Chihuahuas 9, Reno Aces 3
Key Statistics: RF Nomar Mazara 1-3, HR (2), RBI, 2 R, BB; DH Aderlin Rodriguez 1-3, GS (4), 5 RBI, R; LF Trayce Thompson 1-4, HR (9), RBI, R; 3B Matthew Batten 1-3, HR (1), RBI, R; RHP Jesse Scholtens (W, 2-0) 6.2 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
Prospect Watch: El Paso made the most of seven hits, six of which went for extra bases, to fold the Aces at Southwest University Park. Nomar Mazara gave the Chihuahuas a lead they would not relinquish with a sixth inning solo home run. The blast was Mazara’s second home run of the season in just seven games. The former Texas Ranger currently has an OPS just south of 1.200 and has walked more than he’s struck out in the friendly confines of the Pacific Coast League. … With the game still in the balance late, Aderlin Rodriguez tipped the scales in the home team’s favor with a grand slam. The 30-year-old got off to a somewhat slow start in his return to the organization, but has hits in five of his last six games overall. … In contrast to Rodriguez’s tepid start, Trayce Thompson continued his white hot beginning. The 31-year-old hit his Pacific Coast League-leading ninth home run of the season, a no doubt blast to left off a 91 mph fastball that traveled an estimated 408 feet. Should Wil Myers need to head to the IL, Thompson could be an option for a club still searching for some offensive firepower. … Jesse Scholtens took the starting assignment for the Chihuahuas and continued his excellent April, notching his second win. The former Wright State right-hander has done a stellar job of limiting baserunners, allowing just three walks in 23.2 innings. Opposing batters are hitting just .218 off Scholtens through four starts.
Springfield Cardinals 5, Missions 1
Key Statistics: LF Tirso Ornelas 2-4, SS Chris Givin 1-4, 2B; RHP Reggie Lawson (L, 0-2) 1.2 IP, 3 H, 4 R (3 ER), 3 BB, K
Prospect Watch: It was a rough night in Nelson Wolff Stadium for the Missions, who committed three errors and were held to just five hits by a trio of Springfield hurlers in defeat. Tirso Ornelas was the lone Missions regular with a multi-hit performance, collecting a pair of singles. The 22-year-old Tijuana native is hitting .333 through his first 12 games in Double-A, but the slugging percentage concerns that have followed him are still present. He has just one extra-base hit for a .396 slugging percentage. … Reggie Lawson made his second start since being activated off the IL and was ultimately saddled with the loss. The talented right-hander, now 24, is coming off 2020 Tommy John surgery and a mid-season shoulder injury that shut him down in 2021 season. While the defense didn’t do him many favors on the night, the command is going to have to return to for Lawson to have a realistic shot at helping the big league club. The Victorville native threw 58 pitches, only 30 for strikes.
Dayton Dragons 4, TinCaps 0
Key Statistics: CF Robert Hassell III 1-3, BB; DH Angel Solarte 0-0, 4 BB; LHP Robert Gasser (L, 1-2) 4 IP, 4 H, 3 R (1 ER), BB, 4 K
Prospect Watch: Much of the early season headlines for the TinCaps have revolved around their offense, which leads the Midwest League in runs scored. Returning home off a rousing road trip where Fort Wayne scored nine or more runs four times, the offense was stifled by a seemingly unimpressed Dragons pitching staff at Parkview Field. Even in a shutout loss, Robert Hassell III continued to do good things. The 20-year-old singled and walked, extending his on-base streak to 16 consecutive games. While it’s still incredibly early in the season, Hassell’s ability is likely beyond the pitching of the Midwest League at this stage. … Despite being limited to just two hits by the Dragons, the TinCaps were gifted eight free passes, half of them to designated hitter Angel Solarte. The 21-year-old Venezuela has one of the more unique slash lines you’ll see, hitting just .194, but posting an on base percentage of .419, with a slugging percentage of .226 in Fort Wayne. … Robert Gasser cruised through three innings in what looked to be a surefire pitcher’s duel before allowing a solo home run to Reece Hinds in the fourth before an error allowed two additional runs to score. The 2021 Competive Balance Pick (71st overall) is off to a strong start in his first full season, striking out 21 in 15.2 innings. … Joshua Mears was in the starting lineup after being forced to leaving Sunday’s game following getting hit on the hand by a pitch. Mears went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
Storm 5, Inland Empire 66ers 1
Key Statistics: 1B Lucas Dunn 2-4, 3B, R, BB; LF Justin Farmer 2-4, 2 SB, R; SS Max Ferguson 1-4, 2 SB, BB; RHP Ruben Galindo (W, 1-2) 5 IP, H, ER, 2 BB, 7 K; RHP Levi Thomas (S, 1) 3 IP, H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
Prospect Watch: With Jackson Merrill out of the lineup, some less-heralded Storm hitters grabbed the spotlight as Lake Elsinore coasted to victory at home. Batting in Merrill’s usual third slot, Lucas Dunn picked up some of the offensive slack, including a first inning triple. Drafted in the eighth round in last year’s draft out of the University of Louisville, Dunn is off to a fast start with the Storm, slashing .320/.500/.540 so far in 2022. … With the minor league rule change in Low-A limiting pitchers to two pickoff attempts per plate appearance, it has been open season on the basepaths for the Storm. Lake Elsinore stole five bases in all, including a double steal of second and home by Max Ferguson and James Wood. Overall, the team has stolen 37 bases, a mark which easily leads the California League through 16 games. … Ruben Galindo put together his best performance of the year, needing just 63 pitches to navigate five innings. The right-hander shut down the Inland Empire offense, allowing just one hit and striking out seven. The outing marked the longest start of the Colombian’s career. … In a night of firsts, Levi Thomas picked up his first professional save. After walking four batters each in his first two appearances, Thomas kept the 66ers off the basepaths to much greater effect, commanding the strike zone across his three innings. The former Troy standout threw 34 of his 45 total pitches for strikes.