It’s Friday, and while the Cure sang about being in love on Friday, the Padres system tested the theory that boys don’t cry as the Chihuahuas, TinCaps, and Storm lost in heartbreaking fashion.
Oklahoma City Dodgers 14, Chihuahuas 10
Key Statistics: 2B Tim Lopes, 3-for-5, 3 R, 2 HR (10, 11), 3 RBI, SB (14); DH Preston Tucker, 2-for-4, R, 2 2B, RBI; LF Taylor Kohlwey, 2-for-4, 2 R, 2B, 2 RBI; 3B Janzten Witte, 3-for-5, R, RBI; CF Luis Liberato, 2-for-5, R, RBI; LHP Jay Groome, 4.1 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 4 BB, 5 K; LHP Jared Koenig, 2 IP, H, 2 K; LHP Jose Castillo (L, 1-1) 0.1 IP, 5 H, 4 ER
Prospect Watch: Another day, another wild game in the Pacific Coast League. The Chihuahuas trailed 10-6 before rallying for four runs in the bottom of the eighth to tie things up. Oklahoma City scored four more in the top of the ninth to defeat El Paso in Southwest Texas. … Second baseman Tim Lopes homered twice and drove in three, but his power was not enough Friday. Lopes has 11 homers this season – which is a significant mark for the infielder. In each of the last two seasons, Lopes has hit exactly 11 homers. Lopes’ next homer will set a new career-high. The 28-year-old has also added 14 steals to his ledger. Assuming Lopes stays in El Paso for the majority of the year, he has a chance to be a 20/20 man. … 33-year-old Jantzen Witte delivered with three singles and an RBI. The veteran infielder hit .381 in a monster May, and his three hits Friday raised his June average to .280. … Taylor Kohlwey doubled and singled Friday night. He had hit safely in each game he has played in June, aside from Thursday’s game when he was used as a pinch-runner. The left-handed hitting Kohlwey had a miserable April, but he’s been highly productive since. He is hitting .320/.379/.640 in June. … The rough 2023 continued for Jay Groome Friday night as the young pitcher was tagged again. Groome worked into the fifth inning but left the game after allowing seven earned runs on eight hits, as he walked four and struck out five. The poor showing raised his ERA to a ghastly 9.47, as he’s allowed 60 earned runs in 57 innings. His WHIP increased to 2.21, which is the highest in the league. While Groome came into the season as an important depth piece, he will have a long way to go to be an option in the big leagues.
Missions 5, Wichita Wind Surge 4
Key Statistics: RF Ripken Reyes, 4-for-4, 2 R, 2B, RBI, SB (11); 1B Cole Cummings, 2-for-4, R; SS Ray-Patrick Didder, 2-for-3, 2B, R; RHP Efrain Contreras (W, 3-4) 6 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K; RHP Nick Hernandez (S, 6) 1.1 IP, BB, 3 K
Prospect Watch: The Missions erased an early lead by scoring four runs in the fifth inning to take the lead for good. … Ripken Reyes tied his career-high with four hits, including a double; Reyes also added his 11th steal for good measure. It was Reyes’ second career four-hit game and his first since 2019 as a member of the AZL Padres 2. The 26-year-old has been tremendous for the Missions in 2023, as he has been arguably the most consistent Missions hitter, and his big night at the plate improved his OPS to .797. … Cole Cummings had another multi-hit game for the Missions Friday night. The former UCSB corner infielder has received ample playing time since being promoted to San Antonio and has taken advantage of the opportunity. In 12 games with the Missions, Cummings is hitting .286/.400/.476 with two homers and nine RBI. … Righthander Efrain Contreras showed impressive resilience and was rewarded with a quality start and the victory. Contreras allowed a three-run homer in the second inning, but otherwise, he pitched well. He completed six innings and allowed three runs on four hits, walking two and punching out six. The young righty has shaken off a poor April and has been a dependable starter since then. He has a 4.19 ERA since May 1, with 44 strikeouts in 33 innings.
Roster Moves: The Missions received infielder Kervin Pichardo from the TinCaps after Connor Hollis was placed on the seven-day injured list. On Friday, the Missions placed right-handed starter Duncan Snider on the seven-day injured list. Jose Quezada was activated from the injured list to take Snider’s roster spot. Chase Valentine was promoted from the ACL squad to Fort Wayne.
Quad City River Bandits 12, TinCaps 11
Key Statistics: SS Jackson Merrill, 3-for-6, 2 R, 2B; CF Jakob Marsee, 2-for-2, 2 R, 3 BB, 3B, RBI, SB (19); RF Lucas Dunn, 2-for-4, 3 R, HR (3), 3 RBI; LF Justin Farmer, 2-for-5, 2 R, HR (3), 3 RBI; C Juan Zabala, 2-for-5, R; 2B Chase Valentine, 2-for-5; LHP Bodi Rascon, 3 IP, 2 H, ER, 3 BB, 2 K; RHP Keegan Collett (L, 0-4) 0.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB
Prospect Watch: The TinCaps jumped to a 3-1 lead before things got wild. The TinCaps scored six runs in the final two innings, but Quad City plated seven to snatch away the victory. … Shortstop Jackson Merrill had three hits, including a double. The multi-hit affair stretched Merrill’s modest hitting streak to four games. The young shortstop also pushed his slugging percentage to .407. … Center fielder Jakob Marsee reached base in all five plate appearances. Marsee singled, tripled, drew three walks, and stole his 19th base of the season in 24 attempts. Marsee’s excellent night at the plate raised his on-base percentage to .385., the 11th-best mark in the league. Marsee talked to John Conniff about the work he has put in to improve his keen eye at the plate. … Lucas Dunn had a pair of hits, including his third homer of the year. The versatile defender has mostly struggled at the plate. Friday’s multi-hit effort pushed his batting average back above the Mendoza line at .203. Dunn has appeared at four different positions this season. … Outfielder Justin Farmer continued his torrid hitting stretch with two more hits, including his third homer. Farmer walked over 100 times in 2022, but until recently, he struggled to put anything together offensively. However, that all changed in June as Farmer extended his hitting streak to six games. Since June 1, Farmer has been hitting .481/.588/.788. … Lefthander Bodi Rascon started and struggled with command before turning things over to the bullpen. In three innings, Rascon threw 66 pitches – just 33 for strikes. Despite the struggles with his fastball, Rascon only allowed one run in his three innings of work. Rascon has had some inconsistency this season, but overall he improved upon his results in a late-season cameo with the TinCaps last season. Friday’s start lowered his ERA to 4.80.
Fresno Grizzlies 14, Storm 13 (11 innings)
Key Statistics: C Victor Duarte, 2-for-4, 3 R, 2 BB; LF-RF Kai Murphy, 2-for-4, R, 2B, 3 RBI; SS Wyatt Hoffman, 3-for-4, R, 2B, BB, 6 RBI; RHP Henry Baez, 4.1 IP, 2 H, 3 R, ER, 4 BB, 4 K; RHP David Morgan, 2 IP, H, 2 ER, 4 K; RHP Carter Loewen, 2 IP, K; RHP Dylan Nedved (L, 1-4) 0.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 2 ER
Prospect Watch: You can take Fresno out of the Pacific Coast League, but you can’t take the Pacific Coast League out of Fresno. The Storm scored four runs in the 10th inning, only to see Fresno match that total in the bottom half of the frame. Lake Elsinore scored two more in the 11th, only to see Fresno slugger Ryan Ritter launch a walk-off two-run homer to snatch the victory away from the Storm. … Despite the loss, it was a career-best night for Storm shortstop Wyatt Hoffman. The 24-year-old Hoffman had three hits and drove in a career-high six runs in the loss. It was the second multi-hit game for Hoffman, who came into the series with just a multi-hit game all season. Hoffman can play all around the infield but has generally struggled offensively, and his big night raised his OPS to .502. … Outfielder Kai Murphy had a couple of hits, including a key two-run single in extra innings. Murphy spent three weeks on the injured list with a rib injury, but he’s been a solid contributor when he’s been in the lineup. In 122 plate appearances, Murphy is hitting .279/.375/.404 with a pair of homers. … Righty Henry Baez struggled with command and left before completing five innings. Baez allowed three runs, but only one was earned. He walked four and struck out four. The 20-year-old has flashed good stuff this season but has struggled to consistently throw strikes at times. Baez has a 4.42 ERA in 38.2 innings this year.
ACL Brewers 11, ACL Padres 9
Key Statistics: DH Oswaldo Linares, 2-for-3, 2 R, HR (2), 2 RBI, 2 BB; C Lamar King Jr., 1-for-4, R, 2B, BB; RHP Gabe Mosser, 1.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, ER, 2 K; Zack Qin, 2.2 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, BB, 3 K; RHP Francis Pena, 2 IP, H, 4 R, ER, 2 BB, K
Prospect Watch: The ACL Brewers scored a pair in the ninth to squeak past the ACL Padres on a warm, comfortable night in Peoria. … Oswaldo Linares had several hits, including his second homer of the year. Linares also drew a pair of walks. The 20-year-old catcher and designated hitter is 5-for-10 with a pair of homers in three games with the ACL bunch. He opened the season in Lake Elsinore but hit just .074/.242/.074 in nine games before being sent down. If Linares can show the offensive prowess he has consistently, the Padres have a very deep crop of catchers in the system. … Lamar King doubled and drew a walk at the plate Friday. He also made a pair of throwing errors which is a bit concerning. King Jr., whom the Padres drafted in the fourth round last year, has a big arm behind the plate but has already committed four errors. However, he has a .783 OPS out of the gate. … Lefty Zack Qin made his professional debut Friday and struggled a bit. The 17-year-old pitched 2.2 innings and allowed four runs on four hits, walking one and striking out three. Qin is a native of Beijing, China. He pitched last season with the Fredrick Keys of the MLB Draft League and the Burlington Sock Puppets (yes, that’s a real team) of the Appalachian League. He is the first member of the MLB Draft League to sign with an MLB team as an international free agent.