Round Rock Express 8, Chihuahuas 2

Key Statistics: CF Luis Liberato 3-4, 2 2B, RBI; RHP Pedro Avila 5 IP, 2 H, 2 R (0 ER), BB, 6 K; RHP Angel Felipe (L, 1-1) 0 IP, 1 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, HBP, 1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB

Pedro Avila leads El Paso in strikeouts with 80. (Photo: Jorge Salgado)

Prospect Watch: The Chihuahuas got off to a good start with five strong innings from former Padre Pedro Avila. The 25-year-old righty gave up only a pair of unearned runs and walked only one before being replaced in the sixth by Angel Felipe. Avila leads the Chihuahuas in strikeouts with 90 in 80 innings but has also walked 41 and has a 5.18 ERA with a 4-2 record. … With the score tied, Felipe walked the first two batters he faced, allowed a single to the third, and then hit the fourth. He was replaced by lefty Tom Cosgrove who kept the merry-go-round going allowing the next three batters to reach base before inducing a double-play and a ground out. The Express put up five runs in the inning and added another in the seventh. … Luis Liberato, 26, had a nice night at the plate. The outfielder spent eight years in the Seattle Mariners organization before signing as a minor league free agent with the Padres last winter. The left-handed Liberato is primarily a center fielder but has seen time at the corners. He has a .251/.337/.536 slash line and is third on the team with 17 home runs.

Roster Notes:  Jose Azocar was called back up to San Diego as Nomar Mazara was designated for assignment. Azocar offers more versatility than Mazara off of the bench with the Padres’ recent acquisitions at the trade deadline.  If Mazara clears waivers, he could still choose to return to El Paso.

Northwest Naturals 5, Missions 3 (10 innings)

Key Statistics: 3B Juan Fernandez 2-3, 2B, RBI, 2 BB; 2B Kelvin Melean 3-5, 2B; DH Alison Quintero 1-4, RBI, BB; C Webster Rivas 1-3, 2 BB; RHP Henry Henry 4.2 IP, 3 H, R, 4 BB, 6 K; RHP Grant Gavin 1.0 IP, H, 2 K; RHP Lake Bachar 1.1 IP, 2 H, 3 R (2 earned), BB, 3 K, HR; LHP Fred Schlichthotz, (L, 0-3) .01 IP, H, R, HR

Prospect Watch: For the second straight night, the Missions lost on a walk-off. After carrying a 2-1 lead into the ninth, they were two outs away when the Naturals tied the game with a home run to center, then finished it in the 10th with a two-run shot. … The Missions rolled out a lineup that featured four catchers, with Juan Fernandez at third base, Yorman Rodriguez at first base, Webster Rivas at catcher, and Alison Quintero, one of the members of the 2016 international signing class, at designated hitter. This is Quintero’s third level this season after seeing time in El Paso and the ACL, and he is hitting .167 in 14 plate appearances. The makeshift lineup also had Ethan Skender playing his third career game in right field and Ripken Reyes making his third career start in center. The patchwork crew, which has been the story all year for the Missions, still put themselves in a position to win. … Fernandez had a pair of hits and drew two walks and is hitting .282/.342/.338 on the year. He has played four different positions in the field and DH, with a slight majority of his time at first base. Last year, he was San Antonio’s primary catcher.

For our subscribers:  Ben Davey has a profile on Reyes, who might be the only minor league baseball player working on a full-time Ph.D. program.

Dayton Dragons 3, TinCaps 2

Key Statistics: 1B Carlos Luis 2-4, 2B, 3, RBI; RF Agustin Ruiz 2-4, 2 2B; CF Joshua Mears 1-4, 2B; LF Albert Fabian 1-3, RBI, BB; RHP Jose Espalda 5.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 9 K, HR; LHP Ramon Perez (L, 1-3) 0.1 IP, R, 3 BB, K

David Jay was in the Summit City with on-site coverage.

Griffin Doersching connected on a pair of home runs on the road on Saturday. (Photo: Jerry Espinoza)

Storm 16, Stockton Ports 8

Key Statistics: SS Jackson Merrill 3-4, HR (3), 3 RBI, 2 BB; 1B Griffin Doersching 3-4, 2 HR (4), 5 RBI; C Colton Bender 1-3, 2 BB; RHP Matt Boswell 3 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K; RHP Aaron Holiday (W, 5-2) 2 IP, 4 H, 2 R (1 ER), 4 K

Prospect Watch: The Storm rode three big innings to another big inning against the hometown Ports. First baseman Griffin Doersching connected on two more homers and the 6-foot-4, 265-pound first baseman now has has four in his first seven games with Lake Elsinore. He was an eighth-round selection of the Padres this year after spending a graduate year at Oklahoma State after four years at Northern Kentucky University. As a Cowboy, he posted a .296/.407/.673 slash line, and is now hitting .344/.511/.844 with five home runs in his professional debut. He just turned 24, so he is old for the level, but it is fun to watch. … Jackson Merrill, 19 missed much of the season with wrist and hamstring injuries, but when he has been on the field, he’s been very good. After another multi-hit night that included his third homer in 29 games and 142 plate appearances with the Storm, he is at .339/.404/.480. At 6-foot-3, 205-pounds, he is still growing into his body and power, and the middle infielder should be the Padres’ top prospect going into 2023.

ACL Padres 6, ACL Mariners 4

Key Statistics: 2B Graham Pauley 0-2, 3 BB; 1B Nathan Martorella 2-3, 2 RBI, BB; SS Rosman Verdugo 1-3, RBI, BB; CF Kai Murphy 1-2, BB; RHP Chase Walter 2 R, 3 BB; RHP Justin Lopez (W, 4-0) 1.0, BB

Nathan Martorella with the Cal Bears. (Photo credit: California Golden Bears Athletics)

Prospect Watch: Big right-hander Chase Walter made his season debut after struggling with a right shoulder injury. The hard-throwing reliever had a rough outing, walking the first three hitters before being pulled. Last year the 6-foot-7 Western Carolina alum was impressive between Lake Elsinore and Fort Wayne, with 74 strikeouts in 39 innings. … Converted infielder Justin Lopez got his fourth win since moving to the mound in the desert earlier this summer. After giving up two runs in his second appearance as a pitcher, the 22-year-old hasn’t allowed a run in his last three outings or a hit in his previous two. … Nathan Martorella continues on his hot start with a .387/.457/.613 slash line in his first 35 plate appearances. The left-handed former Cal Bear was a fifth-round selection by the Padres this year after his best power season in college yielded 27 extra-base hits, 11 of which were home runs. In his first two years at Cal, he had 18 extra-base hits and five home runs. He was drafted more for his defensive ability at first and plate discipline; he had 34 walks to 29 strikeouts in the Pac-12.

Posted by John Conniff

John grew up in Poway and has written for MadFriars since 2004. He has written articles for Baseball America, FoxSports San Diego, the El Paso Times, San Antonio Express-News, Amarillo Globe-News, Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette and Pacific Daily News in addition to appearing on numerous radio programs and podcasts. He can also break down the best places to eat for all five of the affiliates. There is no best place to eat in Peoria, Arizona.

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