Tacoma Rainiers 10, Chihuahuas 2
Key Statistics: 2B Tim Lopes, 4-for-4, R; RF Brandon Dixon, 2-for-4, RBI, 3B; Jantzen Witte, 2-for-4, 2B; RHP Julio Teheran (L, 2-2) 3 IP, 7 H, 8 ER, 4 BB, 5 K
Prospect Watch: El Paso fell behind early and dropped another game in the Pacific Northwest. Through four games this week, El Paso has allowed 33 runs. … Despite the team struggling, infielder Tim Lopes continues to make a case for a big league opportunity. The veteran infielder singled four times and scored a run in the El Paso loss. The 28-year-old is currently riding a six-game hitting streak. His .347 batting average leads the team and ranks just outside the top ten in the circuit. Lopes has 94 games of big-league experience with Seattle and Milwaukee. He has not cracked a major league roster since 2021. … Brandon Dixon has taken his demotion in stride, as the right fielder has a pair of multi-hit games since being optioned to El Paso. By now, it’s obvious that Dixon can mash Triple-A pitching, but he has yet to re-establish himself in the big leagues. He still represents a very good depth option with power and versatility. In eight games with El Paso, Dixon is hitting .357/.486/.679. … Veteran righthander Julio Teheran struggled Friday night in virtually all facets of pitching. Teheran walked four in three innings, allowed seven hits, and earned eight runs. He also allowed a pair of homers but did strike out five batters. The two-time MLB all-star has been hit hard out of the gate this season. In 18.1 innings, he’s allowed a staggering 29 hits, including five home runs. Teheran has extensive big-league experience despite the struggles and is still missing bats. The 32-year-old will need to find a way to prevent the hard contact if he is to make a return to the big leagues this season.
Missions 6, Corpus Christi Hooks 5 (10 innings)
Key Statistics: LF Connor Hollis, 2-for-5, RBI; C Juan Fernandez, 3-for-4, 2 R, BB, RBI; 2B Ripken Reyes, 2-for-3, R, HR (1), 3 RBI, BB; LHP Brian Gonzalez, 4.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K; RHP Alek Jacob, IP, H, BB, 2 K; RHP Nick Hernandez (W, 2-0) 2.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, BB
Prospect Watch: It took extras, but the Missions won again against the Hooks. The Missions have won three of four and can clinch the series victory with a win Saturday or Sunday. … No one has enjoyed visiting the Texas Gulf Coast as much as Connor Hollis. The 28-year-old started in left field and had a pair of singles and an RBI. The 2022 Texas League batting champion has hit safely in all four games, going 8-for-19 during the hitting streak. Hollis entered this series in a 1-for-27 slump. He has raised his batting average from .037 to .196 in the last four days. … Second baseman Ripken Reyes returned to San Antonio after being placed on the Development List just before the season, and he put on a show. Reyes reached base three times, connected on a homer, and drove in three runs for good measure. The 26-year-old split the 2022 season between Fort Wayne and San Antonio, hitting .233/.369/.321 overall. Last season, Ben Davey chronicled his journey of working on a Ph.D. while playing baseball full-time. … Catcher Juan Fernandez had three singles and drew a walk in the Missions’ win. The playing time hasn’t been plentiful for Fernandez, who also played a lot of third base last season. Chandler Seagle has received the bulk of the playing time behind the plate, so there hasn’t been an obvious place for Fernandez to play. To his credit, he has delivered when given the opportunity. He is 6-for-15 (.400 avg) in five games with a double. … Righthander Alek Jacob twirled a scoreless inning in his maiden voyage this season. The former Gonzaga righty started the year back in extended spring training after a solid 2022 campaign that saw him reach Triple-A. In 57 career outings as a professional, Jakob has a sparkling 1.97 ERA.
Roster Moves: Reyes was activated from the Development List because Drew Mendoza hurt his leg and was placed on the seven-day injured list.
Peoria Chiefs 5, TinCaps 3 (F/7)
Key Statistics: 3B Marcos Castañon, 1-for-3, R, HR (2), 2 RBI; RF Joshua Mears, 1-for-3, R, HR (1), RBI; RHP Jairo Iriarte, 4 IP, 4 H, ER, 2 BB, 7 K; RHP Nick Thwaits (L, 1-1) 0.2 IP, H, 4 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, K; RHP Chris Lincoln, 1.1 IP, 2 H, K
Peoria Chiefs 3, TinCaps 2 (F/7)
Key Statistics: CF Jakob Marsee, 1-for-1, 2 R, 3 BB; 3B Marcos Castañon, 2-for-4; 1B Cole Cummings, 1-for-3, BB; LHP Miguel Cienfuegos (L, 0-1) 6 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 8 K
Prospect Watch: Thanks to a rainout on Thursday, Fort Wayne played two on Thursday. Unfortunately, for the TinCaps, they dropped both games. They have lost the first four games in P-town. … Third baseman Marcos Castañon went 3-for-7 with a homer in the doubleheader. The homer was his second of the year. After a slow start in the season’s opening series, the former UC Santa Barbara star is hitting a solid .256/.319/.442. … Joshua Mears connected for his first homer of the season – his only hit in six plate appearances. The powerful outfielder is off to a slow start this season, but the home run is a step in the right direction. The statistic to follow with Mears is his strikeout rate. After Friday’s games, Mears’ K-rate stands at 41%. If Mears can make more consistent contact, the homers should start to find the seats as the weather warms up. … In game one, Jairo Iriarte pitched well again but did not factor in the decision. He completed four innings and allowed a run on four hits, walking two and striking out seven. After fighting bouts of inconsistency with Lake Elsinore last season, Iriarte has been fantastic out of the gate in Fort Wayne. The 21-year-old went three innings in each of his previous two starts. He has 17 strikeouts and five walks in ten innings.
Righthander Victor Lizarraga was slated to start game two but was a late scratch two days after Jackson Merrill was pulled from a game with an illness. Merrill did not play in either game Friday. … Lefthander Miguel Cienfuegos made the start for Lizarraga and looked sharp. He pitched six innings and allowed three runs (two earned) with no walks and eight strikeouts. The 26-year-old spent the last two seasons in Québec, pitching in the Frontier League. Last season, he pitched to a 1.79 ERA in 131 innings. Since joining the Padres’ organization, he’s worked as a swingman out of the Fort Wayne bullpen. He has a 2.25 ERA in 12 innings.
Storm 7, Modesto Nuts 1
Key Statistics: LF Tyler Robertson, 2-for-4, 2 R, SB (7); 3B Graham Pauley, 3-for-4, 2 R, 2B, 2 RBI, SB (2); C Anthony Vilar, 1-for-2, R, HR (3), 2 RBI, 2 BB; RF Kai Murphy, 2-for-4, R, HR (2), RBI; LHP Robby Snelling (W, 1-0) 5 IP, 3 H, ER, BB, 6 K; LHP Drew Pomeranz, IP; RHP Ian Koenig (S, 1) 3 IP, 4 K.
Prospect Watch: Robby Snelling pitched well, earning his first professional win. David Jay was in Lake Elsinore with coverage. Read his recap here.