Anderson Espinoza returned to the Padres organization on Saturday night. (Photo: Jorge Salgado)

Sugar Land Space Cowboys 7, Chihuahuas 3

Key Statistics: C Pedro Severino 2-4, 2B; Max Schrock 1-3, BB; RF Brandon Dixon 1-3, BB; 1B Rangel Ravelo 1-3, BB, RBI; 3B Tim Lopes 1-4, HR (1), RBI; RHP Anderson Espinoza (L, 0-1) 4.0 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, HR; RHP Pedro Avila 0.2 IP, H, 1 R (0 ER), 2 BB; LHP Tom Cosgrove 1 IP, 1 BB, 1 K

Max Schrock signed in the offseason with San Diego. (Photo: Jorge Salgado)

Prospect Watch: After a big win opening night, the Chihuahuas fell in the second game of the season when Sugar Land put four runs on the board in the fifth inning. Anderson Espinoza, once considered one of the top prospects in the game after the Padres acquired him from the Boston Red Sox in 2016, made his first start since returning to the Padres as a minor league free agent this winter. A pair of Tommy John surgeries derailed his career and he was in the club’s 2021 trade for Jake Marisnick after half a season in High-A Fort Wayne. Espinoza showed some flashes of what he once was Saturday, sitting around 96 in the first inning and flashing a slider with big vertical movement. By the fifth, he was sitting 91-93, and gave way after a leadoff walk and single. He tossed 76 pitches, and looked better than his overall numbers for the first few innings. If he can contribute for the Padres, it would be one of the better stories in a long time. … Tim Lopes, 28, hit his first home run of the season. The former Huntington Beach, California star spent last year in Triple-A for the Rockies and hit .271/.333/.451 in 298 plate appearances. He has played three different infield positions and can play both left and center field. He was originally drafted by Seattle and has bounced through three other organizations in recent years. … Max Schrock, 28, another minor league free agent signee, had a hit and a walk Saturday. He could also see time at second, third and in the outfield corners. The left-handed hitting former South Carolina Gamecock has a career .299/.352/.410 slash line in seven seasons. .. Keep an eye on lefty Tom Cosgrove, who had 82 strikeouts in 55.2 innings against 28 walks between San Antonio and El Paso last year. He was put on the 40-man roster last year and could be a bullpen option at anytime this year with the big club. He worked around a walk in his first outing of the year, getting chases with a slider that is his best offering.

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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