Las Vegas Aviators 13, Chihuahuas 10
Key Stats: C Luis Campusano 1-for-3, 2B; CF Oscar Mercado 2-for-5; 1B Alfonso Rivas 3-for-5, 2 2B; RHP Moises Lugo 0.0 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 1 BB; LHP José Castillo 0.2 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 3 BB; LHP Ray Kerr 1.1 IP, 2 K
Prospect Watch: Relievers Moises Lugo and José Castillo were each tagged for four runs as the Aviators rallied late to take five of six in the series and send the Chihuahuas limping into the break having lost 11 of 13. Despite a league-high 805 strikeouts, the El Paso pitching staff has given up a PCL-worst 6.85 ERA. … Brought in to a 5-5 ballgame, Lugo gave up three straight singles – two that didn’t leave the infield – before walking in a run and giving way to Nick Hernandez, who allowed all three inherited runners to score. Lugo had been on a stretch of seven straight games without allowing an unearned run. The Chihuahuas rallied for four runs of their own in the bottom half of the frame, but Castillo walked the first two batters he faced in the top of the eighth. After getting two outs, Castillo yielded two singles, another walk, and a double to give back all the ground his offense had made up. The lefty, who got shelled for four runs in a third of an inning in his lone appearance with the Padres earlier in the week, had given up just one earned run over his last seven appearances for El Paso. … Alfonso Rivas, who came off the IL on Thursday, had a three-hit game and extended his latest hitting streak to five games. The Chula Vista native also swiped his eighth base of the year for good measure. The first baseman, who is now on the Padres’ 40-player roster, sports a .330/.456/.567 line with El Paso on the year. He went 2-for-7 in a brief cup of coffee early last month. … Luis Campusano doubled in three trips to the plate and caught six innings for El Paso. The big league club will likely activate the catcher after the All-Star game, just short of three months after he hit the IL with a thumb sprain on his glove hand.
Roster Moves: Infielder Tim Lopes left Saturday’s game early and was put on the IL before Sunday’s game. To fill his stop, infielder Jake Perez, who had never appeared above the complex league before this year, was promoted from San Antonio, where he’d been rushed to backfill an injury already. The 23-year-old from Costa Rica had a walk and drove in two on Sunday.
Corpus Christi Hooks 4, Missions 1
Key Stats: DH Pedro Castellanos 2-for-4; SS Ripken Reyes 1-for-4, SB (16); RHP Efrain Contreras 4 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 ER), 4 K, 2 BB; RHP Justin Lopez 1 IP, K; RHP Jose Espada 1 IP, 1 H, 3 K
Prospect Watch: The Missions scraped together just six singles as they dropped the series finale, and the series, in East Texas. Hooks starter Ryan Gusto worked four perfect innings against them to open the game. … Pedro Castellanos had two of the hits out of the DH slot, extending his hitting streak to seven games. The big first baseman, who the Padres hoped might add some pop to the Missions lineup this year, is slugging just .339 on the year. … Ripken Reyes had a single and swiped his 16th base of the year to move into a tie for the team lead. He goes into the break as the only Missions hitter with an OPS above .800 … Efrain Contreras gave up one run on a hit and two walks through four innings. The righty came back out for the fifth but left after a leadoff flare double to right field and was charged with a second run when the batter came around. Contreras struck out four after getting hit hard in his last outing Monday.
TinCaps 8, West Michigan Whitecaps 7 (F/11)
Key Stats: CF Jakob Marsee 2-for-5, BB; 3B Marcos Castañon 4-for-6, 2B, HR (13), 3 RBI, E (6); 1B Nathan Martorella 1-for-5, HR (13), 3 RBI, E (8); DH Albert Fabian 2-for-4, 2 2B, BB; RHP Victor Lizarraga 6 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 5 K, 2 BB; RHP Aaron Holiday 1.1 IP, 1 H, 2 K, 2 BB
Prospect Watch: The TinCaps carried their torrid start to the second half into the break with a wild extra-innings win when Marcos Castañon lined a full-count, bases-loaded, two-out hit to the gap to bring home the winning run in the bottom of the 11th. The hit – which would have gone for extra-bases if the winning run hadn’t come across – capped a stellar game during an even better month for the 24-year-old infielder. Castañon had already tied the game with a two-run homer in the eighth inning as part of a four-hit game, pushing his line for the month to 14-for-33 with 10 extra-base hits. His hot stretch has pushed his OPS on the year up to .843 on the year, good for third in the Midwest League. He’s been especially effective late in games all year, slugging .784 in the eighth inning or later. … After the Whitecaps put up four runs in the top of the 10th, Fort Wayne rallied back again and matched them, capped by a three-run homer by Nathan Martorella, who joined Castañon in a tie for second in the Midwest League with 13 homers. Martorella, 22, sits just behind his fellow corner infielder with a .827 OPS on the year. In the year since the Padres made him their fifth-round pick, Martorella has slugged .472 while walking almost 15% of the time and striking out just 18% of the time. … Albert Fabian had two extra-base hits in his first nine games after getting promoted to Fort Wayne. On Sunday, the designated hitter doubled the count with a pair of doubles. After striking out almost 40% of the time in his first pass at the Midwest League last year, the 21-year-old has just eight Ks in his first 36 plate appearances this time around. … Long before the offensive outburst, Victor Lizarraga turned in another strong start as he continues to improve as the season goes on. For the second time in a week, the 19-year-old righty allowed two runs over six innings, this time on a season-low two hits. While he’s still not putting up stellar peripherals – he’s posted a 28:11 strikeout-to-walk ratio over his last 36.2 innings – opponents have just 30 hits against him in that span as he relies on his fastball location and a very good changeup. The San Diego native is on track for about 120 innings of work this year as the youngest pitcher in High-A ball.
Storm 9, Visalia Rawhide 5
Key Stat: LF Kai Murphy 2-for-4, SF; CF Tyler Robertson 3-for-5, 2B, HR (3); 3B Devin Ortiz 2-for-2, 2B, 2 BB; 2B Rosman Verdugo 3-for-4, BB, CS (7); RHP Miguel Mendez 5 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 4 K, 3 BB; Robert Suarez 0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 3 BB; RHP Kobe Robinson 1 IP, 3 K
Prospect Watch: The Storm jumped out to an early lead and never looked back as they headed into a five-day break with a series win. Victor Duarte capped a four-run first inning with a two-run double and then the club added three more in the second as 13 of the first 15 Storm hitters reached base safely. Rosman Verdugo had his second three-hit game of the series and has now reached 11 of his last 12 games. The 18-year-old infielder has pushed his OPS up to .690, the highest it’s been since early May. After striking out well over a third of the time through the first two months of the season, he’s cut that rate to below 25% in the last seven weeks. … Tyler Robertson added three more hits to his ledger, including his second homer in as many games. The 23-year-old outfielder is 10-for-29 in six games since coming off the IL from his hamstring strain. The 14th-rounder’s performance has been one of several pleasant surprises from the 2022 draft class so far. … Robert Suarez, getting one final rehab appearance in before the minor leagues shut down until Thursday, had a rough outing. Throwing on one-day rest for the first time as he works his way back from elbow issues that sidelined him the first week of spring training, Suarez got the first batter he faced but then allowed a home run and walked three straight batters, each on a full count, before giving way. The righty, who the Padres expected to be a key component of their bullpen this year, has allowed 10 baserunners in 3.1 innings since getting underway last week.
In selecting Dillon Head, the Padres followed a familiar path, going with an athletic high school position player with an advanced feel for the bat. We’ll have coverage of the rest of the team’s picks starting just before noon PDT on Monday.