Chihuahuas 4, Sugar Land Space Cowboys 3
Key Stats: RHP Anderson Espinoza (W, 1-2) 6 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 8 K; RHP Reiss Knehr IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 ER), BB, K; LHP Ray Kerr (S, 3) IP, H, 2 K; 1B Alfonso Rivas 1-for-4, HR (7), 2 RBI; 3B Tim Lopes 1-for-4 HR (8), RBI; DH Rangel Ravelo 1-for-2, HR (1), RBI, 2 BB
Prospect Watch: For the first time since before his first Tommy John surgery back in 2016, Anderson Espinoza threw six scoreless innings in his best outing in the Padres organization. Espinoza struck out eight batters and, perhaps most encouragingly, walked just two. In each of Espinoza’s previous five starts, he averaged more than a walk an inning. While it’s just one start, commanding the strike zone is a huge boost for the now-25-year-old. Espinoza went slider-heavy, getting both chases and called strikes, with the pitch showing better velocity than it has this year. … Since being optioned back to Triple-A, lefthander Ray Kerr has been a different pitcher. Wednesday, he allowed the first baserunner since returning to the Pacific Coast League but quickly recovered and closed out his third save for El Paso. Over his last four innings, he’s allowed just that one hit while notching eight strikeouts. If Kerr can consistently command the strike zone, he has a chance to help out the big league club later this season. … First baseman Alfonso Rivas hit his seventh home run on the season, a two-run shot in the first, to give El Paso a lead they would never relinquish. Rivas pushed his OPS back over 1.000 on the season. In his last two years in Triple-A and the majors for the Cubs, Rivas has hit nine home runs combined.
Game One: Corpus Christi Hooks 5, Missions 2 (7 innings)
Key Stats: RHP Duncan Snider (L, 1-2) 4.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, K; RHP Alek Jacob IP, 2 H, BB, 2 K; 2B Ripken Reyes 1-for-3, R; 1B Pedro Castellanos 2-for-3, R, RBI; CF Daniel Johnson 1-for-3, RBI
Game Two: Missions 5, Corpus Christi Hooks 1 (7 innings)
Key Stats: RHP Seth Mayberry (W, 2-0) 2 IP, 4 K; LHP Jared Koenig IP, 3 K; LF Jorge Oña 2-for-3, 2B, R, RBI; DH Juan Fernandez 2-for-3, RBI, BB; 3B Brantley Bell 2-for-3, 2B, R, RBI
Prospect Watch: Seth Mayberry, now 22 and in his fifth year in the Padres organization, is pitching as well as he ever has. Mayberry pitched two perfect innings in the nightcap Wednesday, striking out four to pick up the victory. In eight games this year with San Antonio, Mayberry has only allowed two earned runs with 15 strikeouts over 10.1 innings. After walking eight in his first 6.1 innings, he has yet to walk a batter in May. … By contrast, fellow righty Alek Jacob has struggled to find his location since joining San Antonio. Last year, he walked just 15 batters in 57 innings between the Padres’ top three affiliates. Thus far in 2023, he has already walked four batters in 5.2 innings. Jacob has a sidewinding delivery, and when he is on, hetoughhard to time and hit. … One of the few remaining pieces from the Padres’ high-cost 2016 international signing class, left fielder Jorge Oña is trying to rebound after y dreadful April. He finished April hitting .118/.231/.176. After going 2-for-3 with a double Wednesday, Oña is hitting .333/.368/.556 in May. At 26 years old, the time for Oña to contribute at the big league level is dwindling, but he can make loud contact when everything is working.
Beloit Sky Carp 6, TinCaps 5
Key Stats: RHP Alan Mundo 2 IP, BB, 3 K; CF Jakob Marsee 0-for-3, 2 BB, SB (12), RS; LF Nathan Martorella 2-for-4, HR (6), 2 RS, 3 RBI, BB; 2B Lucas Dunn 2-for-4, RBI, BB; C Juan Zabala 1-for-4, HR (1), RBI
Prospect Watch: Last year, the Padres made a pretty significant departure from their approach by taking a first baseman in the fifth round. However, Nathan Martorella has flashed an impressive bat in his firsentirell professional season to reward the club. He connected on his team-leading sixth home run of the season as part of a multi-hit effort as the TinCaps dropped their second straight Wednesday. He has a team-leading 22 RBI and has struck out in only 13% of at-bats. He’s also walked more than he has struck out. In eight May games, Martorella has a 1.314 OPS. … One of the most unheralded contributors to the Storm’s Cal League championship run last year was righthander Alan Mundo. In 48 innings for Elsinore, Mundo had a 2.23 ERA with 68 strikeouts. While the 22-year-old Mundo has not had the same level of success thus far in 2023, he got better results Wednesday, striking out three over two clean innings, only allowing one baserunner. He has punched out 15 Midwest League batters in 14 innings. … Juan Zabala connected on his first home run of the season — a welcome sight for the struggling backstop. After stabilizing things behind the dish for the Cal League champion Storm last year, the former Dodgers farmhand has struggled mightily this year. With the homer, Zabala is 4-for-35 this season.
Storm 7, San Jose Giants 5
Key Statistics: CF Samuel Zavala 1-for-2, R, RBI, 2 BB; 1B Albert Fabian 1-for-4, 2B, RBI; 3B Graham Pauley 1-for-3, R, RBI, 2 BB; LF Nick Vogt 2-for-4, 2 R; 2B Charlie Aquino 2-for-3, RS, BB, SB (2); RHP Thomas Balboni 5 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K; RHP Will Geerdes (W, 1-1) 3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K; RHP Cole Paplham (S, 5) IP, BB, K
Prospect Watch: Left fielder Nick Vogdebutedut on Saturday and had his first multi-hit game in a winning cause Wednesday. The seventh-round pick from last year began the season in extended spring training but was promoted after Tyler Robertson hit the injured list. He is 4-for-10 over his first three games since being activated.. … It took nearly a month, but center fielder Samuel Zavala has started to perform. In eight May games, Zavala is hitting .400/.500/.600 with more walks than strikeouts, three stolen basesandas a double and a home run. With a single and two walks, Zavala pushed his OPS over .800 for the first time all season. … A round after Vogt, the Padres selected their second big college first baseman, Griffin Doersching from Oklahoma State. Unlike his counterpart in Fort Wayne, Doersching has not had nearly the same level of success early on. The 24-year-old Wisconsin native had a .489 OPS on May 3. Since then, he has reached base in six consecutive games including his third multi-hit game Wednesday. … Righty Will Geerdes picked up his first win of the year with three solid innings of relief. The former University of Cavalier has a 3.00 ERA and a 10.8 K/9 over his last three appearances. … Hard-throwing Cole Paplham pitched the final inning, earning his fifth save. The former University of New Orleans hurler signed as an undrafted free agent last year. Paplham touched 99 mph with his fastball, per the Giants broadcast. He is second in the Cal League in saves while racking up nine strikeouts in 7.1 innings.