Chihuahuas 7, Tacoma Rainiers 3

Key Stats: SS Matt Batten 3-for-4, HR (6); RF Jose Azocar 2-for-4, SB (16); 2B Gosuke Katoh 1-for-4, HR (7); RHP Adrian Martinez 4.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 4 K, 3 BB

Adrian Martinez struggled against more patient Triple-A hitters. (Photo: Jorge Salgado)

Prospect Watch: Middle infielders Matt Batten and Gosuke Katoh hit homers early and the Chihuahuas tacked on three runs in the eighth to lock up the victory. Batten, 26, has matched his career high with six homers on the year and is posting his best month of the season with a .333/.370/.420 line. … Adrian Martinez got through his first four innings of work allowing just one run on two weak singles and three walks, but couldn’t get through the fifth as Taylor Trammell chased him with a two-out, two-run single. Martinez has thrown 114 innings on the year, more than 30 beyond his previous career high. Triple-A opponents have hit .308/.377/.511 against him in seven starts. … Four El Paso relievers combined for 4.1 scoreless frames, allowing just a pair of hits while striking out eight. Shaun Anderson has a strong 16:2 strikeout-to-walk ratio since the Padres claimed him off waivers in August.

Corpus Christi Hooks 9, Missions 1

Key Stats: CF Esteury Ruiz 2-for-4; LF Olivier Basabe 1-for-3, 2B, BB; RHP Matt Waldron 0.0 IP, 3 H, 5 ER, 2 BB; RHP Mason Fox 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 5 K, 3 BB; RHP James Reeves 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 5 K, 1 BB

Matt Waldron’s final outing of the year was a rough one. (Photo: John Moore)

Prospect Watch: Matt Waldron came off a month-long stay on the IL, but the outcome was not what he was hoping for. After walking the first two batters he faced, Waldron gave up two doubles and a homer before exiting the game without recording an out. The 24-year-old righty emerged this summer as he relied increasingly on his knuckleball in Fort Wayne, but things went sideways following his promotion to Double-A. He posted a 5.59 ERA in four starts in August before he was shut down with an arm injury. He finishes the season with a 6.61 ERA and 16 free passes in 31.1 frames for the Missions, after walking just 19 in 72.1 innings at High-A. … Esteury Ruiz, who has played primarily center field over the last month, collected two hits as the only Missions hitter with a multi-hit game. The 22-year-old, who will be Rule 5 eligible this winter, finished with a .249/.328/.411 line that’s just below league average while swiping 36 bases at an 84% success rate. … LHP James Reeves and RHP Mason Fox combined each struck out five as they combined to work four innings. Reeves got lit up in several stints with El Paso, but held Double-A hitters to a .162 average. Fox, 24, had a year to forget as he fought mechanics as he allowed 95 runners in 31 innings of work.

Brandon Valenzuela finished the year strong with a homer Sunday. (Photo: Jeff Nycz)

Dayton Dragons 5, TinCaps 3

Key Stats: RF Tirso Ornelas 2-for-4, CS; 1B Brandon Valenzuela 1-for-4, HR (1); 3B Zack Mathis 2-for-4, 2B; RHP Connor Lehmann 6 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 1 K, 1 BB; LHP Gabe Morales 1 IP, 0 H, 2 K

Prospect Watch: Brandon Valenzuela connected on his first homer since his promotion to High-A, but the TinCaps couldn’t capitalize on out-hitting Dayton as they dropped their sixth straight to finish the season. Valenzuela, 20, didn’t have an extra-base hit through his first 13 games with Fort Wayne, but finished with a double Friday and the round-tripper Sunday. The switch-hitting backstop finishes his first full season campaign with a .299/.393/.429 line. … Tirso Ornelas capped a strong September with two more hits to finish the month with a .400/.479/.550 line. The 21-year-old outfielder otherwise had a season to forget, but the strong finish pushed his wRC+ up to 104, reflecting overall production four percent better than league average. He’ll need to do more than that in the upper minors, but his final push gives him something to build from this winter. … Zack Mathis had a single and double to finish the campaign with a .752 OPS – the best line of any current TinCap.

Storm 8, Inland Empire 66’ers 3

Key Stats: 1B Cole Cummings 1-for-4, 3B; LF Pierce Jones 2-for-4, HR (1), 2 SB; RHP Levi Thomas 4 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 K, 1 BB; RHP Alek Jacob 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, (0 ER), 2 K, 1 BB

Padres prospect Pierce Jones bats for Lake Elsinore Storm

Pierce Jones connects on a grand slam to give the Storm a season-ending victory. (Photo: Dinur Blum)

Prospect Watch: The Storm put up six runs in the eighth to lock up a victory and claim five of six in their final series of the year. Pierce Jones connected on a grand slam – the team’s second in as many days – to plate the final four runs. The 20-year-old outfielder had a rough stretch after his promotion from the complex league, going just 1-for-18 to open his full-season career, but was 5-for-14 in the series with a double and homer and two stolen bases. The Chicago-area product, signed out of high school on day three of the 2019 draft, had a big year in the desert, posting a .970 OPS. … Alek Jacob worked two innings, giving up just one unearned run to pick up the victory. The run, which came on a pair of two-out errors, was the only one to cross the plate against the righty in 19.2 professional innings this summer. The 23-year-old out of Spokane rarely reaches even the upper-80s with his fastball, but gets huge horizontal movement on his pitches and has overmatched young hitters working as low as the mid-60s.

Posted by David Jay

David has written for MadFriars since 2005, has published articles in Baseball America, written a monthly column for FoxSports San Diego and appeared on numerous radio programs and podcasts. He may be best known on the island of Guam for his photos of Trae Santos that appeared in the Pacific Daily News.

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