We saw a classic PCL game in El Paso but the Chihuahuas found themselves in the loss column. The TinCaps allowed 21 hits and were blown out in South Bend. The Storm lost again in San Jose and the Missions were the saving grace as they were the only affiliate to win.
Sacramento River Cats 16, Chihuahuas 12
Key Statistics: 2B Eguy Rosario, 3-for-5, 2 R, HR (3), RBI; SS CJ Abrams 0-for-5, R, BB, RBI, SB (2); C Luis Campusano, 2-for-4, 4 R, HR (3), 2 RBI, 2 BB; RF Nomar Mazara, 2-for-5, 3 R, 2 2B, RBI; DH Brett Sullivan, 3-for-4, 2B, 3B, 5 RBI; RHP Pedro Avila, 2.2 IP, 3 H, 6 R (5 ER), 5 BB, 3 K; LHP Luke Westphal (L, 0-1) 2.1 IP, 5 H, 7 ER, 4 BB, 4 K
Prospect Watch: This game featured almost as many lead changes as an NBA contest but in the end, El Paso dropped a slugfest at home. … Eguy Rosario extended his hitting streak to eight games with a three-hit night. The 23-year-old singled twice and connected on his third homer of the year. After a brutal April, Rosario has looked more like the player we saw with the Missions last year. In 39 plate appearances in May, the infielder is hitting .333/.385/.444 with a K-rate south of 20%. As long as Rosario hits, he will be an option for the Padres at some point this season. … Luis Campusano reached base four times Friday night, including a homer of his own. The talented catcher missed some time earlier in the week after he was suspended by the league for two games after getting ejected from a game. Campusano continues to show that offensively he is ready for the next challenge but he is still a work in progress behind the plate. In 15 games with El Paso, he has an OPS north of 1.000. … Brett Sullivan entered Friday in a 2-for-18 slump to start May but he busted out, finishing a homer shy of the cycle. Sullivan also drove in five runs, tying the career-high he set in 2017 as a member of the Charlotte Stone Crabs. The veteran came over to the organization in the Victor Caratini deal just before opening day and is hitting .297/.372/.486. … CJ Abrams went 0-for-5, marking the first time he hasn’t homered in a Triple-A game. He still contributed offensively with a walk, a run scored, and a stolen base. … Former big leaguer Pedro Avila drew the starting assignment and battled through command issues. Avila walked five batters in his 2.2 innings of work. Those walks led to six runs, five of them earned. The 25-year-old, who appeared in two games out of the Padres’ bullpen earlier this year, has walked nine batters in his last five innings pitched.
Missions 9, Arkansas Travelers 1
Key Statistics: CF Esteury Ruiz, 3-for-5, 2 R, 2B, 2 SB (21, 22); 3B Connor Hollis, 2-for-4, 2 R, 2B, BB, RBI; 1B Juan Fernandez, 2-for-3, 3 RBI; RF Thomas Milone, 2-for-5, RBI; RHP Reggie Lawson, 4 IP, 2 H, ER, 3 BB, 3 K; RHP Nolan Watson (W, 1-1) 3 IP, 2 BB, 3 K
Prospect Watch: Don’t look now, but the Missions are the hottest team in the Texas League. San Antonio has won seven of their last ten games after getting off to a 3-13 start. … As far as breakout seasons go, outfielder Esteury Ruiz has been the breakout star of the Padres’ system over the first 30 games. The athletic outfielder added three more hits to his ledger and he stole a pair of bases to give him 22 on the season. Ruiz’s on-base prowess has been amazing; he has reached safely in all 31 games he’s played this season. Ruiz ranks sixth in the Texas League with a 1.079 OPS and his 22 stolen bases lead the league. … Infielder Connor Hollis had two more hits Friday, giving him six multi-hit games in 11 May games. Hollis has been one of the big reasons the Missions have played well in May. The former Ray is hitting a blistering .432/.593/.676 this month. … In good development news, the Missions got a positive outing from Reggie Lawson. Lawson, 24, allowed 15 earned runs in his first four starts, which lead to an unsightly 13.50 ERA. However, on Friday, Lawson allowed just one run to an aggressive Arkansas lineup over a season-high four innings pitched. His fastball sat 91-93 and the feel for his breaking ball was spotty, but he was a big part of the Missions’ victory.
South Bend Cubs 11, TinCaps 2
Key Statistics: DH Robert Hassell III, 1-for-3, R, HR (6), 2 RBI, BB; SS Jarryd Dale, 1-for-4; RF Angel Solarte, 1-for-3, BB; RHP Efrain Contreras (L, 0-1) 3 IP, 7 H, 3 R (2 ER), BB, K; LHP Danny Denz, 3.2 IP, 11 H, 8 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
Prospect Watch: The TinCaps jumped out to a 2-0 lead and that’s where the good vibes died. The TinCaps allowed 21 hits and were annihilated in South Bend. … Robert Hassell III supplied all of Fort Wayne’s offense with a two-run shot in the first inning, his sixth dinger of the season. Hassell was the only TinCap to reach base twice in the loss. Hassell’s six home runs have him tied for eighth in the circuit and his .356 batting average ranks second in the league. … Efrain Contreras made his second start of the year and completed three innings. The 22-year-old was knocked around a bit and took the loss. Contreras allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits. The Ciudad Juarez native is working his way back into form after having Tommy John surgery after instructs in 2020. … Danny Denz took over for Contreras and was taken apart by the Cubs’ offense. The former Memphis Tiger allowed 11 hits and eight earned runs in 3.2 innings of work. The poor outing inflated Denz’s ERA to 13.50 – a far cry from the production he had a year ago. Denz is striking out nearly a batter in an inning but there are a few underlying issues that have impacted Denz’s struggles. He has walked 15 batters in 15.1 innings and roughly 15% of the fly balls he has allowed have left the yard. For comparison, only five percent of Denz’s flyballs left the yard a season ago. Walks and homers are never a recipe for success but Denz has shown that his stuff can play at the High-A level.
San Jose Giants 10, Storm 5
Key Statistics: C-3B Lucas Dunn, 2-for-4, 2 R, BB, RBI; 3B-1B Carlos Luis, 2-for-4, R; 2B Marcos Castanon, 1-for-4, 2B, BB, 2 RBI; RHP Garrett Hawkins (L, 1-2) 2 IP, 9 H, 7 ER, 2 BB, 2 K; RHP Keegan Collett, 3 IP, H, 4 K
Prospect Watch: The Storm dropped their third straight to the Giants in San Jose. … After dominating the Cal League in April, Garrett Hawkins has had a rough start to May. Hawkins gave up a career-high seven earned runs on nine hits in just two innings of work. The brutal line increased Hawkins’ ERA from 2.45 to 4.66. The biggest difference in May is Hawkins has struggled to command his stuff as he did in April. He walked just one batter in four April starts but he’s already issued five free passes in two May outings. The big righty will look to get back on track next week in Visalia. …Keegan Collett took over for Hawkins and fired a season-high three innings to keep the Storm in the game. Collett allowed just one hit and punched out four. The former Florida Gulf Coast righty has produced big strikeout numbers with the Storm the last two years but he has struggled to limit the free passes. Friday’s outing was just the third time in 10 outings that Collett didn’t walk anyone. Opposing hitters are batting just .154 off of the former 35th-round pick. If Collett can limit the walks, he has a chance to be a late-inning reliever. … Lucas Dunn made his first professional appearance at catcher, although he moved over to third later in the game. At the plate, Dunn reached base three times with a pair of singles and a walk. Dunn’s excellent night at the plate raised his on-base percentage to .427, good for seventh-best in the Cal League.