While the Padres have moved many of the organization’s top prospects over the last few days, the farm still had its second consecutive winning day going 2-1, including a dramatic walk-off win in El Paso.
Chihuahuas 7, Albuquerque Isotopes 6 (11 innings)
Key Statistics: RF Matt Beaty 1-for-5; SS Eguy Rosario 3-for-4, 2 R, RBI, BB; DH Luis Campusano 2-for-5, 2B, HR (9), 3 RBI; 3B Kervin Pichardo 1-for-3, HR (2), RBI, BB; RHP Robert Suarez IP, 2 H, 3 ER, BB, 2 HR; LHP Jose Castillo IP, K
Prospect Watch: One of the many things that make baseball the greatest sport is that you never know who will be the hero on any given night. Wednesday in El Paso, it was 20-year-old Kervin Pichardo. Pichardo, who spent most of the year in Lake Elsinore after the Padres acquired him for reliever James Norwood, came into the night with six career home runs across parts of three seasons. Yet, when El Paso was down to their final strike, it was Pichardo who hit the game-tying home run to send the game into extras. In the 11th with the winning run on second, he laid down a perfect bunt. The pitcher tried to rush the throw and ended up throwing it away as the run scored for an El Paso win. The young infielder has hit well with the Chihuahuas in a small sample. In nine Triple-A games, he is hitting .281/.361/.594. … Besides Pichardo, the other big hero was designated hitter Luis Campusano. Campusano homered in the sixth to bring the Chihuahuas within one, but more impressively down by two in the 10th inning, the Georgia native laced a double to right scoring two and re-tying the game. This was the first multi-extra base hit game for Campy since June 28. … After pitching well in his first few rehab appearances, right-hander Robert Suarez was roughed up for two home runs in one inning. He was still hitting his normal upper-90s velocity, but when it flattens out, it gets hit hard. No word whether Suarez stays with El Paso through the weekend or rejoins the Padres in Los Angeles. … Left-handed pitcher Jose Castillo threw a perfect inning, needing only 11 pitches (8 strikes). Since his back-to-back rough outings in July, Castillo now has four consecutive scoreless outings allowing only two hits in 3.2 innings.
Roster Moves: Right-handed starter Reiss Knehr, reliever Michel Baez and outfielder Jose Azocar returned to the Chihuahuas while righty reliever Tayler Scott was recalled by San Diego. As noted yesterday, catcher Cam Gallagher and left-handed starter Jay Groome were added to the El Paso roster.
Missions 8, Wichita Wind Surge 0
Key Stats: RHP Henry Henry 4 IP, 3 H, BB, 6 K; RHP Moises Lugo 3 IP, 2 H, 5 K; LF Tirso Ornelas 1-for-4, R, 3B Juan Fernandez 3-for-3, 3B, 2 R, 3 RBI, SAC; CF Tommy Milone 3-for-4, R, 2 RBI; RF Ripken Reyes 2-for-4, 2B, R, RBI
Prospect Watch: April 13, 2019. That was the last time right-hander Henry Henry threw at least four innings in an outing. Henry, who has almost solely been used in one- to two-inning relief stints, made just his third start since 2018 and made the most of it. Henry was topping out at 98 mph, but more impressively was attacking hitters and maintaining command throughout his start. Henry has the talent to be a stalwart in the bullpen, but it has always been about finding enough command. In his last two outings prior to Wednesday (4.1 innings), he walked 10, this time he walked one. … Who says catchers can’t run? Catcher Juan Fernandez, who recently started playing third base and second base to garner more playing time, legged out his first triple of the year as part of a perfect night. Fernandez is quickly rebounding after a tough July. After only getting five RBI in all of July, Fernandez already has four in two August games. … Speaking of playing out of position, right fielder Ripken Reyes collected a multi-hit game with a double. After a tough month of May that saw him only hit .167, the USD grad finished July hitting .293, and is already 3-for-7 in August.
The TinCaps were rained out. The game will be made up on Saturday as part of a doubleheader. Efraín Contreras, who missed two turns in the rotation after leaving his last start with the trainer, was scheduled for the start and will pitch Thursday instead.
Roster Moves: Despite the postponement of their game on Wednesday, the TinCaps were impacted by several roster moves. After losing four players at the trade deadline, the club received several reinforcements. Infielder Carlos Luis and outfielder Albert Fabian were promoted to the Midwest League from Lake Elsinore. Luis, 22, is our reigning MadFriars Player of the Week after he hit .545 last week for the Storm. Fabian hit his 12th homer of the season Tuesday night in his final game with Lake Elsinore. Reinaldo Ilarraza, who started the season with the TinCaps before being moved around to plug roster holes, also returned to the club. He’s played for every affiliate this year except the Storm.
Visalia Rawhide 7, Storm 1
Prospect Watch: The Storm struggled offensively Wednesday night and lost in Visalia. The only Storm run came on the 14th home run of the season by third baseman Marcos Castañon. The 12th-round pick from last year’s draft has gotten increasingly better every month. With Wood, Fabian, and Luis all gone, Castañon will be asked to anchor the offense. The task is a bit taller while shortstop Jackson Merrill finds his footing after missing three months with wrist and hamstring injuries. The club’s top pick last year is 1-for-14 since returning to the Storm. … Left-handed swing man Jesus Gonzalez got the start and allowed two or fewer runs for the second time in a row. The southpaw struggled in July, pitching to a 7.98 ERA in four outings, but pitched well last week and was able to build on that success Wednesday by allowing two earned runs in five innings. He walked three and struck out four.
Roster Moves: The Storm received three players from the ACL to help reinforce a lineup that lost the middle of the batting order over the last 24 hours. Outfielders Samuel Zavala and Ruben Salinas were in the lineup Wednesday night. Zavala, 18, made his stateside debut this summer and was hitting .345/.412/.621 in ten games in the desert. Salinas, 19, was the ACL squad’s most productive hitter. He is hitting .308/.364/.485 with four homers and 30 RBI. Kelvin Alarcon, who has already appeared at three levels this season, will add a fourth when he enters a Storm game. Joining those three in the Cal League is catcher Colton Bender, who returns for his second stint with the Storm. Bender was the Padres’ 10th-rounder last summer. He was hitting .225/.396/.352 with the ACL Padres. Catcher Alejandro Hernandez was sent back to the ACL as well.
The ACL Padres did not play on Wednesday.