Luke Westphall in action on Saturday. (Photo: Jorge Salgado).

Oklahoma City Dodgers 8, Chihuahuas 4

Key Statistics: RF Nomar Mazara 2-2, 3 BB; DH Brent Rooker 1-3, 2B, 2 BB; LHP Luke Westphal 2.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 4 K; RHP Heath Fillmyer (L, 1-1) 1.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R (1 ER), 2 BB 4 K; RHP Evan Miller 2 IP, 1H, 1 ER, 3 K; LHP Ray Kerr 1.0 IP, 1 BB, 3 K

Prospect Watch: El Paso dropped their second straight game even as Nomar Mazara, 26, reached base five times. Mazara, a one-time top prospect with the Rangers, signed with the Padres in the offseason after parts of six seasons in the Majors. The left-hander, who can play both corners, made only his third appearance with El Paso, but he has four hits and four walks so far. He hit 20 home runs each in 2016, 2017 and 2018, and 19 in 2019, so he is more than capable of putting up numbers in Triple-A … Evan Miller made his fourth appearance of the season already and has ten strikeouts against only three walks in 6.2 innings and has allowed only two hits. Miller doesn’t blow anyone away with velocity, but he keeps the ball down and has a good sinker/slider combination. … Ray Kerr had his best outing of the season so far. After walking the first batter in the ninth and seeing him advance to second on a failed pickoff attempt, Kerr came back to strike out the next three batters. He has huge velocity and a very good slider; it’s just a question of command.

Transaction: RHP Kyle Tyler was optioned from the Padres to El Paso. After spending the last month as a waiver wire vagabond, the 25-year-old righty should finally get some opportunities to pitch now.

Game 1: Frisco RoughRiders 4, Missions (7 innings)

Esteury  Ruiz has been electric for the Missions. (Photo: Rey Holguin).

Key Statistics: DH Esteury Ruiz 0-2, 2 BB, 2 SB; C Yorman Rodriguez 1-2, 2B, BB; 2B Connor Hollis 1-3, 2 RBI; RHP Thomas Eshelman 7 IP, 12 H, 4 ER, 2 K

Game 2: Frisco RoughRiders 4, Missions 1 (7 innings)

Key Statistics: RF Jorge Ona 1-3, HR (2) RBI; LF Robbie Podorsky 1-3, BB; C Chandler Seagle 1-2, BB; RHP Ryan Lillie (L, 0-2) 3 H, 3 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 1 K; RHP Angel Felipe 2 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 1 K

Prospect Watch: Frisco finished off a rare six-game sweep of the Missions with a doubleheader win in San Antonio Saturday. In the first game, Jack Leiter, one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, held the Missions to one hit over four, but they closed the gap against the bullpen before falling short. Frisco took the nightcap 4-1. … Esteury Ruiz, 23, who has shown tantalizing tools since coming over from the Royals in 2017, is off to a hot start at .379/.561/.655 in his first nine games with ten walks and five extra-base hits in his first 39 plate appearances. He’s added seven stolen bases in as many attempts while playing a strong center field. At 6-feet, he might be 175 pounds after a few trips through a buffet line, but he also has incredibly strong wrists, which generate plus bat speed. He has always swung at too many pitches outside of the zone in the past. Still, if he can continue to force pitchers to throw the ball over the plate, he can do some damage. .. Jorge Ona, 26, hit his second home run of the season. San Diego hopes to get the former top prospect on the field more in 2022. Since 2018, he has yet to play more than 25 games in a season.

Robert Hassell is off to a scorching start. (Photo: John Nagel)

TinCaps 6, South Bend Cubs 0

Key Statistics:  LF Corey Rosier 2-4, BB, SB(4); CF Robert Hassell III 2-5, 3 SB (7), RBI; RF Joshua Mears 1-2, 2 BB, HBP; C Brandon Valenzuela 0-3, 2 BB, RBI; SS Jarryd Dale 0-2, 3 BB, RBI; DH Justin Lopez 2-3, 2 BB, 1B Jack Stronach 1-4, HR (1), 2 RBI; LHP Jackson Wolf 4 IP, 1 H, 6 K; RHP Edwuin Bencomo (W, 1-0) 3 IP, 1 H,1 BB, 2 K; LHP Ryan Och 2 IP, 5 K

Jackson Wolf delivered on Saturday. (Photo: Jeff Nycz).

Prospect Watch:  Fort Wayne put together one of their best performances so far, routing South Bend. Three pitchers combined to allow only two singles, while the first six batters in the TinCaps’ lineup all reached base at least twice and stole six bases. Although Jack Stronach was the only player to register an extra-base hit with his first home run of the season, the Fort Wayne lineup drew 11 walks against only seven strikeouts. … Jackson Wolf, 23, had a much better second start in High-A, holding the Cubs to just one hit over four frames and throwing 39 of his 48 pitches for strikes. His four innings and six strikeouts were both new career highs. The 6-foot-7 fourth-round pick from 2021 relies more on the vertical movement of pitches rather than his velocity. …  Ryan Och, a seventh-round pick from Southern Mississippi, also turned in a very nice performance. The lefty struck out five of the six batters he faced to close out the game. … It’s April, it’s very early, it’s only eight games, but Robert Hassell III has a .438/.471/.625 slash line to start the year. He’s hit in every game he has played, seven stolen bases in seven attempts, and has connected on two home runs to the opposite field. Joshua Mears reached base four more times, adding to an interesting .214/.353/.536 line. He has 33 plate appearances in eight games, five extra-base hits, two of them home runs, five walks, and 15 strikeouts. A big emphasis for Mears this year will be consolidating the mechanical changes made in spring and improving his pitch recognition.

Transaction: Right-handed reliever Mason Fox was transferred to Double-A San Antonio.

Storm 4, Visalia Rawhide 3

Key Statistics: CF Max Ferguson 1-2, 2 BB, 5 SB; 1B Lucas Dunn 2-3, BB, 2B 2 RBI; 2B Marcos Castanon 1-2, 2 HR (1) BB, RBI; RHP Victor Lizarraga 4.0 IP 5 H R ER 4 K; LHP Matt Sparling (W, 2-0) 3.0 IP 2 H R ER 2 K; RHP Matt Swilley 1.0 IP BB 2 K; RHP Keegan Collett (S,1) 1.0 IP H R ER 2 BB K

Kevin Charity was at the game and has his story here.

Posted by John Conniff

John grew up in Poway and has written for MadFriars since 2004. He has written articles for Baseball America, FoxSports San Diego, the El Paso Times, San Antonio Express-News, Amarillo Globe-News, Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette and Pacific Daily News in addition to appearing on numerous radio programs and podcasts. He can also break down the best places to eat for all five of the affiliates. There is no best place to eat in Peoria, Arizona.

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