-4, HR (2), 2 R, 2 RBI; RHP Carlos Guarate, 4 IP, 10 H, 7 ER, 4 K; LHP Sam Williams, 2 IP, BB, 2 K; RHP Austin Smith (W, 3-3) 2 IP, 2 BB, 2 K.
Prospect Watch: It was a wild one in Midland, Michigan. The TinCaps jumped out to a 5-0 lead before falling behind in the middle innings. They won in extra innings, thanks to a Tirso Ornelas sacrifice fly. … The big blow in the first inning was a grand slam by Zack Mathis. Mathis, signed after last year’s draft as a free agent, opened the year in Lake Elsinore, where he played all over the infield. Since being promoted to Fort Wayne, the 22-year-old infielder is hitting .333/.395/.539 with two homers in 41 plate appearances. … Second baseman Ethan Skender followed Mathis with a homer of his own. It was Skender’s second homer of the year. Skender struggled in July but is 5-for-10 to start August. His overall slash-line of .247/.350/.367 is right at league average. Skender’s two-plus year journey to overcome knee injuries and start his career was one of the feel-good stories of the 2019 season. The 24-year-old has been relatively healthy this year, aside from a short stint on the injured list with concussion systems, and plays solid defense at third and second. He could be an interesting guy to watch down the stretch. … RHP Carlos Guarate started the game and got hit hard after a quick few innings. In four innings, Guarate allowed ten hits and seven earned runs but escaped with the no-decision. The 20-year-old righty typically displays advanced control of his fastball but he has been much too hittable since earning the promotion to Fort Wayne. He has a 7.00 ERA through four starts. … After Guarate left, LHP Sam Williams helped stabilize the game by firing a pair of scoreless innings. On July 10, Williams allowed three earned runs and recorded just two outs against Lake County. Since that outing, the undrafted free agent has turned things around. Over his last nine outings, Williams has allowed just two earned runs in 14 innings (a 1.29 ERA) while averaging a strikeout per inning. The southpaw tops out at 90 mph but he’s been able to keep hitters off-balance over the last month.
TinCaps Roster Move: Before the game, infielder Kelvin Alarcon was sent back to Lake Elsinore to help fill out their roster (more on that in a bit). RHP Luke Boyd took his place on the roster. Boyd, 23, was the Padres’ 17th-rounder out of Baylor in July’s draft.
Storm Roster Moves: You better grab a pad and paper and take some notes because there will be a quiz later. As we reported on Thursday, the Storm had their game against Rancho Cucamonga postponed due to COVID protocols. Here are the moves that were made.
Placed on the injured list: LHP Jose Garcia, OF Joshua Mears, infielder Bryan Torres, LHP Bodi Rascon, C Alison Quintero, RHP Keegan Collett, OF/1B Matthew Acosta.
Activated by the Storm: INF Kelvin Alarcon (transferred from Fort Wayne), RHP Alek Jacob, INF Lucas Dunn, RHP Jairo Iriarte, C Colton Bender. Aside from Alarcon, the rest of the players came from the Arizona Complex League. Bender, Dunn, and Jacob were all drafted in July. Let’s move on to the game.
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 13, Storm 6
Key Statistics: RF Angel Solarte, 2-for-4, 2 R, BB, 2 SB (10); DH Lucas Dunn, 3-for-4, 3B, 4 RBI; 1B Carlos Luis, 1-for-4, R, HR (2), RBI; RHP Dwayne Matos, 4 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K; LHP Hazahel Quijada (L, 2-1) 1.1 IP, 2 H, ER, 3 BB, 2 K.
Prospect Watch: The Storm led 6-2 through four-and-a-half innings before Rancho Cucamonga came back to score 11 unanswered runs to win easily. … Lucas Dunn – one of the reinforcements promoted to Lake Elsinore – made quite an impression in his Low-A debut. Dunn had three hits, including a bases-loaded triple that helped Lake Elsinore open up the early lead. Dunn, 22, was drafted in the eighth round in July out of Louisville. In eight games with the ACL Padres, Dunn hit .364/.533/.500 while playing all four corner spots. He started all 50 games for Louisville in his final season of NCAA baseball. … First baseman Carlos Luis hit his second homer of the year – his only hit of the evening. The 21-year-old started the season in the complex league but was promoted to Lake Elsinore after a couple of games. Luis has struggled mightily, hitting just .179/.247/.269 with a pair of homers. Part of the Padres’ 2016 international draft class, Luis has never received more than 176 plate appearances in any of his four professional seasons. … RHP Dwayne Matos started and kept the Storm in the game for four innings. He allowed five hits and a pair of earned runs. Matos has a 4.31 ERA this season but he has the second-lowest strikeout percentage (14.5%) in the Low-A West among pitchers who have thrown at least 40 innings.
ACL White Sox 4, ACL Padres 3
Key Statistics: SS Jackson Merrill, 2-for-4, R; CF James Wood, 1-for-3; DH Marcos Castanon, 2-for-3, HR (1), RBI, R, 2B; RHP Adam Smith, IP; RHP Kevin Kopps, 1.2 IP, H, ER, BB, 3 K; RHP Yerry Landinez, 1.1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, BB, 3 K.
Prospect Watch: The ACL Padres lost Friday night to drop their record to 8-18. … Designated hitter Marcus Castanon broke out in the loss, doubling and connecting for his first professional homer. The Padres drafted Castanon, 22, out of UC Santa Barbara in the 12th round in July. The infielder was 1-for-18 with 10 strikeouts coming into Friday’s game. Castanon hit .404/.492/.716 with eight homers for the Gauchos in 2021. … Shortstop Jackson Merrill had a pair of singles to extend his hitting streak to nine games. Merrill has two multi-hit games during the stretch and is hitting .355/.412/.484 to start his pro career. … RHP Kevin Kopps pitched 1.2 innings and allowed an earned run while striking out three. Kopps won the Golden Spikes Award this season and could develop into a valuable multi-inning weapon out of the bullpen by as early as next season for the Padres. … Adam Smith, the Padres’ 14th-rounder out of UNC-Wilmington, and seventh-rounder Ryan Och were each activated prior to the game. Smith worked a perfect inning to open the game, while Och struck out the side around a single to begin his professional career.