Chihuahuas 8, Sacramento River Cats 5
Key Statistics: RF Fernando Tatis Jr. 1-for-2, HR (1), 2 R, 2 BB; SS Matthew Batten 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, BB; C Pedro Severino 2-for-4, R, 2 BB; 3B Yorman Rodriguez 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, BB; RHP Pedro Avila (W, 1-0) 5 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 K; LHP Rey Kerr IP, BB, K; RHP Moises Lugo (S, 1) IP, K
This prospect might be good some day pic.twitter.com/sTR336M83V
— MadFriars (@madfriars) April 6, 2023
Prospect Watch: With the other three full-season teams set to open Thursday, this was Triple-A El Paso’s last night to shine in the spotlight. With Fernando Tatis, Jr. in the lineup, shining bright is exactly what they did. El Paso erased an early deficit and won against the Giants’ top affiliate. … After striking out in the first inning, Tatis would reach base his next three times including blasting a mammoth home run to left center. The blast, with an exit velocity of 106.7 MPH, gave Tatis the game’s hardest-hit ball for the second night in a row. After two games on a rehab assignment that can last up to 15, Tatis is 2-for-4 with a home run, four walks, and a stolen base. Defensively, his adjustment to the outfield remains a project. On back-to-back plays, he kicked a bloop that fell in front of him to give the batter an extra base, then got caught going backward to catch a sacrifice fly and missed his cutoff man on the throw. He will be eligible to return to the Padres two weeks from today. … Elsewhere, the offense didn’t exactly explode; it was the death of 1,000 paper cuts. Eight different Chihuahuas drew 15 walks in the game. The club scored four runs in the sixth to take the lead without a hit, courtesy of six walks and a hit batter. Matthew Batten was credited with the game-tying RBI for a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch. He reached base four times on the night. In five games so far this year, the 27-year-old infielder has reached base 13 times, including eight walks. … On the mound, Pedro Avila was dominant in four of the five innings he worked. During those frames, Avila allowed just one baserunner while striking out three. However, in the second inning, everything seemed to go wrong. He allowed multiple bloop hits, a sac bunt where the first baseman tried to throw to second except no one was there, and multiple defensive miscues that were ruled as hits. The inning only ended because River Cats left fielder Michael Gigliotti tried to score from second on a sacrifice fly to Tatis, but the ball got to Batten as the trailer, who nailed him at the plate for a double play. … The four hits the RiverCats had in the second were the only hits they got all day. … Right-hander Moises Lugo who had a great spring with the Padres, picked up his first save by working a perfect ninth. In two games this year, Lugo has yet to allow a hit. In 62.1 innings in Double-A last year, the 24-year-old had a 2.74 ERA with 85 strikeouts and a .185 BAA.
Around the System
We have previews of the other three affiliates up on the site, in addition to El Paso’s which we posted last week.
The Double-A San Antonio Missions, get underway on the road in Tulsa at 5:05 PDT with Efraín Contreras on the mound.
The High-A Fort Wayne TinCaps, which feature the system’s deepest roster, will have righty Jairo Iriarte on the mound as they travel to West Michigan for a 3:35 EDT start.
Low-A Lake Elsinore will have Robby Snelling, part of a young, talented pitching staff, on the mound as they host Visalia at 7:15.