Chihuahuas 5, Round Rock Express 2

Jay Groome has gotten improved results in recent outings.  (Photo: Jorge Salgado)

Key Statistics: 2B Eguy Rosario, 1-for-3, R, HR (2), 3 RBI, BB; 3B Tim Lopes, 1-for-2, R, 2 BB; RF Oscar Mercado, 1-for-4, RBI; LHP Jay Groome (W, 4-6) 5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 11 K; LHP Ray Kerr (S, 8) IP, K

Prospect Watch: The Chihuahuas managed just five hits but a three-run homer was enough to hold off the Express in Round Rock. … That three-run homer came courtesy of rehabbing infielder Eguy Rosario, who gave El Paso a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. For Rosario, it was his second Triple-A homer of the year. He played in 10 games earlier this season in a rehab stint but he was shut down for a few weeks after suffering a setback with the leg he broke in winter ball. He emerged in the desert last week and played in two games with the ACL squad. The 23-year-old made his big league debut last year and if he can remain healthy, he could have an opportunity to bolster the Padres infield depth. … On June 22, it looked like Jay Groome hit rock bottom. He pitched six innings at home against Tacoma but allowed six earned runs, including three homers. That outing swelled his season ERA to an unfathomable 9.73 ERA. For a guy who was one of the last cuts in spring training, it was a precipitous fall from grace. Since then, it appears Groome has turned a corner. On Tuesday, Groome put together another quality outing. In 5.2 innings, he allowed just two runs on five hits. He walked just two and struck out 11 – his second new career-high in three outings. After a disastrous June (10.13 ERA with 18 walks in 24 innings), Groome has put up a respectable 3.97 ERA with a 26:11 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 22.2 innings across four July starts. … Lefty Ray Kerr pitched a spotless ninth inning, notching a strikeout and earning his eighth save in the process. The flame-throwing southpaw has continued to dominate PCL hitters this month. In seven outings, Kerr has not allowed a run in 6.2 innings. Opposing hitters are just 2-for-20 against the Sacramento native this month. 

Roster Moves: Before Tuesday’s game, the Chihuahuas activated first baseman Rangel Ravelo from the seven-day injured list. 

Corpus Christi Hooks 5, Missions 0

Jackson Merrill has continued to produce after a promotion to Double-A. (Photo: San Antonio Missions)

Key Statistics: SS Jackson Merrill, 2-for-3, BB; 3B Marcos Castañon, 1-for-3, 2B, BB; RHP Jared Kollar (L, 0-1) 5 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 K; RHP Kevin Kopps, IP; RHP Efrain Contreras 1 IP, H, ER, K

Prospect Watch: The Missions managed just five hits and went down to Corpus Christi. … Jackson Merrill reached base three times – two times via a single and he also drew a walk. It was just Merrill’s second walk since joining the Missions. Despite that, the 20-year-old shortstop has been a key contributor offensively since his promotion. In 10 games, Merrill has two doubles, two triples, and a homer. Perhaps more impressively, he’s struck out just three times in 46 plate appearances. The sample size may be small, but a .907 OPS out of the gate is something that should fire up Padres fans. … On the mound, Jared Kollar allowed some hard contact and took the loss. The righty allowed four runs in five innings, including a pair of homers. He didn’t walk anyone and he struck out a pair. After breaking out a bit with the TinCaps earlier this season, Kollar has struggled to find the same success with San Antonio. The former undrafted free agent from Rutgers has notched just 11 strikeouts with Missions and it’s difficult to make it through a Double-A lineup if you can’t get a punchout when you need it.

Roster Moves: The Missions announced Tuesday that the organization has released righthander James Bourque. The 30-year-old pitched to a 3.46 ERA in 11 games with the Missions after signing a minor league deal in May. 

TinCaps 4, West Michigan Whitecaps 1

Robby Snelling has kept rolling with Fort Wayne. (Photo: Adam Gaddy)

Key Statistics: 3B Graham Pauley, 1-for-4, R; LF Kai Murphy, 1-for-5, 2B; 1B Nathan Martorella, 1-for-4, R, HR (15), RBI; DH Albert Fabian, 2-for-4, R, HR (2), 2 RBI; LHP Robby Snelling (W, 2-1) 6 IP, 4 H, 9 K; RHP Carter Loewen, 2 IP, 2 H, BB, K

Prospect Watch: The TinCaps hit the road and won their series opener in Michigan. … Nathan Martorella connected on his Midwest League-leading 15th homer in the TinCaps victory. The first baseman has been solid and consistent all year long, posting above-league-average numbers every month. This month, he has a .895 OPS for a TinCaps team that is 15-10 in the second half. With much of their prospect power promoted to San Antonio, Martorella has emerged as the team MVP so far this season. … Designated hitter Albert Fabian connected on a two-run shot – his second with Fort Wayne and his 14th overall. Since rejoining the TinCaps, Fabian has struggled a bit but there are some encouraging signs underneath the numbers. He’s improved his walk rate to nine percent (it was just six percent with the Storm) and he’s striking out in 25% of his at-bats. For context, in his cameo with the TinCaps last year, he punched out in 37% of his plate appearances. The outfielder will need to pick up the production but Tuesday is an encouraging sign. … Lefty Robby Snelling has seemingly passed the resilience test. A week after having his worst outing as a professional, the 19-year-old bounced back in a big way. For the first time as a professional, Snelling completed six innings., allowing just four hits while tying his career-high with nine strikeouts. He fired 87 pitches, 63 of them were strikes. He didn’t walk a batter for the fourth time this season. The sterling outing dropped his High-A ERA to a sparkling 2.89. 

Roster Moves: Before the game, outfielder Kai Murphy was promoted from Lake Elsinore to Fort Wayne. Murphy doubled off of rehabbing big leaguer Spencer Turnbull in his first at-bat. In 62 games with the Storm, Murphy hit .287/.361/.435 with six homers. To make room on the roster, righthander Chris Lincoln was placed on the seven-day injured list. 

Storm 7, Stockton Ports 4

Oswaldo Linares has been a key contributor for Lake Elsinore. (Photo: Robert Escalante)

Key Statistics: DH Nick Vogt, 2-for-4, R, HR (5), 2 RBI, BB, 2B; C Ethan Salas, 2-for-4, R, HR (7), 2 RBI; 2B Oswaldo Linares, 1-for-4, R, HR (1), 3 RBI; RHP Dwayne Matos (W, 2-3) 2.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER; RHP Thomas Balboni Jr., 2 IP, 2 H, 3 K; RHP Reuben Galindo (S, 1) IP, H, K

Prospect Watch: The Storm hit the road for a 12-game road trip and opened up in fashion by winning in Stockton. … Nick Vogt made the start at designated hitter and had a pair of hits. He doubled and smacked his fifth homer of the season. The former UC Santa Barbara Gaucho (there are five now in the Padres system) has been red-hot in July, supplying the Storm with much of the power they lost when Albert Fabian was promoted. Vogt is hitting .286/.388/.595 this month with three homers. In addition, he’s added 10 stolen bases and 13 RBI for the Storm in July. … Oswaldo Linares has seen some time at second base with most of the starts behind the plate going to Ethan Salas (more on him in a bit) and thus far, Linares’ bat has played in his second go-around with the Storm this season. He had just one hit but it was the difference in the game. The 20-year-old connected on a three-run homer in the fourth inning, his first as a member of the Storm. In 11 games this month, Linares is hitting .314/.467/.457. … Salas made headlines on July 6 when he homered twice in a game against Visalia. Coming into Tuesday, the prized prospect had not homered since, but he ended that stretch with his seventh homer of the year Tuesday night. It was part of another multi-hit effort for Salas. The 17-year-old is hitting an incredible .275/.374/.497 since joining the Storm. … One bad outing can really ruin a pitcher’s ERA. Storm hurler Thomas Balboni Jr. is a prime example of that. The former 15th-rounder pitched two scoreless innings Tuesday night, striking out three. In six of seven outings this month, Balboni Jr. has held the opposition scoreless. However, his July ERA sits at 7.36, painting a grim picture of his performance. His ERA was inflated by a poor outing in which he allowed six runs earlier in the month. Outside of that, the former Northeastern hurler has been a reliable option out of the Storm bullpen.

Roster Moves: With Kai Murphy promoted to Fort Wayne, the Storm made a few more roster moves. Infielder Chase Valentine was sent back to the ACL after starting Sunday’s series finale against Rancho Cucamonga. Taking the two vacated roster spots are a pair of 2023 draft picks. Sixth-rounder Jay Beshears and tenth-rounder Nik McClaughry were promoted to Lake Elsinore, though neither played Tuesday. 

ACL Padres 9, ACL Rangers 4

Homer Bush, Jr. (Photo: Grand Canyon University)

Key Statistics: DH Homer Bush Jr., 2-for-4, 3 R, 2B, SB (1); 2B Yedry Rojas, 1-for-2, 2 R, BB, RBI, SB (8); SS Evan Mendoza, 1-for-3, R, 2 RBI ; LHP Zack Qin, 3 IP, 5 H, 4 R (2 ER), 4 BB, 3 K; RHP Seth Mayberry (W, 2-0) 2 IP, 3 K; RHP Jordan Guerrero, IP, BB, K

Prospect Watch: The ACL Padres went 5-for-11 with runners in scoring position and cruised past the Rangers. … Fourth-rounder Homer Bush Jr. got the start at designated hitter and had a pair of hits, including a single and a double. Bush scored three runs and stole his second base as a professional. In three games in the desert, the former Grand Canyon University star is 4-for-10 to start his professional career. Homer Bush Sr. played in the Arizona League for the Padres way back in 1991. He hit .323/.349/.378 in his professional debut. … Evan Mendoza singled in three at-bats, as the infielder makes his way back from injury. The Padres selected the 27-year-old in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft. The infielder played just 11 games for the Missions before hitting the injured list in April. … Righty Seth Mayberry tossed two perfect innings in another rehab outing. He struck out three in his two innings of work. Mayberry has thrown six innings with the ACL Padres as he looks to make his way out of the desert shortly.

Posted by Kevin Charity

Kevin Charity has written for MadFriars since 2015 and has had work featured on Fox Sports San Diego. He is a lifelong San Diego native and is looking forward to seeing the current wave of prospects thrive in San Diego.

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