Chihuahuas 5, Salt Lake City Bees 1

Jorge Alfaro in his first rehab game from behind the plate. (Photo: Jorge Salgado)

Key Statistics: SS Matthew Batten 2-4, RBI; 3B Brandon Dixon 1-3, HR (2), RBI, BB; 2B C.J. Hinojosa 1-2, BB; DH Brett Sullivan 1-4, 2B, 2 RBI; C Jorge Alfaro 1-4; RHP Jesse Scholtens 2 IP, H, 2 K; LHP Aaron Leasher, (W,6-6) 2 H, BB, 4 K; LHP Ray Kerr 1 IP, H, BB, 2 K; RHP Carlos Belen 1 IP, BB

Aaron Leasher has not looked back since moving to the bullpen. (Photo: Jorge Salgado).

Prospect Watch: At Southwest University Park, the hometown team opened the scoring and tacked on runs in the fourth and fifth innings for their second win in the series. El Paso used six different pitchers in a bullpen game, with no one throwing more than a pair of innings. Aaron Leasher, 26, was particularly effective, getting four punch outs in two scoreless innings. The lefty has posted a 0.73 ERA in July in 12.1 innings and a 0.96 in August in 9.1. After posting a 6.28 ERA working as a starter, he has been much better coming out of the pen with a 2.77 ERA in 39 innings and has only allowed only one earned run in his last ten appearances. … After being promoted from San Antonio to the Sun City on August 30, Brandon Dixon, 30, has been on fire with nine hits in his first 26 plate appearances, including a pair of doubles and two home runs for a .360/.385/.680 slash line. The former University of Arizona Wildcat signed after spending 2021 with Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in the Japan Eastern League after previous stints in the Majors with the Reds and Tigers. Dixon missed much of the season after suffering a shoulder injury on April 27 but has a stellar .374/.425/.748 overall line this year between the Missions and Chihuahuas and hit for a cycle in his fourth game back from his rehab in Double-A. … Since returning from San Diego, Matthew Batten is 4-11 with a walk and has played all three games at shortstop. On the season, he is hitting .292/.390/.476 … Rehabbing Padre Jorge Alfaro caught seven innings tonight after serving as the designated hitter in his first two games and was 1-4 on the night and hit in all three games with El Paso.

Missions Rained Out

Saturday’s game against the Corpus Christi Hooks was postponed due to rainy conditions. The two clubs will play a doubleheader on Sunday beginning at 5:00 PM, and both games will be seven-inning games.

West Michigan Whitecaps 10, TinCaps 3

Key Statistics: C Brandon Valenzuela 1-3, 2 BB; RF Agustin Ruiz 2-4; 2B Lucas Dunn 1-4, 3B, BB; RHP Jose Espada (L, 1-3) 2.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 BB, K; RHP Luis Madrazo 1.0 IP, 4 H, 6 R ,4 BB, 4 Wild Pitches

Brandon Valenzuela is seventh in the Midwest League in walks. (Photo: Jeff Nycz).

Prospect Watch: The visiting Whitecaps put up four runs in the first inning, and it was downhill from there for the TinCaps. … Jose Espada, who pitched well in August with a 3.00 ERA in 24 innings and was our pitcher of the week after his last performance, only lasted two frames tonight. … Brandon Valenzuela, 21, walked twice to give him 63 on the season, which is seventh in the Midwest League and eight behind his teammate Jarryd Dale, who is fifth. Valenzuela, our ninth-rated prospect, has had a tough year with a .200/.330/.317 slash line after posting big numbers between Lake Elsinore and Fort Wayne in 2021 at .299/.393/.429. … Rehabbing Detroit Tigers infielder Jonathan Schoop was in the lineup for West Michigan and was 2-3 with a double and walk.

Visalia Rawhide 5, Storm 3 (10 innings)

Key Statistics: CF Jakob Marsee 2-5, 2B, SB (4); 3B Marcos Castañon 0-2, 2 BB; SS Jackson Merrill 1-5, SB (8); 2B-LF Graham Pauley 1-3, BB; LHP Austin Krob 2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 K; RHP Will Geerdes 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 4 K, 3 BB; RHP Hazahel Quijada 1.2 IP, BB, 2 K; RHP Aaron Holiday (L, 5-4) 1.0 IP 3 H, 2 R (1 ER), K

Samuel Zavala hit .345/.412/.621 at 17 this year in the ACL. (Photo: Jerry Espinoza)

Prospect Watch: After taking the first four from the visiting Rawhide, Lake Elsinore lost in extra innings tonight. With all of the moves at the trade deadline emptying the farm system, the Storm might be the most talented of the four Padres’ affiliates. The club features shortstop Jackson Merrill, 19, and Samuel Zavala, an 18-year-old outfielder in his first season stateside, who both reached once on Saturday. … Former Duke Blue Devil Graham Pauley, 21, is off to a hot start in his first 11 games with the Storm with a .359/.457/.564 line. The left-handed hitter has played second and third base in addition to left field. … Austin Krob made his full-season debut after logging just one official inning in the complex league. The Padres drafted the 22-year-old out of Texas Christian in the 12th round. The Iowa native came into the year as a preseason all-conference pick in the Big 12 but missed several months with a shoulder injury. The lefty impressed in the postseason. … Right-hander Aaron Holiday, 22, who came over to the Padres from Oakland in the Sean Manaea trade, has had a strong season for the Storm despite the loss tonight.  In 54 innings, he has 68 strikeouts against 23 walks for a 4.67 ERA. The A’s drafted him out of Old Dominion in the 13th round last year.

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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