To paraphrase the late, great Meat Loaf: three out of four ain’t bad. The Chihuahuas swung the lumber against Sacramento, the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio won a pitcher’s duel over Arkansas, Fort Wayne shut out their intrastate rivals, and the Storm dropped one in San Jose.

CJ Abrams gets another chance to practice his home run trot. . (Photo: Jorge Salgado).

Chihuahuas 11, Sacramento River Cats 4

Key Stats: SS CJ Abrams, 3-for-5, HR (3), 3 R, 3 RBI, SB (1); C Luis Campusano, 2-for-5, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI; RF Nomar Mazara, 3-for-4, 2 R, BB; LF Brent Rooker, 2-for-5, 2 RBI; 3B Matt Batten, 2-for-2, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB

Prospect Watch: All eyes have been on El Paso in the Padres system the past two days, as CJ Abrams has in West Texas, and, in case you missed his pair of home runs Wednesday, he had another one for the home crowd Thursday. The Padres’ top prospect is batting .500 with a 1.900 OPS two games into his Triple-A career. … In a showcase of top prospects, Luis Campusano had his second straight multi-hit game, following up Wednesday night’s two doubles with another two-bagger. Campusano is now slashing .368/.400/.561 with just 10 strikeouts in 60 plate appearances for El Paso. … Nomar Mazara has hit safely in nine of his ten games in May, adding three hits to raise his average for the month to .316. The lefty-swinging outfielder is batting .342 with a 1.000 OPS in 76 at-bats for the Chihuahuas. … Brent Rooker had his first multi-hit game since returning from the IL on Tuesday. The outfielder was the 35th overall pick by the Twins in the 2017 Draft, and was acquired by the Padres in the Taylor Rogers trade. … Matt Batten reached base four times, with a pair of walks and a pair of singles. The super-utility player is batting .321 and has started at four different positions so far.

Missions 2Arkansas Travelers 1

Esteury Ruiz gears up to unload on a pitch. (Photo: Rey Holguin)

Key Stats: CF Esteury Ruiz, 3-for-4, RBI, SB; SS Connor Kaiser, 1-for-2, 2B; RHP Matt Waldron, 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 6 K; RHP Alek Jacob, 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, BB, 4 K; LHP Tom Cosgrove (W, 3-0), 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K

Prospect Watch: We go from a slugfest in West Texas to a pitcher’s duel deep in the heart of the Lone Star State, as the Flying Chanclas walk one off at home against Arkansas. It was a scoreless tie until the eighth inning when Esteury Ruiz‘s third hit of the night gave San Antonio a 1-0 lead before Arkansas tied the game in the ninth, but the Flying Chanclas won the game in extras when Jorge Ona advanced on an error on a pickoff attempt, then scored on a wild pitch. Ruiz is on a tear in his return to the Missions, slashing .330/.497./.569, with 24 walks in 30 games played. He has reached base in every game this season. … Connor Kaiser roped a double for the Missions. The shortstop was released by the Pirates’ Triple-A affiliate in Indianapolis and the Padres signed the 2018 third-round pick to a minor league deal on Tuesday. … Matt Waldron‘s knuckleball was on and the righty struck out six while walking one in six innings of two-hit ball. The “other pitcher” in the Clevinger deal has a 2.53 ERA in two May starts, dropping his season-long figure to 4.15. …Alek Jacob tossed a pair of scoreless innings in his fifth appearance for the Missions, good for his first scoreless outing since his San Antonio debut on April 27th. The 2021 16th-rounder out Gonzaga has a 2.20 ERA in 16.1 innings of work, split between Fort Wayne and San Antonio. … Tom Cosgrove‘s ERA is down to 1.98 in 13.2 innings after working a scoreless inning for this third win. The lefty had a 2.36 ERA in 26.2 innings for the Missions last year.

Noel Vela’s improved command allowed him to work deeper into the game Thursday. (Photo: Jeff Nycz)

TinCaps 5, South Bend Cubs 0

Key Stats: LHP Noel Vela (W, 1-0), 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, BB, 8 K; RHP Felix Minjarez, 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, K; LF Corey Rosier, 1-for-3, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, SB; CF Robert Hassell III, 1-for-2, 2 BB, R, 2 SB

Prospect Watch: Now 26.1 innings into his season still having allowed only one earned run, amazingly Noel Vela picked up just his first win of the season with a stellar six-inning performance. Most importantly, the lefty now has walked only one batter in his last 11 innings, after walking 13 in his first 15.1 innings of the season. Vela’s ERA is now 0.34 which leads the Midwest League. He is one of just three qualifying pitchers who have yet to allow a homer in the circuit. … Felix Minjarez made his second straight scoreless appearance. The 25-year-old righty has a 25:9 K: BB in 13 innings in 2022, his second season in Fort Wayne. … Corey Rosier, who we profiled earlier this week, hit his third home run of the season, as the TinCaps leadoff hitter is now slashing .281/.439/.469 in May, having his two of his three homers in the month. … Rosier stole his 12th base of the season, but Robert Hassell III surpassed him by stealing a pair of bases to reach 13 on the season. Hassell also walked twice and singled, reaching base in his eighth straight game.

Matt Acosta squares one up for Lake Elsinore. (Photo: Jerry Espinoza:

San Jose Giants 6, Storm 5

Key Stats: CF Matthew Acosta, 2-for-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI; RF Justin Farmer, 1-for-2, 2B, SB; RHP Jairo Iriarte, 5.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K

Prospect Watch: El Paso isn’t the only affiliate where a player has mashed three homers in two games. Matthew Acosta hit a pair of solo shots a night after connecting on another, including one as Elsinore’s ninth-inning comeback fell just short for the Storm. Acosta, a 12th-round pick in 2019, is now one home run behind his 2021 total after bashing his fourth and fifth round-trippers of the season. … Justin Farmer hit his second double of the season and stole a base. The 2021 undrafted free agent from Florida International has now swiped nine bags on the season after stealing zero bases in 16 games in the Arizona Complex League last season. … 20-year-old Jairo Iriarte continues to impress in his return to Lake Elsinore, as the Venezuelan righty has now collected 33 strikeouts in 24 innings pitched to go with a 1-0 record and 3.00 ERA.

Posted by Mark Wilkens

Born in San Diego and raised in Escondido, Mark now calls Phoenix home. Prior to MadFriars, Mark had multiple articles featured on Bleacher Report and covering the Padres, Angels and Clippers.

One Comment

  1. […] Fort Wayne was the performance of lefty Noel Vela, 23, who gave the TinCaps their sole win.  Vela threw six shutout innings on Thursday with eight punchouts and now leads the Midwest League in ERA at 0.34.  The South Texan has […]


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