OKC Dodgers 4, Chihuahuas 1

Key Statistics: 2B Tim Lopes 2-for-4, SB (15); LF Taylor Kohlwey 1-for-3, BB; CF Jose Azocar 2-for-4, HR (1), RBI; DH Nelson Cruz 1-for-4, 2B; RHP Matt Waldron (L, 1-5), 6 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, BB, 4 K; RHP Nabil Crismatt 1 IP, H, ER, BB, K, HR; LHP Adrian Morejon 2 IP, H, BB, K

Nelson Cruz with El Paso. (Photo: Jorge Salgado)

Prospect Watch: In one of the more normal venues in the PCL, El Paso lost its third game out of five to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ top affiliate. The lone run was Jose Azocar‘s homer to right-center. In eight games with the Chihuahuas, he is hitting .351/.351/.487 in 37 plate appearances, with three stolen bases in four attempts. … Matt Waldron continued his up-and-down season, allowing three earned runs with four strikeouts over six innings. While his knuckleball got several whiffs, he continues to work on how to most effectively pair it with his low-90s fastball, and deliver both with the same motion. …  After a slightly down May, Tim Lopes has six hits in his last ten at-bats and now has an .850 OPS for the month. The Huntington Beach, California native has played five different positions for El Paso but has spent most of his time at second base, his best position in the field. … Nelson Cruz, 42, doubled in four trips to the plate in his third rehab game. … Adrian Morejon made his second appearance since his rehab assignment ended and he was optioned to El Paso. The lefty threw faced eight batters and threw 26 pitches, 14 for strikes. His fastball got up to 98 mph, but he fought for command Saturday. If he returns to San Diego this season, it will most likely be in a bullpen role.

Alek Jacob with a different look. (Photo: Rey Holguin)

Missions 5, Wichita Wind Surge 3

Key Statistics: SS Ripken Reyes 1-for-3, BB, SB (12); LF Tirso Ornelas 2-for-4; 1B Pedro Castellanos 2-for-4, SB(1); RF Ray-Patrick Didder 1-for-2, BB SB (7); RHP Nolan Watson 4.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R (2ER), 4 BB, 2 K; RHP Michel Baez (W, 3-0) 1.2 IP, K; LHP Aaron Leasher 1.1 IP, H, BB; RHP Kevin Kopps 0.2 IP, BB, K; RHP Alek Jacob 1 IP, H, K

Prospect Watch: Despite having a team with few prospects, the Missions continue to win. San Antonio has taken four out of five from Wichita, and last week took four out of six on the road at Frisco. Saturday, they took the lead on Yorman Rodriguez‘s RBI in the first inning and didn’t look back. A big reason for the success was a bullpen that didn’t give a run in four and two-thirds innings. … Alek Jacob, who got everyone’s attention when he vaulted from Fort Wayne to El Paso in 2022, closed out the game with a scoreless frame. The 24-year-old sidearmer is having a solid season with San Antonio, posting a 0.93 ERA in 19.1 innings and 23 strikeouts against five walks. Last year in El Paso, he had a 6.59 ERA in 13.2 innings as he couldn’t quite generate the amount of movement he did in areas with less elevation. The former Gonzaga star offers a unique look to hitters. … Michel Baez got his third win of the year, working 1.2 innings without allowing a walk. Since getting sent down to San Antonio from Triple-A, he has a 3.38 ERA in 10.2 innings with nine strikeouts against eight walks. After PCL hitters got to him for four homers in just 7.1 innings, the big righty has held Double-A batters to just one extra-base hit. … Ripken Reyes, 26, made his second start of the year at shortstop. He’s mainly played second this season for San Antonio and has also seen four games in right field. In the past, he’s also played third base, center, and left field. At the plate, his .421 on-base percentage is third in the Texas League.

TinCaps 7, Quad Cities River Bandits, 3

Key Statistics:  3B Marcos Castañon 3-for-5, 2B, HR (6), 2 RBI; DH Brandon Valenzuela 2-for-5; 2B Lucas Dunn 1-for-3, 2 BB, 2 RBI; RF Joshua Mears 2-for-3, HR(5),BB, 2 RBI; RHP Victor Lizarraga 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R, BB, 3 K; RHP Edwuin Bencomo (W, 1-0) 2.0 IP, K; RHP Adam Smith 1 IP, K

Brandon Valenzuela is having a solid year at the plate. (Photo: Jeff Nycz)

Prospect Watch: The TinCaps are rolling, as they have now taken four out of five from Quad Cities and six of their last eight. In their last four series, they have won three and split one. Down 3-0, they got on the board in the fifth on Joshua Mears‘s solo home run and kept adding on. Mears also had a double on the day. … Marcos Castañon had another big day with a pair of RBI and a monster home run to left-center that traveled 444 feet – the longest of the year for the TinCaps. He also made an excellent play in the top of the ninth inning, making a very long throw from behind the third base bag. … Brandon Valenzuela‘s changes in the offseason at the plate appear real as his OPS has gone from .682 in 2022 to .901 this year in 119 plate appearances. The switch-hitting catcher had a pair of singles in the game. … Last Saturday, Adam Smith had his worst outing of the year, surrendering six earned runs, nearly matching his total for the rest of the season. He returned tonight to form Saturday, posting a clean inning for his ninth scoreless outing in 13 appearances.

Fresno Grizzlies 6, Storm 5

Key Statistics: DH Graham Pauley 2-for-5; LF Albert Fabian 2-for-4, HR (10), RBI, BB; SS Rosman Verdugo 2-for-4; RF Nick Vogt 3-for-4, 2B; SS-3B Wyatt Hoffman 2-for-3; RHP Henry Williams (L, 0-2) 3.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, BB, 6 K; LHP Fernando Sanchez 4.1 IP 4 H 2 R, 2 BB, 6 K

Prospect Watch: The Storm lost their fourth out of five games on their visit to Fresno, with all four losses by a single run. … Graham Pauley, 22, collected two more hits to keep his on-base percentage at .433, second in the California League. The left-handed hitting Georgia native by way of Duke University played both second and third in college and has even had a few games in left field as a pro. … Albert Fabian, 21. connected on his tenth home run, good for fourth in Cal League. In his return to the Storm, he’s still posting just a 5.2% walk rate, but continues to show plenty of extra-base power. … Ethan Salas, behind the plate Saturday, had a single in five plate appearances. In his first 44 plate appearances in Low-A at 17, he has a .235/.386/.353 slash line. … Like his fellow UC Santa Barbara alum Castañon, outfielder Nick Vogt, 22 had a strong night, going 3-for-4 with a double. Since joining the Storm roster last month, he has a .361 on-base percentage and a .400 slugging percentage.

ACL Padres 11, ACL Rangers 7

Key Statistics:  CF Estuar Suero 2-for-4, 3B, HR (1) 5 RBI; C Oswaldo Linares 3-for-4, 2B, RBI; 2B Alain Camou 2-for-4, 2B, BB, RBI; LHP Brian Gonzalez 2.2 IP H BB K; RHP Jonney Rosario (W, 1-0) 2 IP, 3 H, 3 K

Prospect Watch: The rookie league club finished their first week with a win. David Jay was on-hand and will have coverage from the desert this week.

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.

Leave a Reply