Tacoma Rainiers 11, Chihuahuas 5

Michael Cantu has gotten more playing time with Luis Campusano out of the lineup. (Photo: Jorge Salgado).

Key Statistics: CF Jose Azocar, 3-for-5, 2 R, 2B, 3B, RBI; 1B-RF Taylor Kohlwey. 2-for-4, R, BB, HR (7), 4 RBI; 2B Gosuke Katoh, 2-for-4, SB (5); DH Ivan Castillo, 2-for-4, R; C Michael Cantu, 2-for-4, R; LHP Daniel Camarena (L, 3-7) IP, H, 6 R (1 ER), BB; K; RHP Steven Wilson, 2 IP, H, ER, 6 K.

Prospect Watch: El Paso was blown out at home, despite out-hitting Tacoma 12 to 11. … Jose Azocar had three hits, finishing a homer shy of hitting for the cycle. The 25-year-old outfielder has hit well this month but the plate discipline he showed in San Antonio has yet to be seen in El Paso. Even though he’s walked just twice in his last 89 plate appearances, Azocar has delivered an .853 OPS this month. … Taylor Kohlwey connected on his eighth homer of the year – seventh with the Chihuahuas – to tie the career high he established in 2019. Kohlwey’s multi-hit effort raised his batting average to .340 which ranks second in the league, behind Salt Lake’s Michael Stefanic, who is at .343. Kohlwey’s .889 OPS ranks just outside the top ten. … LHP Daniel Camarena had a rough outing Friday, as shoddy defense contributed to a one-inning start. Camarena surrendered a one-out solo home run before retiring former Padres prospect Taylor Trammell. He then got a grounder that could have ended the frame, but the normally-reliable Pedro Florimon booted it at shortstop. After a single, Florimon kicked another grounder, and Camarena issued a walk to load the bases before Marcus Wilson connected on a grand slam on the first pitch to bury El Paso. When the smoke cleared, Camarena allowed six runs, though only one earned. Camarena is in the midst of a rough stretch as the season nears its conclusion. Since returning to El Paso on August 26, the former Cathedral Catholic star has allowed 22 runs (17 earned) in 12 innings, for a 12.75 ERA. … RHP Steven Wilson tossed the final two innings and struck out six of the seven batters he faced. The one batter he failed to punch out hit a homer. Wilson has allowed eight homers in 40 innings, but hitters otherwise have not made much contact against the former Santa Clara hurler. Opponents are hitting just .144 off the 27-year-old and he’s struck out 57 batters in 35.1 Triple-A innings. This month, Wilson has struck out 16 without allowing a walk in 8.1 innings.

MacKenzie Gore was in action on Friday night. (Photo: Rey Holguin)

Missions 4, Corpus Christi Hooks 1

Key Statistics: SS Eguy Rosario. 1-for-4, R, HR (12), 2 RBI; DH Michael Curry, 1-for-2, BB, HR (8); LHP MacKenzie Gore, 4 IP, 3 H, ER, 3 BB, 8 K; LHP James Reeves (W, 3-0) IP, 2 BB, K; RHP Nick Kuzia (S, 7) 2 IP, H, 2 K.

MacKenzie Gore’s curveball looked much better in this outing. (Photo: Rey Holguin)

Prospect Watch: The Missions used a pair of solo homers and excellent pitching to beat Corpus Christi on the road. … Anytime he takes the mound, MacKenzie Gore is the story of the organization. On Friday, Gore displayed flashes of the stuff from 2019, but fought his command at times. He got off to a good start, setting Corpus Christi down in order in the first with a pair of strikeouts. The lefty walked a batter in each of the next three innings but outside of an RBI single, he was able to limit the damage. Gore’s velocity peaked at 96 mph, but sat mostly in the 91-93 mph range where he lived in 2018 and 2019. The difference tonight was his ability to generate plenty of swings-and-misses with a nasty curve. He struck out eight in just four innings of work, but continued to miss with location on his fastball and needed 86 pitches to get through four innings of work. Gore has made progress each time out since his two-month reboot and his off-speed stuff is rounding into form. It is easy to forget that Gore is still just 22-years-old. … Shortstop Eguy Rosario had the key hit of the game – a two-run shot that gave San Antonio insurance late. Rosario has been a consistent performer this year for the Missions, showing a good eye and some power at the plate. He is hitting .293/.348/.466 this month.

Brandon Valenzuela had a pair of hits on the night. (Photo: Jeff Nycz)

Dayton Dragons 8, TinCaps 4

Key Statistics: SS Euribiel Angeles, 2-for-5, R; C Brandon Valenzuela, 2-for-4, 2B, RBI; 1B Zack Mathis, 2-for-4, R; LHP Noel Vela (L, 0-3) 3 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 K; RHP Sam Keating, 1.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, BB, K.

Prospect Watch: The TinCaps lost their fourth straight on the road to the Dayton Dragons. … Robert Hassell III went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts. Since a multi-hit effort on September 9, Hassell is just 4-for-31 with four walks and 14 strikeouts. It will be interesting to see if Hassell can right the ship in the last two games before he likely heads to instructs. Despite the struggles down the stretch, Hassell has established himself as arguably the top prospect in the system not named CJ Abrams in his first professional season. … Catcher Brandon Valenzuela had a pair of hits, including a double for his first extra-base hit in over 50 plate appearances with Fort Wayne. The Mexicali-born catcher has walked 15 times in 57 plate appearances since joining the TinCaps, leaving him with an odd High-A slash-line of .262/.429/.286. … LHP Noel Vela worked two scoreless innings to open the game, including striking out the side in the second, but things unraveled in the third. The Dragons got a pair of seeing-eye singles to open the frame, and by the time things were over, they had pushed across four runs on five hits and a walk. While the loss dropped Vela’s record to an unfortunate 1-11, he’s delivered a solid 3.90 ERA between Lake Elsinore and Fort Wayne in his first taste of full-season ball and both his strikeout and walk rates have improved since his promotion. If the 22-year-old can continue to improve his command, he has the stuff to develop into a capable big league pitcher.

Inland Empire 66ers 1, Storm 0

Jarryd Dale now has 30 stolen bases. (Photo: Jerry Espinoza)

Key Statistics: SS Jarryd Dale, 1-for-4, 2 SB (29, 30); LF Lucas Dunn, 1-for-3, 3B; RHP Nick Thwaits (L, 2-10) 4 IP, 4 H, ER, BB, 2 K; RHP Keegan Collett, IP, H, BB, 3 K.

Prospect Watch: The Storm had a pair of triples in this one but failed to push a run across and lost at home to their neighbors up the 215. … Jarryd Dale singled and stole a pair of bases, giving him 30 thefts for 2021. The jack-of-all-trades has been a steady performer all season, showing some power, plus-speed, and offering at least competent defense almost anywhere on the field. His .708 OPS nearly mirrors the .703 mark he had in the AZL in 2019. Dale will be Rule 5 eligible this winter but is probably a few years from contributing at the big league level. … After Jesus Lugo opened the game with a pair of scoreless innings, RHP Nick Thwaits threw four solid innings out of the bullpen. He allowed just one run on four hits, but ended up wearing his tenth loss of the year. The 22-year-old’s solid outing should leave a better taste in his mouth heading into the off-season after allowing 13 earned runs in 1.2 innings combined in his two previous outings this month. … RHP Keegan Collett allowed a pair of base runners in his inning of work but struck out the side around the trouble. Baserunners and strikeouts have been a recurring theme for Collett. In 26 innings, the 2019 35th-rounder out of Florida Gulf Coast has walked 25 batters while notching 46 strikeouts. Collett has struck out nearly 16 batters per nine innings but his lack of command has led to a 6.92 ERA.

ACL Rockies 15, ACL Padres 3

Charlis Aquino hasn’t come as quickly as expected in the desert. (Photo: Jerry Espinoza)

Key Statistics: 2B Charlis Aquino, 2-for-5, R; RF Michael Suarez, 2-for-4, R, HR (1), 2 RBI; 1B Edwin Rios, 2-for-4; C Matias Polanco, 1-for-4, R, HR (1), RBI; RHP Adam Smith (L, 1-3) 1.1 IP, 4 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, K; RHP Jose Luis Reyes, 3.1 IP, 3 H, ER, 2 BB, 6 K.

Prospect Watch: Things got ugly in the desert as the ACL Padres were blown out by the Rockies ACL squad. … Michael Suarez started in right field and had a pair of hits, including his first homer of the season. Suarez, 21, was drafted in the 38th round back in 2018 and signed for $125,000 rather than heading to junior college. The Miami-area native began the year on the disabled list and has appeared in only 14 games for the ACL squad. In three seasons in the Padres’ system, Suarez has yet to escape the confines of the complex league. … Second baseman Charlis Aquino had a pair of hits and scored a run Friday night. Aquino, 19, has a .686 OPS in 30 games with the ACL Padres. He struggled a bit in a brief 12-game stint with the Storm, hitting just .216/.293/.243. … With the game well out of hand, righty Jose Luis Reyes worked a season-high 3.1 innings to keep things from getting really ugly. The 19-year-old, signed from the Yucatan Leones last winter, posted a 25:13 strikeout-to-walk ratio in his first season stateside while holding opponents to a .210 average. He should be in the mix for the Lake Elsinore rotation next year.

Posted by Kevin Charity

Kevin Charity has written for MadFriars since 2015 and has had work featured on Fox Sports San Diego. He is a lifelong San Diego native and is looking forward to seeing the current wave of prospects thrive in San Diego.

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