Chihuahuas 5, Oklahoma City Dodgers 3
Prospect Watch: In the big leagues, fans love to beat LA, and in the PCL, they love to beat OKC, which El Paso pulled off with a late rally Thursday. The Chihuahuas now trail the Dodgers by 1.5 in the division. Jay Groome got the start for the Chihuahuas and kept them in the game, pitching into the sixth and allowing three runs. Groome, acquired from Boston in exchange for Eric Hosmer, Max Ferguson, Corey Rosier, and cash, is 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA in four starts for El Paso after tonight’s no-decision. In 21.1 innings, the southpaw has struck out 16 and walked nine. Still 24 years old, Groome is an intriguing pickup for the Padres, a former first-round pick in 2016 who has worked his way through injuries. … Speaking of long-term projects, the pre-Preller Padre, Carlos Belen, picked up his first Triple-A save. Belen, a member of the 2012 signing class as an infielder, is 26 years old now, and has struck out five while not allowing a baserunner in five innings since being promoted from San Antonio on August 9. … The go-ahead run was scored by Connor Hollis, who scampered home on a wild pitch in the 7th inning to cap off a two-hit night in which he doubled and tripled, boosting his OPS with the Chihuahuas to .759. Hollis, the frontrunner for the Texas League batting title prior to his promotion, is batting .245 in 49 at-bats since arriving in Triple-A, however, six of his 12 hits have been doubles. … Eguy Rosario smacked a double as part of a two-hit night, as the infielder continues a scorching summer. The first 20/20 player in Chihuahuas history, Rosario has a .991 OPS in August to follow up a 1.119 mark in July, and .993 in June.
Midland RockHounds 6, Missions 5
Prospect Watch: The Missions fell behind early, but the deficit remained at six runs thanks to the efforts of the bullpen. Felix Minjarez threw 11 outs of scoreless baseball to keep San Antonio in the game. The 25-year-old Riverside native excelled in 21.2 innings of work in Fort Wayne but has struggled in stints with San Antonio and El Paso. His excellent outing Thursday reduced his Missions ERA to 7.30 in 24.2 innings. … Kevin Kopps answered the call next, tossing two hitless innings to mark his second consecutive scoreless appearance. Kopps, the Padres’ third-round selection in 2021, has a 4.11 ERA and has struck out 47 in 46 innings while walking 28 batters on the year, but his performance has improved significantly over the last eight weeks. … Tijuana’s own Tirso Ornelas collected his second consecutive three-hit night to follow a three-game hitless streak. Ornelas is batting .294 with a .768 OPS in 374 at-bats in 2022. … Give Ethan Skender a bat, and odds are pretty good he’ll get a hit in 2022. Skender entered the game as a middle-innings replacement and reached base three times with two singles and a walk. Skender is batting .310 with an .808 OPS in 29 at-bats since he joined San Antonio after a rehab assignment in Arizona.
Great Lakes Loons 9, TinCaps 4 (F/7) (F/7, Makeup of August 24)
TinCaps 3, Great Lakes Loons 0
Prospect Watch: The TinCaps played two, splitting a pair of seven-inning games with Great Lakes. Ryan Bergert delivered five innings of scoreless baseball in the nightcap, keying Fort Wayne to a shutout, and marking the first scoreless outing for Bergert this season. The 2021 sixth-rounder has pitched to a 5.92 ERA in 94.1 innings this season. … Cole Cummings stood out in a light-hitting day for Fort Wayne, managing a hit and scoring a run in the first game, and giving the TinCaps the lead with an RBI single in the second billing. … The hot-and-cold continues for Agustin Ruiz, who reached base three times, going 1-for-1 with two walks and scoring a pair of runs. Ruiz is slashing .194/.326/.368 in 155 at-bats for Fort Wayne.
Inland Empire 66ers 5, Storm 4
Prospect Watch: Victor Lizarraga delivered a commanding performance, but his bullpen couldn’t give him any relief. Lizarraga cruised through six innings on 72 pitches. The 18-year-old righty is a name to remember for those who may be wondering what top-line talent remains in the lower levels of the system after the MLB trade deadline. With a 6-3 record and 3.58 ERA, Lizarraga has struck out 81 batters and walked 33 in 83 innings in his first full season of professional baseball. … Graham Pauley launched his third home run of the season, and first since being promoted to Lake Elsinore from the desert. Pauley, the Padres’ 13th-round pick in this summer’s draft, is a 21-year-old infielder from Duke University and is batting .455 with a double, a home run, and six runs batted in in his first 11 at-bats for the Storm. … Fifth-rounder Nathan Martorella logged his second two-hit game in the three he’s played for Lake Elsinore. A first baseman by trade from the University of California, Martorella is batting .400 with a home run and 10 RBIs in 40 at-bats between the Arizona Complex League Padres and the Storm.