Albuquerque Isotopes 10, Chihuahuas 3

Key Stats: DH Fernando Tatis Jr. 2-for-5, HR (7); CF Adam Engel 1-for-2, 2B, 2 BB, SB (2); 3B Yorman Rodriguez 3-for-4; RHP Matt Waldron 4.2 IP, 7h. 6 R (5 ER), 5 K, 1 BB; RHP Eric Hanhold 1 IP, 3 K

Prospect Watch: Another day, another homer for Fernando Tatis Jr. John Conniff has everything from the finale of a series in which El Niño hit .700/.700/1.650 in 20 plate appearances.

Frisco RoughRiders 12, Missions 2

Key Stats: CF Korry Howell 1-for-4, 2B, SB (2); 2B Brantley Bell 1-for-2, 2B, BB, SB (1); RHP Efraín Contreras 1+ IP, 3 H, 4 R (2 ER), 1 K, 2 BB; RHP Henry Henry 2 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 K, 3 BB, WP; RHP Kevin Kopps 1.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 K, 3 BB, WP

Prospect Watch: The Missions fell behind in the first inning and never got back to even in the game as the visiting Rangers affiliate took the first series of the year in San Antonio. The Missions struggled in all aspects of the game, committing five errors while managing just three hits. … Korry Howell, batting second for the first time this year, doubled, stole third base, then came around to score on a sacrifice fly in the first inning, showing the intriguing blend of power and speed that landed him 16th among the system’s top prospects. The 24-year-old outfielder struck out in his next two at-bats before hitting into a double play in his final trip to the plate, showing the concerning contact issues that have followed him throughout his career. In 33 plate appearances this season, he has struck out 16 times and hasn’t drawn a walk. … Infielder Brantley Bell, who spent last season with the Staten Island Ferry Hawks in the Atlantic League, had the club’s other double, drew a walk, swiped his first base of the year, and was the only Missions infielder not to commit an error on the day. The 28-year-old has three two-baggers in seven games in the Padres system after collecting 100 in 618 games across five seasons in the Reds organization. … Efraín Contreras, coming back on short rest after failing to get out of the second inning earlier in the week, struggled once again. The 23-year-old righty, now more than two years post Tommy John surgery, gave up a leadoff homer and double in the first. He then walked the first two batters in the second before being lifted at just 36 pitches. In 5.2 innings so far this season, the Ciudad Juarez native has given up eight hits and walked eight batters. … Four Missions relievers combined to allow six more earned runs and eight walks over the rest of the contest. The staff has issued a league-high 49 free passes in nine games.

Marcos Castañon powered the TinCaps lineup Sunday. (Photo: Fort Wayne TinCaps)

TinCaps 9, Lake County Captains 1

Key Stats: SS Jackson Merrill 2-for-5, 2 2B; 3B Marcos Castañon 2-for-4, 2B, HR (1), BB; 2B Lucas Dunn 2-for-5, 2B; DH Carlos Luis 2-for-4; RHP Ryan Bergert 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 4 K, 1 BB; RHP Nick Thwaits 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 K, 2 BB

Prospect Watch: After struggling to do much of anything at the plate in the first week of the season, the TinCaps broke out the hitting sticks in a big way over the weekend, plating 21 runs in the two games to salvage a split of their first home series of the year. For the third time in four games, Jackson Merrill collected multiple hits as he doubled in his first two trips to the plate. After an 0-for-15 stretch to open the year, the organization’s top prospect has a .348/.375/.609 line over his last five games, in line with his production last season. … Marcos Castañon had a double and connected on his first homer of the year to drive in a team-high three runs on the day. The 24-year-old infielder led the Cal League with 23 round-trippers last year, but had come into the contest with just one extra-base hit in his first seven games. … Carlos Luis had two more hits Sunday and now has a .300/.417/.500 line through seven games with just two strikeouts in 24 plate appearances. … Ryan Bergert, who worked two innings of relief in the series opener, got the start Sunday and tossed three scoreless innings. The 23-year-old righty showed intriguing stuff last year, but struggled to put everything together consistently in his first full professional campaign. The Padres’ sixth-rounder in 2021, Bergert has six strikeouts in his five innings of work this year. … Nick Thwaits also held the Captains in check for three innings to pick up the win in relief. The righty is back in the Summit City after playing a key role as a multi-inning reliever for the TinCaps last year. Originally drafted out of high school in nearby Fort Recovery, Ohio, the 23-year-old reintroduced his cutter last season and has pitched effectively with it.

Inland Empire 66ers 4, Storm 2 (F/7)
Storm 5, Inland Empire 66ers 2 (F/7)

Graham Pauley carried a strong spring training over into his campaign with Lake Elsinore. (Photo: Jerry Espinoza)

Key Stats: RHP Joe Musgrove 5 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 8 K, 0 BB; RHP Austin Krob 2.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 5 K, 4 BB; RHP Manuel Castro 2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 6 K, 3 BB; Grant Pauley 3-for-6, 2B, HR (1); CF Samuel Zavala 1-for-6, 2B; BB; RF Tyler Robertson 1-for-3, 2B, SB (4); C Anthony Vilar 1-for-2, 2B, BB

Prospect Watch: Joe Musgrove cruised through the first five innings of the opener in what should be his final rehab appearance before rejoining the big league club. After three perfect frames, Inland Empire got the leadoff runner on thanks to an error in the fourth, but Musgrove promptly picked him off. In the fifth, he allowed a pair of singles before striking out his seventh and eighth batters of the day. Having cruised on just 55 pitches to that point, Musgrove went back out for the sixth, but gave up four straight singles – only one of them hit particularly hard. He gave way to lefty Javier Chacon who allowed all three inherited runners to score and leave Musgrove with a line that didn’t really reflect his day. … Austin Krob and four relievers combined to hold Inland to two runs in the nightcap. Krob, the Padres’ 12th-round pick out of Texas Christian last summer, labored through 59 pitches in 2.2 innings as he struck out five and issued four walks. He’s now faced 25 batters through two starts and has 11 strikeouts against 7 free passes. … All six outs Manuel Castro recorded came by the punchout, but he also walked three and was charged with his first earned run of the year. The 20-year-old from Sinaloa, Mexico, got hit hard in his first exposure to full-season ball last year, but has struck out 55% of the batters he has faced in limited action so far this season. … Infielder Graham Pauley continued his strong start to the year, doubling in a run in the first contest and then homering in the second. The 13th-rounder out of Duke is hitting .387/.457/.645 with a 6:4 strikeout-to-walk ratio through his first 35 plate appearances.

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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