Round Rock Express 12, Chihuahuas 5
Key Stats: RF Taylor Kohlwey 2-for-4, 2 2B; C Webster Rivas 2-for-4, 2 2B, PB; LF Jose Azocar 1-for-2, 2B, HBP; RHP Alex Powers 2.1 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 4 K, 2 BB; LHP Kyle McGrath 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 K, 1 BB
Prospect Watch: The Express jumped on three different El Paso pitchers for 10 runs in the third inning and cruised to a series-tying win. Alex Powers made his second start among his 17 appearances since signing as a minor league free agent in June. He worked around two runners in each of the first two frames, but allowed a run and left with the bases loaded in the third after throwing 66 pitches. Evan Miller, who has bailed out the Chihuahuas staff repeatedly this year, came in, but allowed two walks, a hit batter and double before an error cost him a chance to escape further damage. He gave way to Parker Markel, who gave up a homer that capped the scoring before finally ending the 14 batter inning. Lefty Kyle McGrath, fresh off a brief stint on the IL, kept the game from getting further out of hand, working three one-hit innings. The 29-year-old reliever has struggled with injuries and performance since last appearing in the big leagues in May, 2018. … Down big, Webster Rivas and Taylor Kohlwey each collected two of El Paso’s season-high seven doubles and the team eventually put up a four-spot in the ninth inning with the game well out of reach. Kohlwey is getting close to having enough plate appearances to qualify among Triple-A West league leaders. His .337 average would be good for fifth on the circuit.
Missions 3, Corpus Christi Hooks 2
Key Stats: CF Esteury Ruiz 2-for-3, 2B, HR (7), SB (26), 2 HBP; SS Eguy Rosario 2-for-4, HR (10); RHP Tyler Viza 6 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 5 K, 2 BB
Prospect Watch: Tyler Viza, making his first start in affiliated ball since July, 2019, turned in six quality innings to pick up the victory. The 26-year-old righty, originally from Phoenix, allowed two runs across six innings, striking out five along the way. Viza spent parts of four of his seven seasons in the Phillies organization at Double-A. He signed out of the American Association earlier this week as the Padres organization struggles to find innings in the upper minors. … Esteury Ruiz reached four more times Sunday, pushing his on-base percentage for the month to .385. The electrifying outfielder connected on a double and his third homer of the series, and he’s kept his strikeout rate below 20% for August. Now 22, Ruiz has struggled to convert his raw abilities into consistent performance since reaching full-season ball in 2018, but he’s raised his line for the year to league average – even with an unfavorable home ballpark – since coming off the IL a month ago. He’s improved his reads on the basepaths, leveraging his well above-average speed to swipe 26 bases in 30 attempts on the year. … Eguy Rosario connected on his 10th homer of the year to put the Missions on top in the eighth inning. The 21-year-old infielder, who is tied with Ruiz for the team lead in stolen bases, has seen his results drop a bit this month, but has kept his strikeout rate down to 20% in the process. The Padres will likely need to add him to a crowded 40-man roster if they want to retain him this winter.
Tincaps 2, West Michigan Whitecaps 0
Key Stats: LF Grant Little 1-for-4, BB, 2B; 2B Justin Lopez 2-for-3, BB; SS Chris Givin 2-for-4; LHP Noel Vela 4.2 IP, 3H, 0 R, 4 K, 2 BB; RHP Kevin Kopps (S, 1) 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 K, 0 BB
Prospect Watch: The TinCaps pitching staff turned in their second straight stellar outing as Noel Vela and four relievers combined to throw the club’s fifth shutout of the year. With the win, they split the series in West Michigan. Vela, 22, retired the first nine batters he faced before giving up a leadoff single in the fourth. He allowed another single with two outs, but escaped without damage. The lefty, who has struggled with walks this year, yielded one more single and two free passes in the fifth before giving way. In four starts since joining the TinCaps, the Texas native has held High-A batters to a .231 average, but has only made it through five innings once. A pick out of high school back in 2017, Vela managed only 52.2 innings through his first three campaigns. He’s tossed 72 in his first taste of full-season ball this year. … Kevin Kopps, working his second game since joining Fort Wayne, picked up his first professional save. The 24-year-old, who the Padres drafted out of Arkansas in the third round last month, struck out one in a perfect frame. … The TinCaps’ middle infield duo of Justin Lopez and Chris Givin combined for four of the club’s seven hits. Lopez, who came in with just two extra-base hits in 64 plate appearances this month, collected a double and walk on the day.
Storm 15, Inland Empire 66’ers 6
Key Stats: RF Matt Acosta 4-for-6, 2B, 3B; CF Robert Hassell III 2-for-6, 2B, HR (6); DH Joshua Mears 2-for-6, HR (15); LHP Robert Gasser 2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 K; RHP Seth Mayberry 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 K, 1 BB
Prospect Watch: Down 6-1 after six innings, the Storm plated 15 unanswered runs over the final three frames to split their series in San Bernardino. Robert Hassell III got the comeback started with a three-run homer in the seventh as part of another two-hit night. Last year’s top pick also added a double and now leads the circuit with 28. He owns a .963 OPS for the month to move his season line to .315/.410/.464. … Joshua Mears, who returned to the lineup yesterday, got off to a slow start with three straight strikeouts to open the game, but collected a single and then unloaded for his 15th homer of the year in the ninth inning. The big man has logged only four games this month because of two different stints on the IL, but has posted an OPS over 1.200 since July 1. … Long before the offensive explosion, Robert Gasser made his full-season debut with two innings of one-run ball. The 22-year-old out of the University of Houston worked one tune-up inning in the desert after the Padres selected him in the Compensation Round B in July. The lefty gave up a pair of hits in the first, including a homer to last year’s 55th overall pick Kyren Paris, but then sandwiched a pair of groundouts around a strikeout in the second. Watch for him to get stretched out a bit over the season’s final month, but after working 85.2 innings in the college season, he won’t be pushed too fast.