Chihuahuas 11, Albuquerque Isotopes 8
Key Stats: RHP Anderson Espinoza (W, 4-2) 6 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 K; LHP Jose Castillo 1.1 IP, 2 K; SS Matthew Batten 3-for-4, 2B, HR (9), 4 R, 2 RBI, BB; 2B Eguy Rosario 2-for-4, 2B, R, 5 RBI, BB; 3B Jantzen Witte 1-for-5, HR(12), 4 RBI, C Kevin Plawecki 3-for-5, 2B, 2 R
Prospect Watch: Righthander Anderson Espinoza did not allow a hit over the first three innings. He dominated by attacking the zone early and then getting hitters to chase with two strikes. The second time through the lineup, the Isotopes swung early, collecting four of their five hits on one of the first three pitches of the at-bat. Working with a big lead, Espinoza was able to complete six innings for the third time in his last four starts working exclusively with a fastball/slider mix. While his overall ERA of 5.81 is not flashy, he is probably the most consistent of El Paso’s starters. … Fresh off being named the PCL Player of the Week, third baseman Jantzen Witte put the Chihuahuas up big early with a grand slam in the third that gave El Paso a 6-0 lead. It was his only hit of the game, but Witte now has four home runs and 12 RBI over his last five games. … Rehabbing second baseman Eguy Rosario collected his first multi-hit game in five games, including an eighth-inning, two-run double deep to the gap in right-center. The 23-year-old, who became the first 20-20 player in Chihuahuas history last year, has played all nine innings in back-to-back games after his rehab was initially interrupted by discomfort. … It has been an extremely difficult month for shortstop Matthew Batten, who had three hits in his last seven games coming into the night. He equaled that total Wednesday. He led off the game with a homer, his first extra-base hit in over two weeks. Batten snapping out of his cold stretch would go a long way to helping El Paso continue to pound out victories. … Left fielder Tirso Ornelas went 0-for-5 in his Triple-A debut.
Roster Moves: It was another busy day for transactions down on the farm. El Paso received four players from the Missions: Lefthander Aaron Leasher, righthander Nolan Watson, righthander Nick Hernandez, and Ornelas. Only Watson has not seen previous action in Triple-A. In addition, Angel Sanchez was placed on the development list.
Frisco RoughRiders 4, Missions 2
Key Stats: RHP Efrain Contreras (L, 4-5) 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 7 K; RHP Kevin Kopps 1.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, BB, 2 K; 2B Ripken Reyes 1-for-3, RS; 3B Juan Fernandez 2-for-4; SS Ray-Patrick Didder 1-for-3, 2B, RBI; DH Brandon Valenzuela 0-for-2, BB
Prospect Watch: Efrain Contreras‘s evening demonstrated why pitcher wins, especially in the minors, aren’t very informative. The righty allowed two runs – one unearned after a leadoff error – with one out in the first, then cruised after that. The only other time he could have run into trouble was when the first three batters in the third inning reached base, but he picked off two of them to avoid issues. Contreras’ command still comes and goes even two years removed from Tommy John surgery, but he has found success in his wildness, striking out a career-high 29% of batters. After giving up 11 earned runs over his first 15 innings this month, Contreras closed out the month by allowing one earned run over his final 10 innings. … Contreras took the tough-luck loss because the Missions managed only four hits. Shortstop Ray-Patrick Didder doubled to plate Juan Fernandez with the club’s first run. The 28-year-old has a .995 OPS in June. … Brandon Valenzuela started at designated hitter and went hitless in his Double-A debut. He did reach base twice via a walk and an error
The game in Lake County was postponed due to poor air quality caused by wildfires in Canada. The Captains hope to host Thursday’s game as scheduled if the air clears enough, and then play a double-header on Friday.
Storm 5, Inland Empire 66ers 4
Key Statistics: LHP Jagger Haynes 2.1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, BB, 3 K; LF Kai Murphy 1-for-5, HR (3), 2 RBI; DH Oswaldo Linares 1-for-2, 2 R, 2 BB; CF Samuel Zavala 2-for-3, 2B. RBI, 2 BB; C Ethan Salas 0-for-2, BB. RBI., Sac fly; SS Rosman Verdugo 2-for-4, 2B, RBI
Prospect Watch: The Storm won when Samuel Zavala lined a double to the opposite field gap to bring Venezuelan countryman Oswaldo Linares around to score the walk-off run. In nine April games, Linares reached base eight times with two hits and six walks before getting sent back to Peoria. In two games since returning, Linares already has reached base six times. Linares and Salas should alternate between designated hitter and catcher. … Zavala reached base four times, including the big hit to give the Storm their only lead of the night. The consensus top outfield prospect in the system raised his OBP over .400. Since May 1, it’s an even more impressive .425 as he continues to show an interesting mix of selectivity and power at the plate. Zavala has reached base safely in 17 of 18 games. … Catcher Ethan Salas went hitless but did connect on a sacrifice fly for the second straight game. … Shortstop Rosman Verdugo extended his modest hitting streak to four games with a multi-hit game. The 18-year-old has rebounded well after a tough May. Verdugo is hitting .283 in June with a .739 OPS. … Left fielder Kai Murphy had the big blow of the game, a two-run home run in the fourth that kept the game close. It was Murphy’s first home run in over two months. Despite the lack of power, the undrafted free agent is still hitting .296 with a .774 OPS in June. … Starter Jagger Haynes cruised through the first two innings, but after giving up a pair of singles around a sacrifice bunt in the third, called the trainer out to the mound with what appeared to be a recurrence of the blister issue that caused him to leave a start and miss a turn through the rotation earlier in the month. We’ll monitor his status as information becomes available.
ACL Angels 11, ACL Padres 10 (F/7 innings)
Key Stats: DH Korry Howell 0-for-3, R, BB, SB (1); CF Estuar Suero 1-for-3, HR (3), 2 R, 2 RBI, BB; LF Daniel Montesino 2-for-3, 2 2B, 2 R, RBI; SS Yendry Rojas 1-for-2, HR (1), 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB
Prospect Watch: Last year Korry Howell led the Missions with a .876 OPS over 48 games before spending the rest of the season on the injured list. This year, he missed four weeks with a shoulder injury in early May, returned, but jammed the same shoulder diving and wound up back on the injured list six games later. Howell, will hope the third time is the charm as he kicks off another rehab assignment. The talented outfielder went 0-for-3 but drew a walk and stole his 10th base of the year. … Two weeks ago, left fielder Daniel Montesino had just a .441 OPS, but with another multi-hit performance Wednesday, Montesino pushed the mark up to .658. The 19-year-old was one of the Padres’ top signings in 2021, but has been slow getting back to game speed after Tommy John surgery cost him all of 2022. If he continues to putting the ball in play with authority, he could be a late-season call-up to Lake Elsinore. … After being one of the headliners in the 2022 international class, then 17-year-old Yendry Rojas spent the season in the Dominican Summer League. While he did many things well there – including drawing more walks (23) than strikeouts (21) – he did not connect on a home run. That trend continued through his first 16 stateside games, until the left-handed hitter turned on one for his first professional home run Wednesday. He continues to draw walks, drawing eight over his last four games, but will need to continue to add strength to take advantage of his solid bat-to-ball skills.