Chihuahuas 6, Round Rock Express 5

Key Stats: CF José Azocar 2-for-4, OF Assist; 2B Eguy Rosario 3-for-4, HR (3); RF Ben Gamel 1-for-4, HR (4); LF Tirso Ornelas 2-for-3; LHP Jay Groome 6 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 3 K, 2 BB; RHP Moises Lugo (W, 4-3), 1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 K; LHP Jared Koenig (S, 1), 1 IP

Eguy Rosario is getting back into the swing of things in his rehab assignment with El Paso. (Photo: Jorge Salgado)

Prospect Watch: The Chihuahuas got a go-ahead three-run homer from Ben Gamel as part of a five-run inning, then held on to claim a sweep of the series. Gamel, 31, has connected on four homers in his first 10 games for El Paso, jumping out to a 1.058 OPS. Over a bit more than 1,600 career Triple-A plate appearances, the corner outfielder owns an .835 mark. … Eguy Rosario, playing in back-to-back games for the first time in his latest return to action, connected on a solo shot of his own as part of a three-hit night. The 23-year-old infielder finished the series 6-for-13 with a pair of homers and two stolen bases as well. If he can avoid another setback, Rosario could provide a nice boost to the big league club’s bench down the stretch. … Jay Groome turned in another quality start as he seems to have stabilized following a brutal first half of the season. The big lefty allowed a pair of runs over six innings, lowering his ERA for the month to 3.77. While he continues to fight command at times, he’s posted a solid 29:13 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 28.2 July innings after walking nearly one free pass per inning over a 48 inning stretch coming into the month.

Missions 6, Corpus Christi Hooks 3

Key Stats: 2B Ripken Reyes 1-for-3, BB, SB (17); SS Jackson Merrill 3-for-4, SB (3); CF Daniel Johnson 2-for-4, 2B; RHP Ryan Bergert 4.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 5 K, 1 BB; RHP Jose Espada (W, 2-2) 1.2 IP, 0 H, 3 K, 1 BB; RHP Adam Mazur 1 IP, 1 K, 2 BB; RHP Kevin Kopps (S, 4), 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 K, 1 BB

Jackson Merrill hasn’t missed a beat since moving up to Double-A. (Photo: Vashaun Newman)

Prospect Watch: The Missions offense put up a five spot against rehabbing big leaguer José Urquidy and rolled to a series-ending victory. Jackson Merrill led the attack with three hits, including a two-run single that gave San Antonio their biggest lead of the night. The 20-year-old pushed his OPS in Double-A back up to .800 with the strong afternoon as he continues to post an unheard-of 6.3% strikeout rate. … Ryan Bergert turned in another solid outing, allowing just one run over 4.1 innings in his third appearance since joining the Missions. The 23-year-old righthander has struck out 11 in 11.1 Double-A innings. After a rough first outing, he’s allowed just 5 hits in his last 8.1 innings. … Jose Espada picked up the win in relief, stranding a pair of runners as he tossed 1.2 scoreless frames. Signed as a free agent out of the American Association last summer, the 26-year-old with impressive breaking stuff has posted a 2.03 ERA in 18 outings as a multi-inning reliever. Opponents are hitting just .199 against him out of the pen. … Adam Mazur turned in his third straight scoreless outing despite issuing his first two walks in the Texas League. The 22-year-old has an 11:2 strikeout-to-walk ratio through his first 7.2 innings out of the Missions bullpen.

Whitecaps 6, TinCaps 5

Bodi Rascon has emerged for the TinCaps in the second half. (Photo: Jeff Nycz)

Key Stats: CF Jakob Marsee 2-for-5, SB (34); LF Graham Pauley 2-for-4, HR (9); SS Kervin Pichardo 2-for-4, SB (4); LHP Bodi Rascon 5 IP, 0 H, 2 R (0 ER), 4 K, 3 BB, WP

Prospect Watch: Working short-staffed, the TinCaps weren’t able to hold onto a late lead and fell into a tie atop their division Sunday afternoon. Bodi Rascon continued his impressive run, throwing five no-hit innings. The 22-year-old lefty was charged with a pair of unearned runs as he opened the second inning with back-to-back walks and then saw both runners come in on a two-out error behind him. But Rascon retired the final 10 batters he faced to lower his ERA on the season to 3.60. The 2019 draftee has been especially impressive across his last eight outings, allowing more than one earned run just once. He’s struck out 35 over his last 33 innings while working to a 2.45 ERA. … Graham Pauley‘s assault on Midwest League pitching continued as the lefthanded hitter connected on his ninth homer in 27 games since his promotion from Lake Elsinore. The 22-year-old was in the lineup in left field for the seventh time as the organization works to find a defensive home for the Duke product.

Storm 8, Stockton Ports 0

Rosman Verdugo paces the Cal League in doubles. (Photo: Rosman Verdugo)

Key Stats: LF Tyler Robertson 1-for-5, RF Nick Vogt 2-for-5, SB (14); CF Samuel Zavala 2-for-4; 1B Griffin Doersching 1-for-2, HR (10), 2 BB; SS Rosman Verdugo 1-for-4, 2B; RHP Miguel Mendez 5.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 7 K, 3 BB; RHP Dwayne Matos 1.2 IP, 3 K

Prospect Watch: Great pitching all night and a big offensive inning late turned this one into a laugher as the Storm claimed the series win over Stockton in the first half of their two-week road trip. Miguel Mendez turned in his best professional start, working 5.2 scoreless frames and allowing just two hits. The 21-year-old, signed as an international free agent at 18 just before the 2021 season, struck out a career high seven batters, topping his previous high of six in his last start. The righty from the Dominican Republic made two strong starts when he first joined the Storm in late May, then got hit hard over the next six outings despite showing flashes. He’s now allowed just two earned runs on seven hits over his last 13 innings while striking out 17. … Dwayne Matos, Francisco Peña, and Kobe Robinson followed with 3.1 one-hit innings to complete the shutout. The trio of righties struck out six more Ports hitters to clinch the victory. … Griffin Doersching put Lake Elsinore up with a two-run shot in the second inning and then walked with the bases loaded in the middle of a five-run sixth inning. The big first baseman has connected for five homers this month, doubling his production through the first three months of the season and has pushed his slugging percentage up to .408 for the year. While he’s maintained a walk rate of almost 17% through the year, he’s also struck out in more than 27% of his plate appearances. About to turn 25 years old, he’ll need to really build from his recent hot streak going forward. … Rosman Verdugo collected the team’s other extra-base hit on the night, his league-leading 27th double of the season. While his strikeout rate is also hovering above 25%, as an 18-year-old who can play up the middle defense, he’ll have many more opportunities to continue to grow his production.

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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