Chihuahuas 4, Oklahoma City Dodgers 3 (F/10)

Key Statistics: RHP Anderson Espinoza, 6 IP 5 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 2 K; LHP Ray Kerr (W, 2-0) 1 IP, 1 BB, 1 K; DH Nelson Cruz, 1-for-3, R;  2B Tim Lopes, 1-for-5, RBI; SS Matthew Batten 2-for-5, 2 SB (19)

Anderson Espinoza has been up and down for the Chihuahuas this year. (Photo: Jorge Salgado)

Prospect Watch: With a relatively low-scoring affair and an extra-inning walk-off win over the Dodgers, this game had it all for the Chihuahuas. The pitching staff was buoyed by a quality start from Anderson Espinoza, who tossed six innings of one-run ball, scattering five hits, walking four, and striking out two. The former top pitching prospect is now 2-2 with a 6.07 ERA in 46 innings but sports a 3.27 ERA in 11 innings in June, following up a 4.94 mark in 23.2 innings in May. … Ray Kerr earned the win with a scoreless 10th inning, as the lefty struck out one and left a runner stranded after a walk. The 28-year-old Kerr is now 2-0 with a 2.21 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 20.1 innings of work. Notably, the flamethrowing southpaw has only walked eight batters after issuing 36 free passes in 44.1 innings at El Paso in 2022. He worked in back-to-back games for just the second time this year. … 42-year-old Nelson Cruz was 1-for-3 in the DH spot. The rehabbing Padres veteran is one of three active El Paso players born in the 1980s, but while Angel Sanchez and Jake Sanchez were born in 1989, Cruz was born in 1980. … The winning hit came courtesy of Tim Lopes, who was a last-minute addition to the lineup after José Iglesias was a late scratch. Lopes has been ever-present on the mind of Padres fans as he’s carried an excellent Cactus League performance into the Triple-A season, batting .296 with nine home runs and a .846 OPS in 226 at-bats for El Paso so far in 2023. His production is good for a 103 wRC+ in the offense-friendly Pacific Coast League.

Cole Cummings. (Photo: San Antonio Missions)

Wichita Wind Surge 10, Missions 3 

Key Statistics: RHP Duncan Snider, 1.2 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 2 BB; Jose Espada, 2.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K; RHP Alek Jacob, 2 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 3 K; LF Cole Cummings, 2-for-4, 2 RBI; SS Ray-Patrick Didder, 2-for-3, BB

Prospect Watch: The Missions had a tough go at home against the Wind Surge, as Wichita jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the top of the 2nd and continued to pull away from there. The momentum was slowed by Jose Espada, who allowed a run in 2.1 innings of work, walking two and striking out two. Espada has been vital to the Missions in 2023, Throwing 36 innings in 16 appearances and posting a 2.50 ERA, 44 strikeouts, and a 1.11 WHIP. The 26-year-old righty was a fifth-round draft pick by Toronto in 2015 and is a native of Puerto Rico. … Alek Jacob threw a pair of scoreless innings to close out the game and continued to display the dominant form that has him knocking on the door of a possible return to Triple-A. Jacob, a 2021 16th-rounder out of Gonzaga, has a 0.98 ERA and has struck out 22 batters in 18.1 innings in 2023 after pitching for Fort Wayne, San Antonio, and El Paso in the 2022 season. … Offense was in somewhat short supply for the Missions, with most of the action coming in the bottom third of the order. Cole Cummings rapped a pair of singles in the seventh spot, raising his average to .245. The UC Santa Barbara product, signed after the 2021 draft, sports a .749 OPS in 98 at-bats in the 2023 season, including a .865 mark in 38 at-bats since being promoted to San Antonio. … Aruba native Ray-Patrick Didder also recorded a pair of singles and also worked a walk. The 28-year-old native of Oranjestad was a member of the Padres organization in 2020 but never saw the field in uniform due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The outfielder has also seen time in the Angels, Braves, and, most recently, Marlins organizations prior to returning to San Diego in the offseason.

Justin Farmer can do damage at the plate. (Photo: John Nagel)

TinCaps 9, Quad Cities River Bandits 4

Key Statistics: RHP Ryan Bergert (W, 4-1), 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 Ks; RHP Bobby Milacki (H, 1) 2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 Ks; LF Justin Farmer 3-for-3, 3B, 2 RBI, BB; SS Jackson Merrill 1-for-5, BB, 2 R, 2 RBI

Prospect Watch: The TinCaps played a complete game at Quad Cities, bolstered by a solid start from Ryan Bergert, who improved his record to 4-1 with five innings of two-run ball, striking out six in the effort. A sixth-rounder in 2021 out of West Virginia, Bergert has a 1.67 ERA and has struck out 48 batters in 43 innings of work in his return to Hi-A for the 2023 season. … Bobby Milacki, who picked up his first hold of the season, continues to shine in relief for Fort Wayne. The 26-year-old righty, a native of Lake Havasu City and a second-generation professional baseball player owns a 2.40 ERA in 30 innings of work to go along with a 3-1 record for the TinCaps. … It was reasonable to be concerned about Justin Farmer after the intriguing outfielder was slashing .148/.257/.262 at the end of April, but the Florida International product is now batting .240 with a .703 OPS after tonight’s 3-for-3 performance, hitting his first triple of the season and driving in a pair of runs. Farmer, who was signed after the 2021 draft, is batting .500 with a 1.348 OPS in 22 at-bats to kick off a scorching month of June. He’s always shown an interesting blend of tools but has a lot of swing-and-miss in his approach.  … Fans have been eagerly awaiting Merrill Mania in 2023, and the shortstop has slowly heated up over the last month. After a single and two RBI from the leadoff spot, Jackson Merrill‘s OPS edged back over .700. The 27th overall pick of the 2021 draft had a stellar May, slashing .329/.341/.482 in 86 at-bats, but has had just one extra-base hit so far in June.

Robby Snelling deals in his first professional victory. (Photo: Robert Escalante)

Fresno Grizzlies 1, Storm 0

Key Statistics: LHP Robby Snelling (L, 4-1), 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 Ks; RHP Will Geerdes, 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 Ks; DH Griffin Doersching, 1-for-4, 2B; LF Graham Pauley, 1-for-4

Prospect Watch: The Beastie Boys may have fooled around in Fresno in B-Boy Bouillabaisse, but tonight’s result was far more frustrating for the Storm. Robby Snelling took his first professional loss in a game in which he allowed one run on four hits in five innings, walking none and striking out eight. The torrid start to Snelling’s pro career has been well-documented, as the 39th overall pick of the 2022 draft is now 4-1 with a 1.30 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 41.2 innings for the Storm in 2023, making him a must-see for fans in Lake Elsinore. … San Antonio native Will Geerdes threw two perfect innings, lowering his ERA to 3.18 in 28.1 innings. The 23-year-old righty was signed by the Padres last August and went 1-1 with a 4.40 ERA for Lake Elsinore in five appearances (two starts) in 2022. … The Storm managed one extra-base hit tonight, and it was a double off the bat of hulking designated hitter Griffin Doersching. Doersching, an eighth-round pick by the Padres in 2022, has hit 15 doubles and four home runs in 2023 but has also struck out 54 times in 158 at-bats. The Oklahoma State product will have to improve his contact and lessen strikeouts before he can take the next step in his development. … Graham Pauley is now batting a cool .333 with a .941 OPS after going 1-for-4. The 22-year-old Duke product has a .313 average and .918 OPS in his first 291 professional at-bats, including 105 split between the Arizona Complex League and the Storm last year.

ACL Padres 8, ACL White Sox 2

Key Statistics: RHP Enmanuel Pinales (W, 1-0), 3.2 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 3 K; RHP Xavier Ruiz, 2.1 IP, 2 BB, 4 K; 1B Romeo Sanabria, 2-for-4, 2B, 2 R, BB; PH-CF Eddy Beltre, 1-for-2, 2B, R, RBI

Prospect Watch: The ACL Padres continue their first week of play by putting the hurt on the ACL White Sox. Picking up the win was Enmanuel Pinales, who scattered three hits and three walks in 3.2 scoreless innings of work. A 22-year-old native of the Dominican Republic, Pinales signed with the Padres last year and debuted in the Dominican Summer League, going 2-4 with a 7.75 ERA in 36 innings of work. He is one of a number of older signees the Padres have focused on to deepen their signing classes last year and this. … The Padres got 2.1 innings of scoreless work out of Xavier Ruiz to close things out. The 20-year-old Ruiz was making his stateside debut after going 1-2 with a 3.86 ERA in nine appearances for the DSL Padres in 2022. … Last year’s 18th-round pick Romeo Sanabria continued a hot start to the season with a 2-for-4 outing, slugging a double and scoring a pair of runs. Sanabria, starting at first base, is also a catcher and the 21-year-old is batting .444 (4-for-9) to start the 2023 season after going 1-for-12 in the Complex League in an abbreviated debut campaign in 2022. … Eddy Beltre has made a nice impact in limited action, going 2-for-6 with a home run and tonight’s double. The 19-year-old native of the Dominican Republic returns to Arizona after slashing .259/.394/.306 in 85 at-bats in the desert in 2022, his first season stateside and second in the Padres organization. … The ACL bunch got outings from a pair of rehabbers. Tyler Robertson started the game in center field and went 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts. Robertson has been out with a hamstring pull since May 6. He has a .812 OPS with the Storm this year. … Canadian-born lefty Miguel Cienfuegos pitched three innings and allowed two runs on five hits, walking one and striking out three. The 26-year-old looked sharp in four outings for the TinCaps this year. A lat strain sidelined him at the end of April.

Posted by Mark Wilkens

Born in San Diego and raised in Escondido, Mark now calls Phoenix home. Prior to MadFriars, Mark had multiple articles featured on Bleacher Report and covering the Padres, Angels and Clippers.

One Comment

  1. […] weeks on the IL in May, but now is hitting .289/.398/.474 on the year. … Anderson Espinoza, 25, went six innings and didn’t allow a run despite unsexy peripherals of only two strikeouts against four walks and five hits. It was the […]


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