Pedro Avila is finishing the year strong. (Photo: Jorge Salgado)

Chihuahuas 6, Albuquerque Isotopes 2 (7 innings)

Key Stats: RHP Pedro Avila 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, BB, 4 K; RF Luis Liberato 2-for-4, R, RBI; C Cam Gallagher 3-for-3, R, RBI, 2B, BB; 3B Brandon Dixon 1-for-4, RBI

Chihuahuas 7, Albuquerque Isotopes 6 (7 innings)

Key Stats: LHP Ryan Weathers IP, 3 H, 2 ER, BB, K; SS Matthew Batten 2-for-4; 3B Brandon Dixon 3-for-4, 2 HR (5), 2 R, 3 RBI; 2B CJ Hinojosa 2-for-3, 2 2B, R, RBI; DH Kyle Martin 2-for-3, 2B, R, RBI

Brandon Dixon has been an offensive force throughout the season. (Photo: Jorge Salgado)

Prospect Watch: El Paso climbed closer to first place by sweeping a doubleheader.  El Paso has won five games in a row and moved to within one game of the first-place OKC Dodgers. …  Right-hander Pedro Avila had another strong pitching performance in the first game of the twin-bill, giving up two runs over five innings. It was his fifth consecutive start surrendering two runs or fewer. While his overall ERA of 4.74 is slightly below league average, the 25-year-old has delivered a 3.40 ERA over the last two months. He sports a strong 39:12 strikeout-to-walk ratio in that time, much more in line with his career numbers than his work early in the season. … Albuquerque pulled ahead twice late in the second game, but the Chihuahuas walked off victorious. After the Isotopes pulled ahead 3-2 in the sixth, Brandon Dixon tied it in the bottom half with his fourth Triple-A home run. Albuquerque then scored three without a hit in the seventh as Jose Quezada walked three, hit two, and uncorked a wild pitch. El Paso came right back and plated four, capped off by a two-run blast by Dixon to send everyone home happy. Dixon has hit five homers in 10 games with El Paso and 15 overall in 35 games on the year. After a remarkable 1.216 OPS in San Antonio, he’s somehow improved to a 1.317 OPS in Triple-A. Dixon, 30, who struggled in three big league stints between 2018 and 2020, is doing everything he can to get another opportunity.

Missions 7, Springfield Cardinals 0

Henry Henry has stepped up his game since returning to the rotation. (Photo: Joe Alexander

Key Stats: RHP Henry Henry 5 IP, 5 BB, 3 K; RHP Noel Vela IP, H, 3 K; SS Connor Hollis 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, HBP; CF Joshua Mears 1-for-4, GS (4), 4 RBI; C Webster Rivas 2-for-4, RS, RBI, SB (2)

Prospect Watch: The Missions carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning before settling for a dominant two-hit shutout. Right-hander Henry Henry opened the game with five no-hit innings. Henry, who manager Phillip Wellman described as “a pitcher with enough raw talent to have a long big league career if he can put everything together,” finally did. The 23-year-old has an effortless delivery that can yield a fastball in the upper 90s, but he struggles with command, including Wednesday night when he walked five. His 5.40 ERA for the season shows how up-and-down he can be. Henry has allowed one earned run or less in three of his last four starts.  However, the other start saw him get blasted for five runs on seven hits. … Speaking of rollercoasters, Joshua Mears crushed another home run giving him four with the Missions and 21 total. He also struck out twice more and sports a 54% K rate, yet still has done enough damage to support a .685 OPS since arriving in San Antonio.  He has only hit the ball 18 times in Double-A. When he does make contact, he is hitting .389 with a 1.110 slugging percentage.

Lake County Captains 3, TinCaps 2

Key Stats: RHP Efrain Contreras 6 IP, 4 H, BB, 6 K; SS Jarryd Dale 2-for-4, 2B; 3B Josttin Diaz 2-for-3, HR (3), 2 RBI

Efrain Contreras showed what he can do in his final start of the year. (Photo: Jeff Nycz)

Prospect Watch: RHP Efrain Contreras made what will likely be his last start of 2022 count, working six shutout innings with six strikeouts. Working back from Tommy John surgery in late 2020, the stocky right-hander has had plenty of highs and lows on the season. However, this outing was his longest outing in over three years and only the second time in his career he was able to go six without allowing a run. …  Baseball is a weird sport. Josttin Diaz has struggled since signing with the Padres as a 17-year-old back in 2018.  He had a .354 OPS last year in the ACL and was only moderately better this year.  He was promoted to High-A to fill in, and despite hitting three home runs total in 100 games before arriving in Fort Wayne, became the first TinCap all year to homer in three straight games.  In 13 at-bats with the TinCaps, Diaz is hitting .385/.429/.1.077.

Storm 4, Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 1

Key Stats: SS Jackson Merrill 2-for-3, BB, 2B; CF Jakob Marsee 1-for-4, HR (1), RBI; RF Samuel Zavala 1-for-4, HR (6), 2 RBI; RHP Victor Lizarraga 5.1 IP, 6 H, ER, 6 K

Victor Lizarraga has delivered as the youngest pitcher to spend the year in full-season ball. (Photo: Jerry Espinoza)

Prospect Watch: On a 100-degree night with wind gusts blowing anything hit in the air out to right, the Storm won a pitcher’s duel 4-1. Center fielder Jakob Marsee connected on his first professional home run to open the game. Marsee, the Padres’ sixth-rounder this July out of Central Michigan has given the Storm a steady on-base presence at the top of the lineup since joining the team. In 14 games with Lake Elsinore, the Dearborn, Michigan native has drawn 11 walks and has stolen five bases in six attempts. … 18-year-old Samuel Zavala homered for the second consecutive night. Zavala has been impressive at the plate since being promoted from the ACL. In five games this month, he is hitting .316/.350/.737. …  The story of the game though was fellow 18-year-old Victor Lizarraga. The former Montgomery High School (Chula Vista) hurler let it all fly in his last regular-season start of the season. He struck out six, and for the first time in nearly two months, did not walk a batter in the start. Aside from an August 13 shellacking, the righty has been on a roll. In his other five most recent outings, Lizarraga has allowed five earned runs in 28.1 innings, walking six, while striking out 30. He will finish the regular season with a 3.43 ERA and 95 strikeouts in 94.1 innings. Only three Cal League pitchers worked more than 70 innings and posted a better ERA. … The Storm managed five hits, three of which left the yard. The only hitter to with hits that stayed in the yard was top prospect Jackson Merrill, who went 2-for-3 with a double and a walk.  He has reached base in 12 straight game, including six multi-hit contests, and is hitting .391/.462/.565 in September.

Posted by Ben Davey

Writer for MadFriars since 2011. San Diego raised. Grossmont alum. Die hard SD and sports fan. Currently keeping my day job as an AP Chemistry Teacher.

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