Round Rock Express 5, Chihuahuas 4
Key Stats: LF Preston Tucker 2-for-3, HR (6), BB; DH Kevin Plawecki 1-for-4, HR (1); RHP Anderson Espinoza 2.2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 K, 2 BB, 2 HBP; LHP Jose Castillo 1 IP, 1 H, 3 K; RHP Angel Felipe 1 IP, 1 K, 1 BB; LHP Ray Kerr 1 IP, 1 H, 1 K
Prospect Watch: The Chihuahuas dropped the finale in Round Rock to split the series and end their two-week in-state road trip. Anderson Espinoza, coming off a pair of strong outings, labored through just 2.2 innings Sunday, allowing four hits, walking two, and hitting a pair of batters. Just 29 of his 57 pitches went for strikes. … Righty Sean Poppen and a trio of 40-player roster relievers pitched well to give the offense chances to close the gap, but the club came up short. Jose Castillo, coming off a brutal outing in his last rehab appearance Friday, struck out the side in his inning of work. Encouragingly, he got three swings and misses and a pair of called strikes out of his seven sliders. His fastball sat 95-97. … Righty Angel Felipe touched 99 and turned in his second scoreless frame of the series. Ray Kerr finished the contest, relying more heavily on his curve than he has all year to get a strikeout and two lazy fly balls. The hard-throwing lefthander has a strong 18:5 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 14.1 innings on the year. … Catcher Kevin Plawecki, who signed with the organization and made his system debut Saturday, connected on a homer as the designated hitter Sunday. The 32-year-old veteran of 449 big league games slugged .452 in parts of three seasons in the PCL with Las Vegas as he shuttled to the big leagues for the Mets. He owns a .341 slugging percentage in the majors.
Midland RockHounds 5, Missions 4
Key Stats: RF Tirso Ornelas 2-for-3, SF, BB, SB (4); 3B Luis Aviles Jr. 2-for-4, SB (9); RHP Duncan Snider 2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 K, 1 BB; RHP Justin Lopez 2 IP, 4 K, 1 BB; RHP Seth Mayberry 1.1 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 4 K, 2 BB; RHP Alek Jacob 2 IP, 2 H, 1 K
Prospect Watch: The Missions scored and put the tying and winning runs on base in the ninth but couldn’t convert and dropped their third straight to settle for a series split in West Texas. Duncan Snider lasted just two innings, giving up four extra-base hits, including a two-run homer. On the year, the 25-year-old righty has a 4.22 ERA, but opponents have tallied a .879 OPS against him. … Justin Lopez was the first arm out of the bullpen behind Snider and continued his strong campaign. Not quite a year after converting to the mound, the 23-year-old righty now owns a career 1.54 ERA in 19 outings. For the Missions this year, he’s held opponents to a .146 average and owns a 16:8 strikeout-to-walk ratio. … Tirso Ornelas had a pair of singles, a walk, and hit a sacrifice fly on Sunday and also swiped his fourth base of the year. The corner outfielder has just a .560 OPS this month, as his line drive rate has fallen to a career-low 13%.
TinCaps 11, Dayton Dragons 10
Key Stats: SS Jackson Merrill 3-for-5, SB (4); 1B Nathan Martorella 2-for-4, 2B, HR (7), BB; CF/RF Joshua Mears 1-for-3, 2B, 2 BB, SB (7); RF/LF Justin Farmer 2-for-4; LHP Bodi Rason 2.1 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 3 K, 1 BB; RHP Bobby Milacki 3.2 IP, 3 H, 5 K; RHP Chris Lincoln 1 IP, 2 K, 1 BB; RHP Raul Brito 1 IP, 2 K
Prospect Watch: The TinCaps surrendered leads of 4-0 and 7-4, but a grand slam by Nathan Martorella proved to be the decisive blow to clinch a series victory. After a slow start to the year, Martorella is in the midst of a monster May. The 22-year-old is hitting .310/.432/.603 with 13 walks and 15 strikeouts in 74 plate appearances this month. The first baseman hit a curve to the center field wall for an RBI double in the third inning before demolishing a high fastball that he put high off the batter’s eye on a ball measured at 427 feet for his grand slam. The extra-base hits were his only two of the series. … Jackson Merrill extended his hitting streak to eight with three more line drive singles. The 20-year-old infielder is 8-for-23 since returning from his latest bout with the flu and has come around to score six times in the process as both he and the entire TinCaps offense heat up. … Joshua Mears had an opposite-field double and drew two walks Sunday, collecting his first hit since coming off the IL. … For the second day in a row, an unheralded righty contributed in a big way for the TinCaps bullpen. Bobby Milacki, who signed as a free agent last winter, relieved starter Bodi Rascon with a runner on second and quickly got a pair of outs to leave him stranded. The 26-year-old tossed three more full innings, working around one hit in each frame and ending his day with back-to-back strikeouts. Milacki has worked to a 1.96 ERA across 23 innings as a long man for the TinCaps staff.
Storm game postponed
As the Lake Elsinore front office staff continued to work to recover from the fire in the home team’s clubhouse Friday afternoon, Sunday’s game was also postponed. The team will get back underway on the road Tuesday.