Chihuahuas 10, Sugar Land Space Cowboys 2
Key Stats: RHP Reiss Knehr 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 8 K, 3 BB; RHP Yusmeiro Petit 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 K, 1 BB; 3B Eguy Rosario 1-for-4, BB; 1B Taylor Kohlwey 3-for-4, 2B, BB; RF Nomar Mazara 1-for-4, SF, 3 K
Prospect Watch: El Paso plated eight runs on only three singles in the sixth inning to turn the afternoon contest into a laugher. Sugar Land contributed four walks, a hit batter, an error and a pair of run-scoring wild pitches to the festivities to hand the series to the visiting Chihuahuas. Even before the big frame, Reiss Knehr had put El Paso in position to win with six innings of one-run ball and a season-high eight strikeouts. The righty logged 29 innings in the big leagues last summer, but got off to a rough start in Triple-A this season. After posting a 7.91 ERA in his first four starts, he allowed just three runs in 11 innings with a solid 15:6 strikeout-to-walk ratio in two appearances in the Sugar Land series. Saturday, Knehr threw his change-up 22 times, getting nine swings-and-misses as he worked between 84 and 89 mph with it. In his first start of the year, his bread and butter pitch didn’t get a single swinging strike. … Taylor Kohlwey had his second straight three-hit game with a double. The 27-year-old has his line for the year up to .294/.394/.413 and, if Matt Beatty does head to the IL, could have himself in position to present an interesting contact-first call-up option. … The other most likely internal candidate is Nomar Mazarra, who singled and hit a sacrifice fly Sunday. The big league vet has hit in 17 of 18 games with El Paso on his way to a .967 OPS.
Corpus Christi Hooks 9, Missions 6
Key Stats: DH Esteury Ruiz 0-for-2, BB, HBP, 2 K; RF Jorge Ona 1-for-5, 2B; RHP Nolan Watson 2 IP, 1 H, 3 ER, 2BB; LHP Osvaldo Hernandez 2.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 K, 2 HR, 3 inherited runners scored; RHP Kevin Kopps 0.1 IP, 2 ER, 2 BB
Prospect Watch: The Missions drew eight walks, but managed to go only 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position on the day as they came up short in the series finale in Corpus. Esteury Ruiz continues to get on base often, even though he’s not getting many hits this month. In the lineup as the designated hitter Sunday, Ruiz drew a walk and got hit by a pitch for the sixth time in 37 plate appearances over the last seven games. He’s had only five hits – four for extra bases – in May, but still sports a .514 OBP which is actually an improvement on his stellar April. He has seen his strikeout rate creep up above 25% for the month after keeping it at 15% in April. … Jorge Ona connected on his third double of the weekend and hit .273/.429/.545 in the series. … On the year, the Missions pitching staff has struck out fewer batters than any club on the circuit while issuing more walks than all but one staff. That pattern held Sunday as they allowed four free passes and struck out only five Hooks batters. Kevin Kopps yielded a pair of the walks after coming on to preserve a 6-6 tie. The righty has now walked nine of the 42 batters he’s faced in 10 innings of work, contributing to a 6.30 ERA even though he’s held opponents to a .125 average. Opponents have been effective in waiting out his slider, which he’ll have to use in the zone more effectively.
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 4, TinCaps 3
Key Stats: LF Robert Hassell III 2-for-5, 2 K; SS Jarryd Dale 2-for-4, SB (7), CS (3); RF Angel Solarte 2-for-3, 2B, BB; LHP Robert Gasser 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 6 K, 3 BB, HBP; Ryan Och (L, 1-1) 0.2 IP, 0 H, 4 ER, 5 BB, 2 K
Prospect Watch: The TinCaps appeared to be on the way to victory thanks to a stellar start by Robert Gasser, but a rare ninth inning implosion by Ryan Och gave the Timber Rattlers their fifth win in the series. Gasser, 22, turned in a career-high six innings, allowing just one single along the way. The lefty did walk three and hit a batter, but even that hit batter came on a slider that almost earned a swinging strike three before clipping the hitter in the back foot. The outing brought the ERA of the Padres’ supplemental pick last summer down to 3.55 in six starts and carried his strikeout total to 36 in 25.1 innings. … Entrusted with a 3-0 lead in the ninth, Och never found a rhythm and walked five of the seven batters he faced. He gave way to Sam Keating with the bases loaded and two outs, and Wisconsin’s Alex Hall connected on a game-winning two-run single on Keating’s first pitch for the gut-punch comeback win. Och, the Padres’ seventh-round pick last year, had allowed just two earned runs over his first 12.1 innings of the year. While opponents are hitting just .098 against the lefty, he’s now walked 13 in as many frames. … Angel Solarte, who has gotten off to a slow start as the fourth outfielder behind a strong starting trio, drove in the TinCaps’ first run of the day on a double, and added a single and walk for the game. The 21-year-old Venezuela native sports just a .175 batting average, but has drawn 16 walks to bolster his on-base percentage. The strong performance snapped an 0-for-16 stretch.
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 11, Storm 7
Key Stats: SS Max Ferguson 0-for-1, 4 BB, 3 SB (26); 2B Charlis Aquino 2-for-4, 2B, SB (2); DH Cole Cummings 1-for-2, 2 BB, K; LHP Jesus Gonzalez 3.1 IP, 8 H, 6 R (5 ER), 2 K, 2 BB; RHP Alexuan Vega 2.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB
Prospect Watch: After falling behind 8-1 early, the Storm closed the gap with a five-run inning, but never fully got back in the game. With Jackson Merrill and James Wood on the shelf, the Padres have added Charlis Aquino and Albert Fabian to the Storm roster. Both 20-year-old members of the 2018 international free agent class out of the Dominican Republic, the duo started as the right side of the infield Sunday. Aquino, who first came stateside for instructs the year he signed, got his first taste of full-season ball in 12 games with Elsinore last year, but spent most of the summer in Arizona with Fabian. The right-handed hitting middle infielder had a pair of hits and swiped his second base Sunday. … Jesus Gonzalez joined his rotation-mates in struggling with the Dodgers’ Low-A affiliate. The 20-year-old lefty was charged with six runs, five earned, over just 3.2 innings. While Gonzalez has limited the damage against him this year by logging a ton of ground balls to keep his ERA at a respectable 3.38, he has struck out only 10 in 21.1 innings of work.