Chihuahuas 11, Oklahoma City Dodgers 10 (10 innings)
Key Stats: LF Tirso Ornelas 4-for-5, HR (1), 2 R, 3 RBI, BB; CF Jose Azocar 2-for-6, 2B, 2 R, RBI; C Kevin Plawecki 2-for-6, 2 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI; 3B Tim Lopes 1-for-3, R, 3 BB; DH Preston Tucker 1-for-4, 2 RBI, 2 BB; RHP Aaron Brooks, 2 IP, 3 H, ER, 2 BB; LHP Ray Kerr, IP, H, BB, 2 K; RHP Moises Lugo (W, 3-3, BS, 4) 1 IP, 0 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, HBP; RHP Eric Hanhold (S, 2) IP, H, R, 2 BB
Prospect Watch: After seven innings, the Chihuahuas were down 2-0 and had managed just four hits. They then scored nine unanswered runs to take a commanding 9-2 lead going into the bottom of the ninth. Aaron Leasher and Moises Lugo then combined for a nightmare inning when they walked or hit eight of the first nine batters of the frame sandwiched around a three-run home run. The seven-run lead disappeared, and the game went into extras where the Chihuahuas were able to plate two runs and hold on for a crazy win. … Left fielder Tirso Ornelas led the El Paso offense. After having two of the club’s four hits through the first seven innings, Ornelas came up with a runner on in the eighth, down by two, and tied it with his first home run in 14 games with El Paso and his tenth of the year. He added an RBI single in the ninth and drew a walk in the tenth. Ornelas’ four hits set a new season-high, and the seven total bases tied his season-high. With such a short track record in El Paso, the one game raised his OPS from .486 to .654. Between Double-A and Triple-A, the 23-year-old is hitting .268/.367/.426. … The other big hit in the game came from catcher Kevin Plawecki. He broke the 2-2 tie in the ninth with a double down the left-field line, scoring a pair. The two hits Wednesday night snapped an 0-for-14 streak dating back to July 3. Overall, the former big leaguer is hitting .269/.323/.437 with El Paso. … Rehabbing left fielder Preston Tucker had a bases-loaded single in that seven-run ninth inning. In his four rehab games, Tucker is 2-for-14 with a home run and three RBI. He has also walked six times over the four games to give him a .400 on-base percentage.
Missions 13, Frisco RoughRiders 3
Key Stats: RHP Jared Kollar 3.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K; RHP Jairo Iriarte 2 IP, 4 K; SS Jackson Merrill 3-for-6, 2B, 3B, 2 R, 3 RBI; DH Juan Fernandez 3-for-6, HR (4), 2 R, 2 RBI; 1B Michael De La Cruz 4-for-5, R, 2 RBI; CF Korry Howell 2-for-3, HR (2), 2 R, 2 RBI, BB; LF Cole Cummings 2-for-5, HR (5), 2 R, 3 RBI
Prospect Watch: The two biggest jumps in professional baseball are said to be from High-A to Double-A, and from Triple-A up to the Majors. Righty Jairo Iriarte has handled the transition to Double-A with ease thus far. In his second relief outing, the 21-year-old sat at 97-98 mph with his fastball, which had good enough movement that when hitters could catch up to it, they could do little other than foul it off. Hitters were so ramped up for the fastball, that when he threw his breaking ball, batters either missed badly or watched a called strike three. Iriarte did not go to the slider often and struggled to throw it for a strike when he did. He retired all six batters he has faced, and has not allowed a baserunner over four innings while striking out seven in his first two appearances. … Fellow top prospect Jackson Merrill came within a home run of hitting for the cycle. He had his first multi-hit effort in five games with the Missions. One of the reasons Merrill is so highly regarded is his ability to make contact. The 20-year-old struck out in his second plate appearance with the Missions, but 22 at-bats later, he doesn’t have another K. Between High-A and Double-A Merrill is hitting .278/.314/.450. … Last year, center fielder Korry Howell, was the Missions’ top performer, posting an .876 OPS until he landed on the injury list to end his year in June. This year, Howell has once again struggled to stay healthy,. appearing in only 20 games through June around a pair of IL stints. Now healthy, Howell is slowly rounding into form. In the six games since his return, Howell is 4-for-19 with a double, two home runs, three walks, and a stolen base. … What were you doing on August 29, 2015? If you are current Missions utilityman Michael De La Cruz, you were enjoying a four-hit game as a member of the Lansing Lugnuts. Wednesday, the 30-year-old singled four times and scored a run to pull off the feat again for the first time in almost eight years. The veteran has been a solid contributor, bouncing back and forth between catcher and the infield. Overall, he’s produced a .767 OPS for the Missions.
TinCaps 11, Lake County Captains 3
Key Statistics: LHP Miguel Cienfuegos (W, 1-2) 5 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 2 K; CF Jakob Marsee 3-for-5, R; SS Nerwilian Cedeño 2-for-5; 1B Nathan Martorella 1-for-3, 2B, R, RBI, BB; 3B Carlos Luis 3-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB; LF Lucas Dunn 3-for-5, 2 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI; 2B Graham Pauley 1-for-3, HR (6), 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB
Prospect Watch: In a mirror to the Chihuahuas game, the TinCaps raced out to an early 10-0 lead en route to an easy 11-3 victory. The big lead was possible because of Miguel Cienfuegos, making his first start with Fort Wayne since going on the IL after his April 30 outing. After over a month of rehab between Peoria and Lake Elsinore, Cienfuegos returned and threw five scoreless frames. When he hit the shelf, he was 0-2 with a 3.18 ERA and a 9.0 K/9. … Jakob Marsee continues to collect hits in July, adding three more to get up to 16 in his last 10 games. He has scored a run in six straight games, and had walked in five straight coming into the game. In July, the Central Michigan product is hitting .352/.470/.556 with nine stolen bases in 14 games. … In 62 games with the Storm, Graham Pauley hit over .300 with as many walks as strikeouts (40), while showing enough pop for four home runs, adding up to an .887 OPS. The High-A version of Graham Pauley hit a home run for the third straight game and now has six in 17 games for the TinCaps. In Low-A, only 32% of his hits went for extra bases. Thus far in High-A, 53% of his hits have gone for extra bases. Pauley is hitting .242/.338/.565 since joining the team close to a month ago. … Speaking of being white-hot, Lucas Dunn had three more hits including two doubles. After managing just a .541 OPS in April, he now sports a .500 OBP and 1.092 OPS in 14 July games. The right-handed batter has a .908 OPS against lefties and only a .690 OPS against righties.
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 7, Storm 2
Key Statistics: DH Ethan Salas 1-for-5, 2B; RF Samuel Zavala 2-for-5, 2B, RBI, SB (15); LF Kai Murphy 1-for-5, R, RBI, SB (11); RHP Jose Luis Reyes, 3.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K; RHP Ruben Galindo (L, 1-1) 2 IP, 4 H, ER, 4 K
Prospect Watch: After a riveting walk-off win on Tuesday, the Storm struck out 18 times in this contest. Every player other than lead-off hitter Kai Murphy struck out at least once. Murphy would single, steal second, and score the first run of the game on a Samuel Zavala double. The son of former Padres manager Pat Murphy has carved out a role for himself as the Storm leadoff hitter. He is hitting .315/.356/.426 in July and has an eight-game hitting streak. … The only time the Storm were able to string multiple hits in an inning was in the seventh. Once again, Zavala was in the middle of the action. Seeing that the pitcher was falling off towards third, he pushed a bunt out toward second that he easily beat out. The bunt hit gave the 19-year-old Zavala his first multi-hit game since June 28. Despite the lack of multi-hit games, Zavala still has a .433 OBP in July thanks to 15 walks in 13 games. His .921 July OPS is his highest of the year. … RHP Ruben Galindo suffered the loss after giving up a run over two innings. This was only the second time Galindo had allowed a run since being sent down to Lake Elsinore on June 27. Even with the run allowed, Galindo still has a 1.19 ERA with the Storm and is averaging more than 10 K/9. … For your daily Ethan Salas update, Salas went 1-for-5, with two strikeouts. The one hit was a high fly ball that the right-fielder lost in twilight to turn an out into another double for the 17-year-old phenom.