SURPRISE, Ariz. — Playing their first 11:00 a.m. game of the year, the Padres’ rookie level club got five extra-base hits from Estuar Suero and Oswaldo Linares to claim an 11-7 win over the Rangers’ affiliate. The team got outhit 13-9, but took advantage of 10 walks and eight wild pitches in a brisk three and a half hour affair in the desert.

After drawing a walk in the first inning, Linares started the scoring in the third when he laced a one-out double to right-center then came around on successive wild pitches. Two innings later, he hit a booming double to the wall in the gap to drive in Suero, again showing a strong opposite-field power approach. Coming back in the next frame, he lashed a ball down the right field line for his third double of the day. While he struck out in his final plate appearance, he finished the contest with his line through four ACL games sitting at a cool .571/.700/1.286.

The 20-year-old backstop opened the year in Lake Elsinore, but had only two hits over 27 at-bats in limited action behind Anthony Vilar. In two seasons spent in the DSL, the Venezuela native showed a strong approach at the plate as he grew into some strength. While he didn’t appear on any of our Top 30 lists last winter, his combination of receiving skills and feel for the barrel earned a spot on our pre-season sleeper list.

Estuar Suero can do damage already. (Photo: David Jay)

As hot as Linares has been to open the ACL season, Suero had been just as cold. The 6-foot-5 outfielder was 2-for-13 with six strikeouts in his first three contests, but found his footing Saturday. The long-levered switch-hitter, opened the game getting hit with a full-count pitch, then walked to lead off the fifth before stealing his second base of the season without a throw. In the sixth, he laced a triple into the right field corner to plate two runs. He capped a five-run ninth inning for the Padres club with a monster homer over the batter’s eye just right of center that left the bat at 107.

Suero has long levers at the plate and is far from filled out physically yet, but offers plenty of tools to dream on. The 17-year-old also has plenty of development left to do. He struck out two more times Saturday and now has Ked eight times in 22 trips to the plate, and had a few circuitous routes in the outfield.

Second baseman Alain Camou added a pair of hits to the attack, including a pull-side double that set up Suero’s two-run triple, and a two-out game-tying single in the ninth. The left-handed hitting infielder was born and grew up in Phoenix, but – like several players in the Padres system – left the country and signed as an international free agent in 2022. He showed a solid approach at the plate and has started the season 4-for-10 with a pair of doubles in his first four contests.

Rehab Updates

Brian Gonzalez finishes his rehab in the desert. (Photo: David Jay)

Lefty Brian Gonzalez, who hit the San Antonio IL at the end of April, tossed 45 pitches in his second rehab appearances. The 27-year-old, who signed as a minor league free agent last winter, wound up with 2.2 scoreless innings before giving way. He should return to the Missions’ roster on Tuesday. … Tyler Robertson‘s effort to get back to Lake Elsinore took a detour in the first inning. The toolsy outfielder, who pulled a hamstring for the Storm on May 5, had it flare up trying to leg out an infield grounder in the first inning Saturday. While the setback didn’t appear too severe, he will need to be re-evaluated.

Posted by David Jay

David has written for MadFriars since 2005, has published articles in Baseball America, written a monthly column for FoxSports San Diego and appeared on numerous radio programs and podcasts. He may be best known on the island of Guam for his photos of Trae Santos that appeared in the Pacific Daily News.


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