Las Vegas Aviators 13, Chihuahuas 4 (conclusion of Thursday’s suspended game)
Key Statistics: CF Esteury Ruiz, 3-for-4, BB, 2 RBI, SB (8, 9); SS C.J. Abrams, 3-for-5, SB (10); 2B Eguy Rosario, 2-for-4, R, HR (9), RBI, BB; LF Matthew Batten, 2-for-5, R, RBI, 2 SB (10, 11); LHP Aaron Leasher, 4 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, BB, 3 K; RHP Evan Miller, IP, K
Chihuahuas 14, Las Vegas Aviators 4
Key Statistics: SS C.J. Abrams, 1-for-4, 2 R, HR (7), BB, RBI; C Brett Sullivan, 5-for-5, 3 R, 2 2B, RBI; 2B Eguy Rosario, 2-for-5, 2 R, 2 RBI; 1B Kyle Martin, 2-for-4, 2 HR (3, 4), 2 R, 6 RBI; RHP Jesse Scholtens, 3.1 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K; LHP Jose Castillo, 1.1 IP, 2 H, ER, BB, 2 K
Prospect Watch: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was Pacific Coast League baseball. El Paso resumed their suspended tilt with Las Vegas and got blown out in the conclusion of Thursday’s game. However, El Paso exacted revenge in game two and destroyed Aviators to get back on track. … Center fielder Esteury Ruiz is human, we think. He had three hits in the first game and he ended the game with a .500 average. The nightcap wasn’t as kind; he went hitless in four at-bats to drop his average to .450. Ruiz was actually the only Chihuahua who failed to get a hit in the regularly scheduled game. A .500 batting average at any level of professional baseball is unsustainable but Ruiz’s improvement continues to defy even the loftiest of expectations. Since being promoted to Triple-A, Ruiz is striking out in 20% of his plate appearances. He came into Friday’s action with a BABIP north of .600, so expect a little regression. However, Ruiz continues to make himself an option for the Padres this year – something that very few people could have imagined in April. … In the 635th game of his professional career, catcher Brett Sullivan notched his first five-hit game. The backstop had two doubles, three singles, and he scored three runs. Last season, Sullivan got his first taste of Triple-A with the Rays’ organization and hit just .223/.302/.375. It’s been a different story for Sullivan in 2022. The veteran catcher is in the midst of his finest offensive season as a pro. This season, Sullivan’s five-hit night raised his slash-line to .321/.370/.468. The 28-year-old out of Pacific University was drafted by the Rays in the 17th round way back in 2015. He spent seven seasons in their system before signing with the Brewers as a free agent last winter. The Brewers added him to the 40-man roster before opening day and flipped him to the Padres with outfielder Korry Howell for Victor Caratini. Sullivan is clearly the number four catcher on the depth chart but he’s a very good depth option to have. … It’s only been eight games but El Paso first baseman Kyle Martin is sure fun to watch. Martin had a monster night Friday, hitting two homers – one an inside-the-park job that bounced off the wall in right-center and the second a more traditional blast that went for a grand slam – and driving in six runs. Martin has four homers in eight games with El Paso. … Every night in our El Paso recaps, you hear about C.J. Abrams, Esteury Ruiz, or Luis Campusano, and rightfully so. However, infielder Eguy Rosario has been somewhat lost in the shuffle. Rosario had two hits in both games and he is carrying a five-game hitting streak. After struggling in the first two months of the season, Rosario is pounding the PCL in June. In 15 games this month, the 22-year-old is hitting .297/.366/.688 with six homers, five doubles, and a triple. The Padres are currently carrying 14 pitchers on the active roster and must go back down to 13 hurlers on Monday. Rosario is already on the 40-man roster and his versatility and hot streak at the plate could give him an opportunity to be in the mix.
Amarillo Sod Poodles 5, Missions 3
Key Statistics: 2B Domingo Leyba, 1-for-4, HR (4), R, RBI; LF Tirso Ornelas, 2-for-3, BB; RF Jorge Oña, 1-for-4, R, HR (5), RBI; RHP Nolan Watson, 4 IP, 3 H, BB, 3 K; RHP Brandon Komar (L, 0-1), 2.2 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
Prospect Watch: A night after an emotional walk-off win, The Missions allowed four runs in the seventh inning to let a small lead slip away. … Outfielder Jorge Oña made his first appearance since June 1 and homered for the first time since May 4. The 25-year-old spent nine days on the COVID-19 list. Oña, who had a cup of coffee with the Padres in 2020, has struggled in his third stint in Double-A, although he only played in two games with the Missions in 2021. This season, Oña is hitting just .177/.277/.339 with five homers. While it is easy to be discouraged by Oña’s development, injuries have been a big factor in his lack of success. If you count the five big league games Oña played in 2020, the Cuban-born outfielder has played in just 73 games since the beginning of 2019. He has major power but needs to stay on the field and get regular at-bats for the Missions this summer. … Outfielder Tirso Ornelas had his third multi-hit game in his last four starts. Ornelas has hit well since returning from a brief stint on the COVID-19 list. After a poor May, Ornelas has been very good in June. In 33 plate appearances, Ornelas is hitting .406/.424/.625. … Baseball is a brutal sport sometimes. Earlier in the week, RHP Brandon Komar won the Midwest Pitcher of the Week, in addition to getting the nod as our MadFriars Pitcher of the Week. His excellent performance earned him a promotion to Double-A. Called upon to preserve a Missions lead Friday, Komar got knocked around Wolff Stadium. The 23-year-old allowed five earned runs on six hits, walking two and striking out three. If you are searching for a silver lining, there is some good news. Komar had a few clunkers in Fort Wayne but he’s typically been able to bounce back and string together good outings. He will look to do that in the Texas League.
TinCaps 7, Lansing Lugnuts 1
Prospect Watch: Perhaps the TinCaps should play all of their games in Lansing going forward. Fort Wayne is 8-2 in the Michigan capital and 17-34 everywhere else. … Center fielder Robert Hassell III suffered through a poor May, then found himself on the COVID-19 list and missed about two weeks of action. Since returning, he has been red-hot, hitting safely in five straight games and sporting a 1.387 OPS. In his last 23 plate appearances, he’s struck out just once. … Outfielder Olivier Basabe had two singles, extending his own hitting streak to five games. During that span, Basabe is 7-for-20 with a triple. Basabe has played infrequently this season and has provided positional flexibility but outside of his recent stretch, he hasn’t provided much offense. … LHP Noel Vela turned things around and completed six strong innings to earn his third win of the year. The left-hander got off to a fantastic start this season but has struggled a bit over his last five starts, prior to Friday. Vela’s biggest issue has been command. He has some of the best stuff in the organization – a fastball that sits 92-95, a sweeping curve, and a good change-up – however, he struggles with efficiency. When he’s been on, he’s been arguably the best starting pitcher in the Padres’ system. In 50.1 innings, Vela has struck out 68 but the 29 walks have hurt him.
Modesto Nuts 9, Storm 5
Key Statistics: SS Max Ferguson, 2-for-5, 3B, 3 RBI; CF James Wood, 1-for-3, R, 2B, 2 BB, SB (5); 3B Marcus Castanon, 1-for-4, R, HR (4), RBI; 1B Carlos Luis, 2-for-4, R, 2B; RHP Garrett Hawkins, 5 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 3 K; RHP Yerry Landinez (L, 2-2) 1.1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB
Prospect Watch: The Storm had a 5-2 lead going into the bottom of the fifth. Modesto got three in the fifth and scored seven unanswered runs to even the series at two games apiece. The news isn’t all bad; by virtue of Rancho Cucamonga’s loss, the Storm’s magic number to clinch the first-half title is down to three. … Shortstop Max Ferguson gave the Storm the lead in the fourth with a bases-clearing triple to the left-center gap. It was the third consecutive multi-hit game for Ferguson, who is starting to heat up with the weather. In the series against Modesto, Ferguson is 8-for-16. The 22-year-old infielder and sometimes outfielder had seven extra-base hits in the first 42 games and slugged just .292. In June, Ferguson has six extra-base hits and a .422 slugging percentage. We’ve written about his prowess on the base paths a lot this year but if Ferguson can flash a little more pop, the Padres could have a fascinating prospect on their hands. … James Wood reached base three times Friday, including a double that he roped down the first-base line. Wood also stole third base but was stranded there after the Storm failed to capitalize. It was Wood’s second game back with the Storm after a wrist injury. … RHP Garrett Hawkins entered the firth with a three-run lead and allowed a two-run homer to catcher Harry Ford, the Mariners’ first-rounder last year. When everything settled, Hawkins completed five innings, allowing five runs on six hits. Hawkins got off to a blazing start this season, pitching to a 1.96 ERA in four starts. Since then, Hawkins has allowed 26 earned runs in 30 innings. The 22-year-old has racked up the strikeouts but he allowed a lot of hard contact Friday night.
ACL Rangers 20, ACL Padres 1
Prospect Watch: This one got really ugly early. The ACL Padres allowed six in the first inning and they were losing 17-0 in the third inning. … Shortstop Rosman Verdugo had a pair of singles and drove in the only run for the ACL bunch. The 17-year-old from Ensenada has a .934 OPS in nine games in the desert. … RHP Evan Sweeting turned in another good outing, as he stopped the bleeding a bit. The righty from the Bahamas pitched 2.1 innings and allowed a run on two hits, walking two and striking out three. The 20-year-old has a 1.59 ERA with nine strikeouts in 5.2 innings.