Tacoma Rainiers 7, Chihuahuas 4
Key Statistics: LHP Jay Groome (L, 1-2) 4.2 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 5 BB, 4 K; RHP Michel Baez IP, H, 2 BB, K; RF Adam Engel 0-for-4, 3 K; SS Matthew Batten 2-for-4, R, 2 SB (6); 2B Tim Lopes 1-for-5, HR (3), RBI; C Pedro Severino 2-for-4, R, 2B, SB (3)
Prospect Watch: El Paso dropped their second straight game in the Pacific Northwest Wednesday night. …There are a lot of adjectives to describe Jay Groome’s outing, and almost none of them are positive. He threw 52 strikes and 45 balls in under five innings and issued five walks in the game, including four in his last inning. Groome was removed after walking the bases loaded. In his four starts this year, Groome has allowed 16 earned runs in 19.1 innings and batters are hitting .342 off of him, with a WHIP of nearly two. By contrast, he allowed only 18 earned runs over 10 starts (51.1 IP) with the Chihuahuas last season. … Rehabbing outfielder Adam Engel got into his fourth game tonight. He plays a plus defensive outfield but is 3-for-13 with two doubles since starting rehab. With Tatis Jr. back with the Padres, there is less urgency to have him rejoin the big league club, but his rehab assignment cannot exceed 20 days. … Matthew Batten collected his first multi-hit game in 10 days. While his overall slash line (.213/.392/.344) is far from eye-popping, he has reached base safely in 13 of 15 games this season thanks to his impressive patience at the plate and has six stolen bases already. After stealing only 18 bases all of last season, more success on the basepaths might be the key to an opportunity to rejoin the big league club.
Corpus Christi Hooks 7, Missions 2
Key Statistics: LHP Jackson Wolf (L, 1-2) 4 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, BB, 8 K; RHP Justin Lopez IP, BB; RF Tirso Ornelas 1-for-4; 1B Pedro Castellanos 2-for-3, 2 HR (1, 2), 2 RBI, BB
Prospect Watch: The Missions dropped Wednesday’s affair in Corpus Christi, managing just four hits. … Right fielder Tirso Ornelas had a single on the night and now has a .808 OPS. The only other qualifying player with an OPS over .600 is first baseman Pedro Castellanos, who raised hit two home runs to raise his season mark 250 points to .628 Wednesday. Castellanos, 25, originally signed with the Red Sox out of Venezuela in 2015, but never reached the 40-player roster and opted for minor league free agency after splitting last year between Double-A and Triple-A. He hit 13 homers in 121 games between the two levels, including a multi-home run game on May 17. His ultra-aggressive approach from the right side yielded a walk rate below 3% last year. He had come into Wednesday with just one extra-base hit on the year. … Jackson Wolf pitched well in the loss, striking out eight over four innings to push his season total to 16 in only 10.2 innings. After walking three and giving up four runs in less than two innings last start, the eight strikeouts and one walk performance was a return to normalcy for him. Wolf has added some velocity this year and leverages his height to give hitters a unique look from the mound.
Transactions: Before the game, the Missions activated RHP Alek Jacob. Jacob tore threw the minors last year making it up to Triple-A in his first full season in pro ball. He had a 1.83 ERA with 43 strikeouts in 34.1 innings for San Antonio along the way. Right-hander Henry Henry was placed on the development list.
Peoria Chiefs 6, TinCaps 3
Key Statistics: RHP Garrett Hawkins (L, 0-1) 4 IP, 4 H, ER, BB, 3 K; SS Jackson Merrill 0-for-2; 1B Nathan Martorella 1-for-5, HR (3), 3 RBI; CF Jakob Marsee 3-for-5; RF Joshua Mears 1-for-3, 2B, K, HBP
Prospect Watch: Top prospect Jackson Merrill turned 20, Wednesday, but definitely didn’t celebrate the way he would have hoped. After feeling nauseous during the day, Merrill was removed after a lineout in the fourth inning. He is expected to return to the lineup quickly. … Nathan Martorella accounted for all three of Fort Wayne’s runs with an opposite field home run in the sixth inning. It was his first hit of the year in 10 at-bats against lefthanded pitching. Last year’s fifth-round pick of out Cal has a .500 slugging percentage and has struck out just 7 times 46 plate appearances, but is hitting just .225. … Righty Garrett Hawkins made his second start of the year, and like his first outing, he gave up only run but still took the loss. Hawkins showed drastically better control Wednesday, tossing only 28 balls over four innings and issuing just one walk while striking out four. Hawkins finished his night with 65 pitches as the organization continues to ease starters in Single-A into the season with controlled workloads.
Modesto Nuts 8, Storm 1
Key Statistics: CF Samuel Zavala 1-for-4, BB; 3B Graham Pauley 1-for-4, SB (1); 1B Griffin Doersching 1-for-4, 2B; RHP Isaiah Lowe (L, 0-1), 4 IP, H, ER, 2 BB, 6 K
Prospect Watch: After looking dominant in his pro debut last week, right-hander Isaiah Lowe impressed even more in his second start, allowing just one hit over four innings adding six strikeouts. The 19-year-old has allowed one earned run over his first two starts, showing an effective three-pitch mix that he’s keeping in the strike zone effectively. 11th-round pick out of North Carolina last summer has struck out 10 and held opponents to a .185 average in his first two outings. … The good news for the Storm was that eight of nine batters reached base safely, but they went just 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position and couldn’t come up with the big hit. Third baseman Graham Pauley had a hit and added his first stolen base of the season. The Duke product has a five-game hitting streak and has reached base safely in all but one game while posting a strong .359/.432/.564 line so far this season. … The Storm’s lone run came courtesy of an RBI single from 18-year-old Rosman Verdugo, who has hit in two straight. The infielder is off to a moderate start as the second-youngest position player in full-season ball, hitting .250/.302/.400 through the early going.