Round Rock Express 6, Chihuahuas 5

Moises Lugo has been piling up strikeouts in El Paso. (Photo: Jorge Salgado)

Key Statistics: Matthew Batten 0-for-3, 2 BB; RF David Dahl 2-for-4; 2B Jantzen Witte 2-for-3, 2B, BB; PH Yorman Rodriguez 1-for-1; RHP Pedro Avila 2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, HR; RHP Reiss Knehr 3 IP, 1 ER, BB, 3 K, RHP Moises Lugo 1 IP, 2 K; RHP Domingo Tapia (L,0-1), 0.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, BB

Prospect Watch: Down by one run in the top of the ninth inning, El Paso scored twice to pull ahead. Unfortunately, it was a short-lived lead as Domingo Tapia walked in the tying run and allowed a game-winning single as Round Rock took the victory. El Paso has lost the last two after winning the series’ first three games. … Matthew Batten walked twice to give him 38 and the Pacific Coast League lead. His slash line of .200/.363/.353 is still below the .841 OPS he produced last season. … After getting off to a torrid .364/.410/.545 start in his first 83 plate appearances, Yorman Rodriguez has slowed down. In May, he’s hitting .240/.240/.360 in 25 plate appearances wrapped around a stint on the IL as he has reverted to a hyper-aggressive approach. While he’s only struck out in 10% of his plate appearances, his walk rate has fallen off from the career-best 7% he produced last year. Given the big club’s struggles at catcher, he could merit some consideration for a call-up. … Moises Lugo struck out two in one scoreless inning and has pitched three consecutive outings with eight strikeouts. After fighting his command in his last outing, he landed nine of his 11 pitches in the zone and got a chase on a fastball.

Roster Moves: Three days after Pedro Severino opted out, the Padres signed former major league catcher Kevin Plawecki, 32, to a minor league deal. A first-round selection by the New York Mets in 2012, he has a career of .235/.313/.341 line in eight major league seasons. He appeared most recently with the Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers in 2022, where he hit .220/.286/.286 in 186 plate appearances. He went 0-for-2 and got hit in the hip by a pitch in his debut with the Chihuahuas.

Midland RockHounds 9, Missions 0

Key Statistics: Michael De La Cruz 1-for-2, 2B, 2 BB; CF Connor Hollis 1-for-3, BB; LHP Jackson Wolf (L, 2-5) 4.1 IP 7 H, 5 R (4 ER), BB, 5 K; RHP Kevin Kopps 1.2 IP 5 H, 4 R 2 BB, 2 K; RHP Lake Bachar 1.0 IP, 2 H, 3 K

Prospect Watch: The Missions pitching staff had a rough night, which doesn’t bode well for a lineup that has four starters hitting below the Mendoza line. … Jackson Wolf, 24, coming off his best professional start last week when he went seven innings and only allowed a run with eight punch outs, he needed 87 pitches to make it through four and a third. The lefty gave up a season-high seven hits and saw his ERA creep back up to 4.91 on the year. … Kevin Kopps, who hadn’t allowed an earned run in his last six appearances, gave up four Saturday. That’s one less than he surrendered in 12.2 April innings. The 26-year-old saw his ERA swell from 2.33 to 3.86. … After spending most of last year at third base, Connor Hollis, 28, has been playing all over the field this season. Saturday he was in center after spending the first three games at shortstop, where he has seen the most time this year. He’s also appeared in left field, second and third base. …  Juan Fernandez (.827), Ripken Reyes (.824), and Michael De La Cruz (.726) are the only Missions with an OPS above .700.

Ryan Bergert has an ERA of 2.16 this season. (Photo: Jeff Nycz)

TinCaps 5, Dayton Dragons 1

Key Statistics:  SS Jackson Merrill 2-for-5, 3B; 3B Marcos Castañon 3-for-4, 3 2B, 2 RBI; 1B Nathan Martorella 2-for-5, 2 RBI; LF Justin Farmer 2-for-4, RBI; RHP Ryan Bergert 4 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K; RHP Ethan Routzahn (W, 1-0) 4 IP, 1 H, 4 K; RHP Keegan Collett 1 IP, 3 K

Prospect Watch: Fort Wayne was down 1-0 early, but the offense kept chipping away, led by Marcos Castañon‘s three doubles, while TinCaps pitching shut out the Dragons over the final seven innings. The squad from the Summit City has now taken three of five in Dayton. … Ethan Routzahn, 25, signed as an undrafted free agent out of St. John’s University in 2021, had his longest and best outing of the season to earn his first win. The righty allowed just one hit over four strong innings, striking out four along the way. Routzahan had a few tough early appearances, but lowered his ERA from 7.16 to 5.45 with Saturday’s performance. … Ryan Bergert needed 73 pitches to get through four innings but still gave up just a single run. In seven appearances, he has only given up more than a run once. That’s helped him to a 2.16 ERA in 21 innings. While his walk rate has almost doubled in his repeat with Fort Wayne this season, he’s holding opponents to a .193 average and getting a lot of weak contact when he is in the zone. … Keegan Collett, who has struggled this year, also had his best appearance of the season, closing the game by striking out the side. Collett’s breaking ball is one of the nastiest in the system, helping him to 18 strikeouts in nine innings of work, but he’s also walked 12 and given up 10 hits. … The heart of the TinCaps lineup, Castañon and Nathan Martorella, drove in four of the five runs for Fort Wayne. Martorella is second in the Midwest League with 25 RBI, and Castañon tied for third with 23. … Jackson Merrill had an infield single and triple with two hard-hit balls to his pull side. He continues to perform in May. After hitting .177/.246/.339 in April, he is at .293/.302/.439 this month.

Storm game postponed

Following a burst gas line caused a fire in the clubhouse Friday, Saturday’s game was postponed. Two contractors were installing a new dryer when there was an explosion, and both sustained moderate to severe burn injuries.

The club is planning to play a double-header Sunday afternoon.

Posted by John Conniff

John grew up in Poway and has written for MadFriars since 2004. He has written articles for Baseball America, FoxSports San Diego, the El Paso Times, San Antonio Express-News, Amarillo Globe-News, Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette and Pacific Daily News in addition to appearing on numerous radio programs and podcasts. He can also break down the best places to eat for all five of the affiliates. There is no best place to eat in Peoria, Arizona.

One Comment

  1. […] His fastball, touching 97 mph, might change that perception slightly. … Ethan Routzahn, 25, was the hero of Saturday’s game throwing four shutout innings in relief of Ryan Bergert, 23, who gave up a run in his four-inning […]


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