Chihuahuas 7, Albuquerque Isotopes 2
Key Stats: CF Jose Azocar 3-for-5, 2B, 3B, SB (13), OF Assist; 1B Taylor Kohlwey 1-for-2, HR (5), 3 BB, 2 SB (9); RF Brian O’Grady 2-for-5, HR (13); RHP Reiss Knehr 2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 4 K, 1 BB; RHP Evan Miller 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 4 K, 1 BB; LHP Joe Beimel 2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 K
Prospect Watch: The top five hitters in the El Paso lineup went 10-for-21 and scored six runs as the Chihuahuas managed just their second win in their last 10 games. … Jose Azocar was a homer short of the cycle as he extended his hitting streak to six games. The center fielder is hitting .350 with only four strikeouts this month. After converting just 15 of 26 stolen base attempts in Double-A, the 25-year-old swiped his 13th base in 14 tries for El Paso. While he hasn’t homered on the offense-happy Triple-A West circuit, he’s raced to five triples and 11 doubles in 31 games. He rounded out an all-around strong game by gunning down one-time Padre draftee Wynton Bernard for his fifth outfield assist. … Taylor Kohlwey hit a two-run homer in the first, then reached base three more times on walks. The first baseman/outfielder has pushed his OBP up to .396, good for eighth on the circuit. … Reiss Knehr, working on longer rest than he’s been getting since coming back down from the big league club, struck out four in two innings as the opener. After posting as many walks as strikeouts in the Majors, he’s put together an 18:9 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 17.1 Triple-A innings.
Missions 3, Frisco RoughRiders 1
Key Stats: RF Agustin Ruiz 1-for-2, HR (6), BB; SS Kelvin Melean 2-for-3, HR (1); RHP Pedro Avila 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 9 K, 1 BB; RHP Moises Lugo 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 4 K; RHP Mason Fox 1 IP, 3 K
Prospect Watch: Pedro Avila and three relievers struck out 17 RoughRiders and Agustin Ruiz connected on his sixth homer since joining San Antonio as the Missions claimed a series win. Avila, now 29 months removed from his brief taste of the big leagues, turned in his best performance of the year, striking out nine over five one-run innings. He had both of his breaking balls working well Sunday, helping him get the third strike swinging for each K. The 24-year-old righty struggled with command much of the year, but has walked just four over his last 17 innings. Originally signed out of Venezuela by the Nationals in 2014, Avila will be eligible for minor league free agency this winter and figures to get a big league opportunity somewhere in 2022. … While Ruiz has increased his home run rate since his promotion from Fort Wayne, the slugger has otherwise struggled in his first exposure to Double-A. The outfielder, who turns 22 the week after the season ends, has posted an untenable 38:6 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 122 trips to the plate. That infrequent contact, paired with a .225 average on balls in play, has left Ruiz with an ugly .238 on-base percentage for the Missions.
TinCaps 7, Lansing Lugnuts 1
Key Stats: RF Tirso Ornelas 4-for-5, 2B (31); HR (7); DH Luis Almanzar 3-for-4, HR (3); 2B Ripken Reyes 3-for-4; C Victor Duarte 2-for-4, HR (1); RHP Felix Minjarez 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 4 K, 1 BB; RHP Edwuin Bencomo (W, 7-4) 2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 K; RHP Gabe Mosser 1 IP, 0 H, 3 K; RHP Chase Walter 1 IP, 0 H, 3 K, 1 BB
Prospect Watch: The TinCaps matched a season high, banging out 16 hits en route to victory in their final home game of the year. Even though the club went just 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position, they scored in five different innings. Tirso Ornelas kept up his recent torrid pace, equaling a career high with four hits as he came a triple short of the cycle. The 21-year-old has hit in 15 of his last 17 games, adding 71 points to his season OPS in the process. While the left-handed corner outfielder struggled to implement swing changes the club started working with him on back in 2019, the big man’s strong finish could give him something to build on heading into 2022. … Victor Duarte connected on his first stateside homer as he collected his second two-hit game in as many starts since joining the TinCaps. The 20-year-old backstop, called on to make the jump from Peoria because Adam Kerner is on the IL and Jonny Homza still isn’t ready to catch, signed out of Tucupita, Venezuela in 2018 and began his career in the Dominican the following summer. He missed some time himself at the complex this summer, but has shown solid bat-to-ball skills in his first season in the U.S. … While the offense rolled, the pitching staff held Lansing to just three hits. Felix Minjarez, who has primarily worked out of the pen, made the spot start and turned in four one-hit frames. An undrafted free agent out of Redlands back in 2018, the righty has put together a solid 86:36 strikeout-to-walk ratio in High-A this year. Both Gabe Mosser and Chase Walter struck out the side in their innings of work. Walter has punched out 19 in 9.2 frames since his promotion from Elsinore, but has issued nine free passes and hit two. The big man, who can hit triple digits and has a wipeout slider, does not make for many comfortable at-bats. Just 11 of the 41 batters he’s faced in High-A have put the ball in play – and have come away with just two hits.
Visalia Rawhide 4, Storm 2
Key Stats: LF Lucas Dunn 2-for-3, BB, OF Assist; 3B Sean Guilbe 1-for-4, 3B, E (12); DH/C Gilberto Vizcarra 1-for-4, 2B; LHP Bodi Rascon 3 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 K, 1 BB; RHP Alek Jacob 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 5 K
Prospect Watch: The Storm dropped their second straight and leave the Central Valley with a split of their series against the league’s worst club. The Storm reached base nine times total in the game, and Lucas Dunn pulled it off three times. The eighth-round pick out of Louisville has posted a .255/.328/.391 line while splitting time between third base and the outfield corners since joining Elsinore in early August. … Gilberto Vizcarra doubled to extend his hitting streak to six games. The 22-year-old catcher is 19-for-50 with seven extra-base hits and only eight strikeouts over his last 13 games. … Bodi Rascon took the loss, but allowed just one run over three innings. The left-hander from Texas has been limited to just 16.1 innings since joining the Storm in July because of a three-week stint on the IL with COVID, but he’s shown flashes of the stuff that inspired the Padres to go above-slot on day three of the 2019 draft to sign him away from Oklahoma State. … Alek Jacob struck out five in two more scoreless innings of work. The 23-year-old righty out of Gonzaga has yet to allow a run through 16.2 professional innings – all but one with the Storm. The Padres’ 16th-round pick has struck out 26 without issuing a walk to begin his career relying on an array of off-speed offerings.