Jackson Merrill connects on his first homer of 2023. (Photo: John Nagel)

Two Thursdays into the season, lucky 13 brought a huge win in El Paso, the Missions ran awry of visiting Frisco, the TinCaps earned their first victory of the season, and the Storm brought the inclement weather to San Bernardino.

Chihuahuas 19, Albuquerque Isotopes 6

Key Statistics: RF Fernando Tatis Jr., 5-for-6, 3 R, 3 HR (2, 3, 4), 8 RBI, 2B; SS Tim Lopes, 2-for-4, 3 R; 1B Alfonso Rivas, 2-for-4, 3 R, BB, HR (3), 3 RBI; DH Yorman Rodriguez, 3-for-4, 2 R, 2 HR (1, 2), 2 R, 6 RBI; LHP Jay Groome (W, 1-1) 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, BB, 5 K; LHP Tom Cosgrove, IP, K.

Our overlord John Conniff is in the Borderplex enjoying Southwest cuisine and taking in some Chihuahuas baseball. Read his recap of an incredible performance from Fernando Tatis, Jr. here.

Frisco Roughriders 8, Missions 1

Key Statistics: LHP Jackson Wolf (L, 1-1), 1.2 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 Ks; RHP Jose Espada, 4.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 Ks; RF Tirso Ornelas, 1-for-2, HR, R, RBI, 2 BB; C Michael De La Cruz,
2-for-4, 2B;

Tirso Ornelas is getting the ball in the air with authority. (Photo: Joe Alexander)

Prospect Watch: It wasn’t the Missions’ night, but in the words of Willie Nelson, “though I’m out of money, I’m a millionaire, I still have my home in San Antone.” Jackson Wolf didn’t have a great night, but he has a home at the Wolff. After impressing in his first start, the Mission’s top pitching prospect ran into trouble after striking out the first batter of the game Thursday. The next batter doubled, then Wolf loaded the bases with a pair of walks before a triple cleared the bases. In the second inning, the 6-foot-7 lefty allowed a single, and though he picked off that runner, a walk finished his evening after just five outs. Wolf, selected by the Padres in the fourth round in 2021, finished 2022 in San Antonio after going 7-8 with a 4.01 ERA in 23 appearances (22 starts) for Fort Wayne. … The early hook for Wolf provided an opportunity for Jose Espada to shine again out of the San Antonio bullpen, throwing four no-hit innings, allowing only a walk, and striking out three. Espada, a former Blue Jays farmhand, has thrown six scoreless innings in two appearances for the Missions. The 26-year-old righty has struck out 314 batters in 296.2 innings in 99 career minor league appearances. … In our season preview, we noted that Tirso Ornelas needed to show he could elevate to get to his raw power at the plate. With his second home run of the season, the Tijuana native has a 1.102 OPS in his first 18 at-bats and also worked a pair of walks. While it is indeed a small sample size, it is always a plus to see prospects excelling at exactly what they need to show to make the next step. … With a pair of base knocks, including a double, while also throwing out the only would-be base stealer of the game, Michael De La Cruz had himself a night behind the dish and at the plate. De La Cruz, a 29-year-old native of Tamboril in the Dominican Republic, joined the Padres as a free agent after spending 2022 in the Tigers organization. The veteran backstop has also spent time in the Diamondbacks and Blue Jays systems.

TinCaps 8, Lake County Captains 6

Key Statistics: RHP Chris Lincoln (W, 1-0), 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, BB;  LHP Jason Blanchard (S, 1), 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 Ks; SS Jackson Merrill, 3-for-4, HR, 2 R, RBI; RF Joshua Mears, 2-for-3, BB, RBI, 2 SB (3);

Joshua Mears puts a charge into the ball. (Photo: John Nagel)

Prospect Watch: The TinCaps have climbed every mountain, sailed across a stormy sea, and now that they’ve downed Lake County, it feels like the first time as Fort Wayne earned manager Jonathan Mathews his first victory as TinCaps skipper. A first-inning home run was a wonderful statement of intent for Jackson Merrill, who later added two more hits a day after snapping an 0-for-15 start to the season on Wednesday. Merrill, still 19 years old for five more days, owns an .826 OPS in 357 professional at-bats. … Speaking of assuaging concerns, Joshua Mears enjoyed a two-hit evening and added a walk. The big man swiped a pair of bases as well and has converted on three of four early-season attempts. The 48th overall pick of the 2019 draft, Mears is still just 22 years old as he works to put his career back on track in Fort Wayne after slashing a combined .217/.305/.486 with 161 strikeouts in 323 at-bats last year. … Jairo Iriarte struck out four in his first two innings of work, but pitched himself into trouble in the third and ultimately gave up a pair of runs. The bullpen came through for Fort Wayne though, with Chris Lincoln working out of a jam in the seventh for his first victory of the season, and first since 2019. The 25-year-old Lincoln, back on the field for the first time in three years, is now 3-0 with a 1.75 ERA in 19 career appearances. … Jason Blanchard, who struck out three batters in two innings to wrap up a six-out save. The 2019 ninth-rounder has thrown three scoreless innings in two appearances in 2023. He made made just six appearances (four starts) for San Antonio in 2022 while spending most of the season on the IL, posting a 4.80 ERA, and striking out 19 batters in 15 innings.

Storm rained out

Lake Elsinore ‘s game against the Inland Empire 66ers was postponed due to inclement weather. It is scheduled to be made up as part of a doubleheader Sunday.

Posted by Mark Wilkens

Born in San Diego and raised in Escondido, Mark now calls Phoenix home. Prior to MadFriars, Mark had multiple articles featured on Bleacher Report and SI.com covering the Padres, Angels and Clippers.

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