Salt Lake Bees 9, Chihuahuas 4

Moises Lugo delivers for El Paso. (Photo: Jorge Salgado)

Key Statistics: RHP CF Jose Azocar, 2-for-3, 2B, SB; RF Taylor Kohlwey, 1-for-3, R, RBI, BB; SS Ray-Patrick Didder, 3-for-4, 2B, R, RBI; RHP Matt Waldron (L, 2-8) 4.1 IP, 6 H, 6 R (5 ER), 3 BB, 4 K; RHP Moises Lugo 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K

Prospect Watch: Facing a Salt Lake lineup featuring eight players with big league service time, it was a rough night for the El Paso pitching staff. Only Moises Lugo, who allowed an inherited run on a run on a sac fly but otherwise limited the damage, kept the Bees off the scoreboard. After entering spring training as a dark horse candidate to pitch in the big leagues this year, Lugo has had his share of growing pains in Triple-A. The 24-year-old has posted a 6.03 ERA in 31.1 innings for El Paso. While he has struck out 42 batters, he has issued 25 walks. … Jose Azocar enjoyed a two-hit night, including a double and a stolen base, as the 27-year-old center fielder seeks to bounce back from a July in which he recorded a .595 OPS in 81 at-bats. Since joining the Chihuahuas in June, Azocar has an .889 OPS against lefties and a .644 mark against right-handed pitching. … Taylor Kohlwey drove in a run with a single, scored a run, and worked a walk as he collected an RBI in his second consecutive game. The 29-year-old outfielder is back with El Paso after making his major league debut in July, an immeasurably impressive step in the journey for a player drafted in the 21st round in 2016. … With three hits including a double, and a run scored, Ray-Patrick Didder was a driving force in the lineup from the ninth spot in the order. The 28-year-old Didder is slashing .191/.309/.340 in 47 at-bats for El Paso since being promoted from San Antonio.

Missions 8, Northwest Arkansas Naturals 4

Jackson Merrill continues to impress in San Antonio. (Photo: San Antonio Missions)

Key Statistics: RHP Adam Mazur, 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K; RHP Lake Bachar (H, 7), 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K; 1B Jackson Merrill, 2-for-5, 2B, R, 2 RBI; C Brandon Valenzuela, 1-for-2, 2 BB, 3 R, SB; 3B Marcos Castañon, 3-for-5, RBI

Prospect Watch: With 26 strikes on 38 pitches, was in the groove in his first start at the Double-A level. After being used exclusively as a reliever in San Antonio, Adam Mazur moved back into the rotation for the first time in a month. He worked around a pair of first inning singles to strike out the side, but after needing 28 pitches to do so, his start was limited to two innings. Mazur struck out four batters total and over 9.2 innings for the Missions, the 22-year-old righty has set down 15 batters on strikes while walking only two, and owns a 4.66 ERA. … With two scoreless innings and four strikeouts, Lake Bachar demonstrated the form that has him back on the edges of the prospect radar after a 2020 and 2021 completely lost to the pandemic and injury and a 2022 spent recovering and working back to where he was before. The 2016 fifth-rounder is now 2-0 with a 3.35 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 37.2 innings. … The box score is correct, your first baseman Thursday was none other than Jackson Merrill, who doubled and drove in a pair of runs, demonstrating the pop one would expect from a corner infielder. Merrill had been used exclusively at shortstop in games, but the Padres have been adding versatility to the 2021 first-round pick’s game, giving him reps at first and second base in infield drills, as well as time spent taking fly balls in the outfield as they begin to take an eye toward Merrill eventually joining a big league roster loaded with shortstops. … Brandon Valenzuela went 1-for-2 at the plate, and scored all three times he reached base, including a steal of home. The 22-year-old catcher has stolen eight bases in his career and two of them have come in the 23 games since he was promoted to the Missions. … Marcos Castañon continued an impressive Double-A debut with a three-hit outing. The 24-year-old infiielder is slashing .299/.377/.403 in 67 at-bats since being promoted from Fort Wayne.

TinCaps 10, Great Lakes Loons 0

Key Statistics: RHP Edwuin Bencomo (W, 3-1), 5 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 4 K; RHP Ethan Routzahn (H, 3), 3 IP, 2 H, 6 K; 3B Graham Pauley, 2-for-4, HR (11), 2 R, 3 RBI; 1B Carlos Luis, 2-for-4, 2B; C Colton Bender, 3-for-4, 2 2B, RBI

Graham Pauley shows off his arm and the Hoosier State Tenderloins’ uniform. (Photo Graham Pauley)

Prospect Watch: The TinCaps rode stellar pitching and some big nights at the plate to a blowout victory, with Edwuin Bencomo collecting the win with five scoreless innings. The 24-year-old righty struck out four and walked one in his 12th appearance (second start) for the TinCaps in a season split between Fort Wayne and Double-A San Antonio. The changeup artist’s longest outing since 2019 was huge for a roster that is still operating shorthanded. … Ethan Routzahn struck out six in three shutout innings of relief. The St. John’s product is 2-2 with a 4.79 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 47 innings this year. … Graham Pauley belted his 11th home run since joining the TinCaps, equaling his collegiate career total. After hitting four homers in 230 at-bats for Lake Elsinore to begin the season, Pauley has exploded since coming to Fort Wayne, slugging .600 through his first 30 games. … Colton Bender went 3-for-4, including a pair of doubles and a run batted in. The 24-year-old catcher enjoyed a .211/.360/.368 slash line in the month of July, and is off to a hot start to August, batting .429 with a 1.214 OPS in his first seven at-bats of the month. …Carlos Luis chipped in a single and a double for a two-hit night of his own. The 23-year-old infielder is slashing .252/.333/.374 in 238 at-bats for Fort Wayne in 2023 after wrapping up his 2022 campaign with the TinCaps.

Modesto Nuts 1, Storm 0

Samuel Zavala locks in. (Photo: Gail Verderico/IG @baseball_gail)

Key Statistics: RHP Henry Baez (L, 6-3), 7.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K; CF Samuel Zavala, 2-for-4, 2B; LF Tyler Robertson,1-for-4, C Oswaldo Linares, 1-for-3

Prospect Watch: In a pitchers’ duel in Stanislaus County, Henry Baez found some very hard luck. After pitching into the eighth inning, Baez was pulled at 93 pitches with two runners on and two outs, only to watch the next batter be hit by a pitch and a run score on a wild pitch in quick succession. The 20-year-old righty has been a stalwart presence in the Lake Elsinore rotation, posting a 6-3 record in 16 starts with 79 strikeouts in 77.1 innings pitched, earning a 3.49 ERA. … The only two-hit night at the plate on a scoreless night belonged to Samuel Zavala, who also recorded the Storm’s only extra-base hit. The 19-year-old Zavala is batting .272 with 12 home runs and 60 RBI for Lake Elsinore, posting a .869 OPS. The outfielder was especially hot in July, posting a .316/.481/.618 slash line in 76 at-bats for the month. … With a single, Tyler Robertson extended his hitting streak to four games to rebound from a 1-for-24 slump. A 14th-round pick in 2022 out of Louisiana-Lafayette, the athletic outfielder is slashing .280/.379/.434 in 175 at-bats for the Storm in his second professional season. … Oswaldo Linares is quietly enjoying a solid season at the plate for the Storm. After Thursday’s single, the 20-year-old catcher has an overall .842 OPS in 137 at-bats this year, including a .314/.435/.414 slash line since rejoining Lake Elsinore in June.

ACL Angels 13, ACL Padres 11 

Juan Murillo. (Photo: Jerry Espinoza)

Key Statistics: LHP Luis Gutierrez, 5 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 K; LF Homer Bush Jr., 2-for-4, 2 R, RBI, BB, 2B Jarryd Dale, 1-for-4, SB, RF Juan Murillo, 1-for-3, HR (3), R, 4 RBI, BB; PH-DH Eddy Beltre, 1-for-1, R, 2 RBI

Prospect Watch: It’s not every day you see a five-inning outing in the Arizona Complex League, but Luis Gutierrez threw five frames for his second consecutive outing. The 20-year-old southpaw has struck out 33 batters in 32.1 innings in his third professional season and second in the desert after spending the second half of 2022 stateside. After coming on with two outs in the first, Gutierrez worked well into the sixth inning, but gave up a two-run double before giving way and that run came around after his departure. … This year’s fourth-rounder Homer Bush Jr. continues to stir things up from the leadoff spot, going 2-for-4, driving in a run and scoring one while also working a walk. The Grand Canyon University alum is batting .387 with a 1.158 OPS and seven stolen bases in 31 at-bats over his first nine professional games. … On the rehab front, Jarryd Dale played second base and went 1-for-4 with a stolen base. The Australia native has only played five games since getting injured while with the national team in the World Baseball Classic, after spending the majority of 2022 with Fort Wayne. The 22-year-old has played nearly every position on the diamond, but made 107 starts at shortstop in 2022. So far on his rehab assignment, he has made one start at third base and four at second. … The Padres took an 8-5 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning thanks to a grand slam off the bat of Juan Murillo. The 20-year-old Murillo owns a .902 OPS in 110 at-bats, following up on a .844 mark in 104 at-bats in the desert in 2022, setting up the outfielder for an eventual promotion to Lake Elsinore. … In his first at-bat since injuring his leg in early June, Eddy Beltre connected on a two-run double. The 19-year-old outfielder is 5-for-14 with seven strikeouts in his limited action.

Posted by Mark Wilkens

Born in San Diego and raised in Escondido, Mark now calls Phoenix home. Prior to MadFriars, Mark had multiple articles featured on Bleacher Report and covering the Padres, Angels and Clippers.

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