For the affiliates, El Paso carried the evening with a thrilling win in a duel of many pitchers, while the Missions, TinCaps, and Storm took losses. In the desert, it was a big night for some of the Padres’ draft picks in an impressive outing in Surprise.
Chihuahuas 2, Round Rock Express 1
Key Stats: RHP Jesse Scholtens, 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K; RHP Parker Markel (W, 3-1), 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K; RHP Brett Kennedy (H,1), 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB; RHP Shaun Anderson (H, 2), 1 IP 0 H 0 R 0 BB; RHP James Norwood (H, 5), 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K; RHP Reiss Knehr (S, 1) 1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB; SS Matt Batten, 1-for-3, R BB, 2 SB; 3B Ivan Castillo, 2-for-3, 2B, RBI
Prospect Watch: As unusual as it is to see a 2-1 game in the stratospheric ballgame atmosphere of the Triple-A West, this was nearly the second ever 1-0 home win for the El Paso Chihuahuas, the first coming on July 26th of this year against Albuquerque. The game was started by Jesse Scholtens, who is now on a seven-inning scoreless streak dating back to August 20th. Scholtens, the Padres’ 9th round selection in 2016, made his El Paso debut in 2018, before spending the balance of 2019 in Amarillo. … The win went to Parker Markel, who set down the Express in order by way of the K in the fifth inning. This was the second straight scoreless outing for Markel, who has steadily improved this year, earning a 3.48 ERA in July and a 2.92 mark in August, as he’s now lowered his ERA on the season to 4.53 while striking out a whopping 80 batters in 49.2 innings. … Tonight was the first relief appearance since 2015 (and he earned the first hold of his professional career) for Brett Kennedy, who kept the shutout going in the sixth inning. The 27-year-old Kennedy was used in relief as he continues to work his way back from injury in a tough 2021 campaign. … A scoreless inning against his old team was a fitting return to El Paso for Shaun Anderson, who made two appearances for Round Rock earlier in the season. Anderson, who returned from a stint in San Diego with the Padres, has been excellent at the Triple-A level this year, going 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA, walking six, and striking out 20 in 17.1 innings split between El Paso, Round Rock, and the Saint Paul Saints of the Triple-A East. … The last Chihuahuas hurler to go unscathed in an inning tonight was James Norwood, whose scoreless eighth inning gave him his fifth hold of the season. Norwood, a former Saint Louis Billiken in his collegiate years, was acquired from the Cubs on April 5th of this year in exchange for Dauris Valdez. … Tonight saw El Paso use Reiss Knehr in the closer role, as the 24-year-old righty who made 11 starts for San Antonio and has both started and relieved for the Padres picked up his first save of the season, and fourth of his career. His career-high in a season was two, which he reached for the Padres of what was then called the Arizona League in 2018. … The scoring started tonight with an RBI single off the bat of Ivan Castillo, the lone run for the first six and a half innings of the game. The 26-year-old Castillo started his September hot after an August in which he slashed .284/.333/.341 for El Paso. … The winning run came to be after Matt Batten reached on an error in the seventh. The shortstop also swiped two bags, keeping him solidly in fifth place in the Triple-A West with 20 stolen bases. Batten, drafted in the 32nd round of the 2017 Draft, has shown versatility and speed for El Paso this season, while also slashing .298/.364/.381.
Amarillo Sod Poodles 6, Missions 5
Prospect Watch: It was a back-and-forth affair in San Antonio, one which saw Agustin Ruiz give the Missions some late insurance runs with a two-run homer to cap off a four-run bottom of the seventh before Amarillo rallied with a four-run inning of their own in the top of the eighth. It was the 19th home run of the season for the native of Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico, and his fourth for San Antonio. As the 21-year-old adjusts to Double-A, he’s slashing .176/.213/.341 in 85 at-bats. … Osvaldo Hernandez followed up five scoreless innings in his last start with five innings of two-run ball tonight. The 23-year-old Cuban lefty has had an inconsistent season with San Antonio, going 4-8 with a 4.99 ERA and 1.42 WHIP in 21 starts. … Tonight extended the scoreless appearances streak by southpaw Sam Williams to seven. The last time he allowed an earned run was August 11th. The 25-year-old out of Northern Kentucky is 2-1 with a 3.71 ERA in 13 appearances for the Missions since being promoted from Fort Wayne on August 12th. … Eguy Rosario has opened the month of September with hits in his first three games, moving his hitting streak to four games in total. The 22-year-old is slashing .283/,363/.459 in a 2021 season in which he’s shifted over to shortstop for much of the last two months.
Great Lakes Loons 5, TinCaps 1
Prospect Watch: On a night Great Lakes struck early and then rallied back for more in the sixth, the best pitching performance belonged to 2017 4th rounder Sam Keating. It marked the fourth straight scoreless outing for Keating, who has struggled with walks this season, walking 10 batters while striking out 9 in 11.2 innings in August. … It wasn’t the laser show display of power we saw last night, but Robert Hassell III gave fans a glimpse of what he had been doing all season in Lake Elsinore, finding ways to get on base and fill a box score, tonight doing so by way of a single and a walk. In his first four games for Fort Wayne, Hassell III is slashing .278/.350/.778, thanks largely to his trio of home runs in his third game with the club. … Tonight’s home run is the sixth of the season for Tirso Ornelas, who slugged half of that total in August. It’s been an up and down season for the 21-year-old Tijuana native, who saw a solid July lead to a disappointing August. He’s started September hot as he looks to finish the year on a strong note. … Chris Givin started off his month with a two-hit night. The 2019 19th-rounder is looking to improve upon an August that saw him slash .205/.295/.241 for Fort Wayne.
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 8, Storm 4
Prospect Watch: The Storm continued the trend of losing to former Padres affiliates as they dropped one to Ranch Cucamonga. The bright spot in the bullpen was Alek Jacob, who has now gotten through his first nine professional appearances (12.2 innings) without allowing a run. In that span he has struck out 18 while walking none, giving him an impressive 0.79 WHIP. The 23-year-old Gonzaga product was drafted in the 16th round of this year’s draft. … Venezuelan outfielder Angel Solarte hit a double as he extends his hitting streak to six games. In that span, he’s batting .375 with four doubles and three runs batted in. Solarte was a part of the summer of 2017’s signing class for the Padres. … Former UCLA Bruin Jack Stronach hit his fourth home run of the season. The 24-year-old Stronach was drafted in 2019’s 21st round. He’s looking to build upon an improved August in which he slashed .267/.476/.267 for Lake Elsinore. … 2021 10th-rounder Colton Bender may very well be in Lake Elsinore to stay, as the Quinnipiac alum continues to play well for the Storm after being promoted amidst a COVID-19 outbreak affecting Storm players. Bender was well-regarded for his abilities behind the plate heading into the draft, and has also slashed .309/.361/.400 in 14 games for Lake Elsinore. … Carlos Luis continued a late-season resurgence with a three-hit evening. The 21-year-old Luis, a native of Tamayo in the Dominican Republic, slashed .327/.352/.538 in August after a rough start to the season.
ACL Padres 6, ACL Royals Gold 0
Key Stats: RHP Ryan Bergert, 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K; RHP Elvis Saba (W, 1-0), 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K; RHP Wilton Castillo (H, 1), 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB 4 K; SS Jackson Merrill, 2-for-4, R, SB; 1B Cole Cummings, 2-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI; CF Pierce Jones, 1-for-4, HR, 2 R, RBI; RF Justin Farmer, 1-for-3, HR, R, 2 RBI
Prospect Watch: With the rain that had drenched the Valley of the Sun subsiding, the ball flew for the Complex League Padres, while their pitchers kept the Royals Gold at bay in a matchup in Surprise. The start went to Ryan Bergert, who worked multiple innings for the first time as a pro, bringing him up to five scoreless innings since being drafted in the 6th round of the 2021 draft. The West Virginia product missed the collegiate season with elbow surgery, so the Padres are bringing the 21-year-old along slowly in his first year of pro ball. … Tonight was the first professional win for Elvis Saba, who pitched in relief for his second appearance in Arizona since being assigned to the ACL from the Dominican Summer League on August 27th. Saba, a 21-year-old righty from San Cristobal, Dominican Republic, signed with the Padres this February. … The win went to big Wilton Castillo, a 6-foot-7 righty from Havana, Cuba, who signed with the Padres this past October. Castillo is 2-1 with a 4.60 ERA in 29.1 innings this year in the Complex League. … Top draft pick Jackson Merrill continues to look comfortable at the plate just a few months removed from playing high school ball. The 18-year-old shortstop is slashing .321/.383/.417 in 24 games in the Complex League. … Undrafted free agent Cole Cummings hit his second home run of the season. The 23-year-old corner infielder was born in Orange, California, before attending UCSB, where he said his favorite sports team growing up was none other than the Padres. He’s slashed .259/.368/.481, walking 9 times in 21 games this season. … Getting the start in center field, Pierce Jones launched his third home run of the season, continuing an impressive campaign in his return to the Complex League following the pandemic layoff. The 20-year-old Jones was drafted in the 26th round in 2019 by the Padres out of Marian Catholic High School in Chicago, the same high school which produced former San Diego NFL star Rodney Harrison. … Tonight marked the first professional home run for undrafted free agent Justin Farmer. Farmer, a 22-year-old outfielder from Florida International, has made the most of his limited playing time in the Complex League, slashing .308/.438/.615 in 13 at-bats.