Despite the multiple sevens in the date, it was not a fortunate night for the Padres affiliates, as the Chihuahuas found Sugar Land to be a misnomer, the TinCaps fell in a marathon at Parkview Field, and the Storm fell short in the Gateway to the Sequoias. Fortunately, the Missions took care of business to avoid being on the wrong side of an organizational sweep.
Sugar Land Space Cowboys 6, Chihuahuas 3 (F/10 innings)
Prospect Watch: It was a PCL pitchers’ duel in Sugar Land before the 10th inning, with Ryan Weathers putting together his best outing since seven innings of one-run ball on May 4. Weathers kept the walks down, issuing just one free pass, and scattered nine hits to only allow three runs in the game. The Padres have been taking their time with Weathers after a 2021 campaign that saw the lefty used early, often, and in the end, possibly too much by San Diego as their pitching staff scuffled. … While it’s natural to fear the worst when a pitcher hits the IL, Adrian Morejon undoubtedly assuaged some concerns by striking out the side in 14 pitches. With an 11:2 K:BB and one hit allowed in eight innings between San Antonio and El Paso, Morejon’s rehab journey has shown he has probably learned all that he can in the minor leagues. … After starting the year in a similar situation as Weathers and being used almost exclusively as a starter, Reiss Knehr has moved to the bullpen since returning from San Diego, where he was used exclusively in relief. Including tonight’s escape from loading up the bases in the ninth, Knehr has thrown 2.2 shutout innings in July. … While the Padres await word on Jurickson Profar after a frightening collision at Petco Park, it brings the possibility Brent Rooker could be headed back to San Diego, where he has worn pinstripes twice so far this season but has yet to appear in a game for the big club since arriving via trade with the Twins. With tonight’s pair of doubles, Rooker is 8-for-16 to begin July, with the two doubles, a home run, and seven runs batted in.
Missions 2, Frisco RoughRiders 1
Prospect Watch: Thursday has been the regular day for Reggie Lawson, and he has really been giving Missions fans something to look forward to lately, as the righty has now gone seven straight starts without giving up more than one run. Lawson has also now gone 14 innings into July without walking a batter as one of the best stories of the season continues to get better. … Carlos Belen earned his first win of the month with two scoreless innings. The Dominican righty is 3-3 with a 4.26 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 31.2 innings of work for the Missions. … Connor Hollis makes yet another Thursday edition of the Daily with a pair of hits and a run batted in. Hollis is slashing .339/.467/.471 when batting second, where he’s spent most of the season, logging 121 at-bats in the two-slot. … It was a very “small ball” game, and Tirso Ornelas was game for the challenge, reaching base three times, stealing a base, and scoring a run. Ornelas has worked his batting average up to .291 on the season as he continues to heat up.
Roster Move: Prior to Thursday’s matchup, the Missions sent right-hander Michel Baez and righty Alek Jacob to El Paso, to help fortify their bullpen. Catcher and former big leaguer Webster Rivas moves to San Antonio.
Lake County Captains 11, TinCaps 10 (F/13 innings)
Prospect Watch: While a very long game didn’t go the TinCaps way, fans at Parkview Field were treated to a real slugfest between Fort Wayne and the visiting Captains, including a vintage performance from Robert Hassell III. Stuffing a box score in a way we’ve grown accustomed to, Hassell did it all, reaching base six times and was the engine for the TinCaps offense. … Adam Kerner had a productive night at the plate as well, driving in three runs while slugging his fourth double of the season. A former University of San Diego Torero, Kerner’s .225/.244/.400 slash line has represented an improvement despite limited playing time, especially in the power department as he’s spent his second professional season back with the TinCaps, where he slashed .173/.283/.269 last year in 156 at-bats. … Matthew Acosta contributed a pair of doubles to the cause, scoring two runs and also working a walk. The former USC Trojan was drafted by the Padres in the 12th round in 2019 and is batting .250 with two home runs and 11 RBI for Fort Wayne since being promoted from Lake Elsinore. … With a Trojan having a two-hit night, of course, the Bruin had to stand up for himself. Jack Stronach reached base four times, including two hits, while scoring two runs and driving another in. Stronach, a 21st-round selection in 2019, made his fifth start as the DH, with his other 38 starts in 2022 being at first base.
Visalia Rawhide 6, Storm 3
Prospect Watch: The good thing for the Storm is all the things they’re missin’ might just be at the end of their ride against the Rawhide. But tonight was certainly a forgettable part of the road trip to Visalia, although the Storm did manage to score three runs on four hits without a single base knock going for extra bases. Jairo Iriarte takes the hard-luck loss, but on the bright side it marks the first time he threw six innings this year, and he did so without issuing a single walk. As Iriarte’s ERA grew from 2.70 in April to 4.58 in May and then 7.02 in June, this start to July is a very welcome sight for the 20-year-old righty from La Guaira, Venezuela. … Charlis Aquino bounced back from last night’s 0-for-4 outing with a single, run scored, and RBI. Aquino, a shortstop from San Cristobal in the Dominican Republic, played 12 games for the Storm in 2021 after being promoted from the Arizona Complex League. In a return engagement in Lake Elsinore, Aquino is slashing .242/.314/.337 in 95 at-bats. … Former UCSB Gaucho Marcos Castañon drove in a pair of runs while extending his hitting streak to 12 games. The 2021 12th-rounder is 10-for-21 to start the month of July, with two home runs, four doubles, and nine runs batted in. … With a scoreless inning tonight, Ruben Galindo has kicked off July with 3.2 innings without allowing a run. The 21-year-old is a native of San Juan de Uraba, Colombia.
ACL Padres 4, ACL Royals 3
Prospect Watch: In the rare low-scoring edition of desert baseball, the Padres appear to have held off a rally by this year’s unified Royals squad (Kansas City carried two teams in 2021) for the win in Peoria. Fernando Sanchez got the nod for the start, and responded with three innings of one-hit ball, walking none and striking out six. A native of Ciudad Obregon in Sonora, Mexico, Sanchez is back in the desert, where he pitched in 2019, for a rehab assignment. The southpaw made one start last year for the Storm, lasting 2.2 innings before missing the balance of the season, but has impressed in his return in 2022, with a 16:3 K:BB ratio in 8.2 innings over five appearances. … The heralded Victor Acosta picked up where he left off in June, extending his hitting streak to four games in his first appearance in July. The 18-year-old shortstop’s two hits included a home run, and he also stole a base. … His double-play partner, 17-year-old Rosman Verdugo stole the show with a triple and a homer of his own. Verdugo, a January signee from Ensenada, is batting .296 with four home runs and 13 RBI in 71 at-bats for the ACL squad. … Joshua Mears showed a little of the good and the bad of the Joshua Mears Experience tonight, swatting a home run while striking out three times. In 158 at-bats between his time in the ACL and the TinCaps, Mears has 11 home runs and 81 strikeouts.