Sacramento River Cats 3, Chihuahuas 2 (10 innings)
Key Statistics: CF Esteury Ruiz 1-3, 2 BB; LF Brent Rooker 1-4, HR (13) RBI; LHP Luke Westphal 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, BB, 11 K HR; RHP Reiss Knehr (BS, 2) 2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 K; LHP Jose Castillo 2 IP, 2 H, 2 K; RHP Dinelson Lamet 0.1 IP, H, 1 R (0 ER), BB.
Prospect Watch: El Paso lost a walk-off in the tenth inning after Dinelson Lamet intentionally walked the first batter and got a force out of the Manfred Man at third base for the first out, before giving up a game-winning single. … Luke Wesphal’s 11 strikeouts in five innings more than doubled his previous high this year and was also the first time he has gone five innings this season. The Padres signed him in 2021 after he spent four years in the independent leagues, and he has split time between starting and relief work. His 3.86 ERA trails only Jesse Scholtens among Chihuahuas with seven or more starts. … Jose Castillo continues to make a strong case for a call-up to the big leagues. With a pair of scoreless innings tonight, he has a 1.06 ERA in 17 innings with 22 strikeouts against six walks. … With the departure of Aderlin Rodriguez, Brent Rooker took over as the home run leader for the Chihuahuas with 13. Rooker came over in the Padres in the Taylor Rogers trade with the Twins. The former first-rounder has a .270/.378/.605 slash line on the season, but has seen his numbers drop to .217/.365/.420 on the road.
Missions 4, Wichita Wind Surge 2
Key Statistics: CF Thomas Milone 2-4, 2B, BB, RBI; 1B Juan Fernandez 2-5, RBI; C Yorman Rodriguez 2-3, 2 RBI; RHP Thomas Eschelman (W, 3-4) 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, HR; RHP Michel Baez 2 IP, 2 H, 2 K; RHP Angel Felipe 1 IP, H, 3 K
Prospect Watch: After clinching the first half division playoff spot Thursday, the Missions did what they have all year – went back to work and won despite not having much star power. Thomas Eschelman, 28, who signed a minor league deal after three years with the Baltimore Orioles, gave the team five solid innings while touching the upper-80s only a few times with his fastball. On the season, he leads San Antonio with 11 starts and 61.1 innings pitched, working to a 4.55 ERA. Although he only has 34 strikeouts, he has only allowed six walks all season. … Throughout the season, the Missions have been running a very effective rotation of Chandler Seagle, Yorman Rodriguez, and Juan Fernandez between catcher, first base, and designated hitter, with Seagle behind the plate the most. Friday, Rodriguez was at catcher and Fernandez at first as each had a pair of hits and drove in three of the team’s four runs.
Notes: Missions manager Phillip Wellman won his 300th game as San Antonio’s manager, one of five to do so in a franchise that has existed since 1888. He began managing in the Gulf Coast League in 1992 at 30 and has managed for 22 years. So far. he has 1309 wins with more than a few years left.
Great Lakes Loons 7, TinCaps 5
Key Statistics: LF Corey Rosier 2-4, BB; 1B Lucas Dunn 1-3, 2 RBI, 2 BB; SS Jarryd Dale 1-3, 2 BB, SB (13); CF Matthew Acosta 1-4, RBI, BB, SB (6); LHP Robert Gasser (L, 3-8) 5.2 IP, 7 H, 5 R (3 ER), BB, 9 K, HR
Prospect Watch: In his first start after winning the Midwest League Pitcher of the Week, Robert Gasser gave up a three-run home run in the first inning, which ended his two-game shutout streak. The lefty then bounced back and held the Loons scoreless for the next four innings, at one point striking out six of the nine batters he faced. Over his last four starts, he has given up four earned runs while striking out 32 in 24.2 innings against only four walks. TinCaps manager Brian Esposito told us earlier in the year that batters have a difficult time picking up the ball from the former University of Houston lefty. … Corey Rosier reached base three times to lift his on-base percentage to .371, good for tenth in the Midwest League. … Announcers John Nolan and Ben Shulman noted that the TinCaps have only won four of 34 games when their opponents score first, before Fort Wayne added one more to the loss column.
Storm 15, Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 8
Key Statistics: CF Max Ferguson 1-4, HR (3), 2 RBI; DH James Wood 2-4, BB; 2B Nerwillian Cedeño 1-4, 2B, RBI, BB; 1B Cole Cummings 1-3, RBI, BB; LF Justin Farmer 2-4, HR (10), 4 RBI, BB; RF Carlos Luis 2-4, 3 RBI; 3B Marcos Castañon 1-3, 2 BB, BB; C Juan Zabala 1-3, 3B, 3 RBI, BB; RHP Ruben Galindo 3.1 IP, 8 H, 7 ER, 4 BB, 3 K; RHP Yerry Landinez (W, 3-2) 2.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 6 K; LHP Alexuan Vega (S,1) 3 IP, H
Prospect Watch: David Jay was at the Storm game and has the game story here.
ACL Padres 4, ACL Mariners 3
Key Statistics: SS Jackson Merrill 2-3, 3B, HR (1), RBI; LF Juan Murillo 1-2, HR (1), RBI; 2B Rosman Verdugo 1-3, 2B; LHP Javier Chacon 3 IP, 3 H, 3 R (2 ER), 5 K; RHP Reiner Parra (W, 1-0) 2 IP, 0 H, R, BB, 3 K
Prospect Watch: Jackson Merrill, 19, really, really wants to leave the desert. In three games with the ACL Padres, he’s 6-for-8 with a pair of doubles, a triple and home run. The left-handed-hitting shortstop has added size and speed and is a legitimate 6-foot-3, 205-pounds which he attributed to a more focused workout regimen in the offseason. One question that followed Merrill since before the draft is his ability to pull the ball for power, but Merrill has attributed that more to pitchers’ reluctance to throw him an inside strike. He had five extra-base hits in his first 13 games with the Storm before a broken left wrist sidelined him. … Javier Chacon, 19, continues to post solid statistics at the Rookie League level and now has 23 strikeouts in 13.1 innings for a 2.70 ERA. The 5-foot-11 Cuban is a candidate to make the trip west to Lake Elsinore at some point this summer. … Rosman Verdugo, the 17-year-old from Baja California, hit his team-leading third double today to give him five extra-base hits on the season with a .325/.364/.600 line in 45 plate appearances.