Chihuahuas 6, Salt Lake Bees 3
Key Statistics: RHP Pedro Avila (W, 5-2), 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 8 K; LHP Aaron Leasher (H, 2), 1 IP, 1 BB, 3 K; RHP Pierce Johnson (S, 1), 1 IP, 3 K; RF Brandon Dixon, 3-for-4, 2B, R, RBI; DH Jorge Alfaro, 1-for-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI
Prospect Watch: In one of the more comical mascot matchups imaginable, the Chihuahuas took down the Bees behind a sensational start by Pedro Avila, who struck out eight over five innings, walking none and allowing an unearned run on two hits. Although he’s been a part of the organization since joining via trade prior to the 2017 season, it’s important to remember Avila is still only 25 years old, despite making his big league debut for the Padres forever ago in 2019, which feels like a world away from the present day (and in blue uniforms, to boot). Avila is 5-2 with a 4.80 ERA and 102 strikeouts in 90 innings for El Paso in 2022. … Aaron Leasher struck out the side in the eighth to pick up his second hold of the season. A starter by trade for the bulk of his professional career, Leasher has made 17 of his 27 appearances out of the bullpen in 2022, and is on pace to finish the season with more strikeouts than innings pitched for the first time in his career, as he currently has 79 strikeouts in 75.2 innings. … Nominally an infielder by trade, Brandon Dixon made his fourth career start in right field (and second this season), accounting for three hits, including a double, and scoring a run, while driving a run in. Dixon, who was born in La Jolla, made his other start in right field while playing for San Antonio, where spent the bulk of the season on the IL. When he was on the field, he hit .367 with 10 home runs in only 98 at-bats for the Missions. … A pair of rehabbers appeared for El Paso. Pierce Johnson closed things out, striking out the first three hitters he faced. The second hitter reached on a wild third strike, so Johnson finished out the game by getting a weak come-backer. In all, he tossed 16 pitches. After three days between his first two appearances for the Chihuahuas, Johnson only took one night off before getting back into action tonight, a hopeful sign of ramping up his workload in preparation to return. … Jorge Alfaro slugged a double and drove in a pair of runs as the designated hitter as he started his own rehab assignment. The big catcher, who had been nursing a leg injury for several weeks before finally landing on the IL, will be eligible to return to the big league club next week.
Corpus Christi Hooks 8, Missions 2
Prospect Watch: It was a tough one at the Wolff as the Missions gave up eight runs to their coastal rivals the Hooks. Fred Schlichtholz gave San Antonio two innings to keep them in the game, but he did allow his seventh earned run in 29.1 innings pitched for the Missions this year. The San Diego native has been sublime in 2022, with 33 strikeouts against seven walks, and a 2.15 ERA in 22 appearances for San Antonio, where the lefty has drawn praise for his mental fortitude on the mound. … Back in San Antonio for the playoff run, Connor Hollis reached base three times, with a pair of hits and a walk, and scored a run. Hollis now leads the chase for the Texas League batting title by four points with a .328 mark. … Jorge Oña, making just his second start in over a month because of an undisclosed injury, collected a pair of hits, including a solo homer for the Missions’ only extra-base hit of the night. The Cuban outfielder is batting .222 with seven home runs and a .662 OPS in 212 at-bats in 2022. … Yorman Rodriguez embodied the Missions’ philosophy of getting on base however possible, with a single and a pair of walks, including a bases-loaded free pass in the 8th to earn an RBI. Rodriguez, primarily a first baseman this season, is batting .281 with 12 home runs and 73 RBI in 437 at-bats for the Missions, good for .742 OPS.
West Michigan Whitecaps 5, TinCaps 2
Prospect Watch: After the TinCaps fell behind early, Ramon Perez helped limit the damage, delivering four outs of scoreless baseball, walking one but getting all his outs via the strikeout. Perez, a 23-year-old southpaw from Cuba, has struck out 45 batters in 28 innings for Fort Wayne, but has also walked 16 to contribute to a 4.82 ERA. … Justin Farmer had a nice night in the leadoff spot, scoring a run and putting a base hit on the board. The 23-year-old undrafted free agent is slashing .276/.395/.310 in 29 at-bats since being promoted from Lake Elsinore in his first full season in the Padres system. … All the run production came from Lucas Dunn, who drove in both Fort Wayne runs with an eighth-inning single. Dunn, drafted in the eighth round in 2021, is batting .249 with a .773 OPS in 414 at-bats split between Lake Elsinore and Fort Wayne in 2022. … Jarryd Dale started September just as he finished August, with a base hit. Dale will be looking to finish strong after a rough final full month of the season in which he slashed .163/.265/.256 in 86 at-bats.
Storm 8, Visalia Rawhide 5
Key Statistics: DH Jackson Merrill, 3-for-5, 2B, R, RBI, SB (7); LF Nathan Martorella, 2-for-4, R, BB, RBI; RF Samuel Zavala, 2-for-3, 2 R, 2 2B, BB, SB (4); 2B Graham Pauley, 2-for-4, R, RBI; C Juan Zabala, 2-for-4, R, 2 2B, 3 RBI; RHP Victor Lizarraga (W, 7-3) 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, BB, 8 K; RHP Matt Boswell, 2 IP, H, BB, 2 K
Prospect Watch: Our own Kevin Charity went to Lake Elsinore during a statewide heat emergency to enjoy brunch with the Storm on a weekday and bring us full game coverage.