Oklahoma City Dodgers 16, Chihuahuas 3

Key Stats: LF Tirso Ornelas 2-for-5, 2B; C Michael Cantu 3-for-4; 1B Juan Fernandez 2-for-4; RHP Matt Waldron 5 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 7 K, 0 BB; RHP Moises Lugo 1.1 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 2 K

Michael Cantu collects his third hit of the day in the final home game of the 2022 season. (Photo: Jorge Salgado)

Tirso Ornelas rips a single to right in his Triple-A debut. (Photo: Jorge Salgado)

Prospect Watch: A day after clinching the division championship, the Chihuahuas gave a number of regulars the day off and got blown out in a bit of a hangover game. … Getting his first action in Triple-A, Tirso Ornelas smoked a double the other way and scored the club’s first run in the third inning, then drove in El Paso’s other two runs with a rocket two-out single to right in the seventh. The 22-year-old corner outfielder finished the Double-A season with a .288/.355/.408 line that was just below league average, with a career-best 17.3% strikeout rate. While there was thought the Tijuana native might eventually emerge as a key cog for the big league club after his strong debut campaign in 2017, now he’s just working to show he belongs in the mix for a 40-player roster spot at some point. … Juan Fernandez opened the year with El Paso, but logged just 12 at-bats in three weeks as the third catcher on the roster. He went back down to San Antonio, where he had a roller-coaster campaign, posting strong months in May and August, and an OPS in the low-.500’s the other three months. Sunday, he collected a pair of hits for the second straight game since heading back to West Texas. … When Fernandez departed from El Paso in late April, the Padres assigned 27-year-old Michael Cantu to the club. While the Texas native has been on the roster for all but four days since, he came into Sunday’s contest with only 83 at-bats. The bulk of those have come this month with Luis Campusano in the big leagues, and Cantu’s made the most of it. For the second time in three starts, Cantu collected three singles Sunday, pushing his September average to .306.

While the Chihuahuas generally had a strong series against their rivals, it was a rough one for Matt Waldron. After giving up seven runs in four innings in the series opener while relying heavily on his knuckleball, he dialed back to under 50% usage Sunday, to no better effect. The Dodgers got to Waldron for six runs in five innings, connecting on four extra-base hits among the nine knocks they collected in the regular season home finale. After posting a 2.81 ERA in nine strong starts with the Missions to open the year, Waldron has had a rough slog in El Paso, posting an 8.44 ERA across 69.1 innings as PCL opponents have tagged him for a .317 average. … After giving up just three earned runs in his first nine Triple-A innings, Moises Lugo surrendered four as the Dodgers piled on late Sunday. The 23-year-old righty struck out a third of the hitters he faced while spending most of the year in the Missions bullpen, but has seen that rate drop off to below a quarter since arriving in El Paso.

Posted by David Jay

David has written for MadFriars since 2005, has published articles in Baseball America, written a monthly column for FoxSports San Diego and appeared on numerous radio programs and podcasts. He may be best known on the island of Guam for his photos of Trae Santos that appeared in the Pacific Daily News.

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