Chihuahuas 12, Sugar Land Space Cowboys 3
Key Statistics: LHP Aaron Leasher (W, 2-0), 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K; RHP Aaron Brooks, 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K; CF Oscar Mercado, 2-for-5, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI; 2B Tim Lopes, 3-for-6, 2B, R, 2 RBI; RF Taylor Kohlwey 2-for-2, 2B, 2 BB
Prospect Watch: The Chihuahuas’ offense put on a show, but perhaps the biggest performance of the game was Aaron Leasher picking up his first Triple-A win of the season and second overall in his first start this year. The 27-year-old Leasher threw five one-hit innings in his first time pitching beyond a third inning this season and showed a tremendous bounce back from a rough stretch in which he failed to record an out in two consecutive appearances in July. All told in 2023, Leasher now has a 5.97 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 28.2 innings split between San Antonio and El Paso after spending the season’s first two months on the injured list. … Aaron Brooks tossed two scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out one. The 33-year-old righty, a ninth-round pick in 2011 by Kansas City, is 2-3 with a 5.77 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 48.1 innings in his first season in the Padres organization. The Southern California native had logged over 180 big league innings before signing as a minor league free agent. … Coming up big with a four-RBI night was Oscar Mercado, who slugged a home run and a double. In 90 at-bats since joining El Paso, Mercado is slashing .311/.364/.589 with six home runs. … Tim Lopes had a big game in the leadoff spot, with three hits, including a double and two runs batted in, improving on a 4-for-22 start to the month. Lopes is batting .298 with 12 home runs and 51 RBI for El Paso in 2023.
Missions 14, Springfield Cardinals 9 (11 innings)
Key Statistics: RHP Adam Mazur, 3 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K; RHP Kevin Kopps (W, 4-3), 3 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 1 K; DH Juan Fernandez, 2-for-5, 2B, HR (5), 2 R, 4 RBI, BB; 1B Cole Cummings, 3-for-5, 2 R, RBI, BB
Prospect Watch: In a game that ended after the Missions plated five runs on just one hit – a single – in the 11th inning, things got off to a much quieter start thanks to a solid outing from Adam Mazur. Making his second start at Double-A, the 22-year-old righty allowed one run on three hits in three innings pitched. In 12.2 innings for San Antonio, Mazur has struck out 18 and walked three while posting a 4.26 ERA, and has allowed one run in five innings since being returned to the starting rotation. He’ll be asked to try to maintain his small velocity uptick as he gets back to longer outings over the final month of the season. … Kevin Kopps came up big with three innings of one-hit ball to earn the win. The 2021 third-rounder hasn’t allowed an earned run over his last 17 innings across 11 appearances, though he has been tagged with seven unearned runs. The Arkansas product has struck out 18 and walked five while holding opponents’ average below .200 since the start of July. … Juan Fernandez went 2-for-5 with a double and home run, and hit into the fielder’s choice that produced the go-ahead run in the 11th. The 24-year-old is 3-for-4 with four RBI in extra innings in the 2023 season, and is batting .274 with a .735 OPS in 292 at-bats for the Missions. … Cole Cummings recorded his first three-hit game as a member of the Missions, and first since May 14, when he was a member of the Fort Wayne TinCaps. After posting a .620 OPS in July, Cummings has bounced back with a .772 mark in 31 at-bats so far this month.
Lansing Lugnuts 7, TinCaps 4
Key Statistics: RHP Victor Lizarraga (L, 2-6), 3 IP, 3 H, 6 R (5 ER), 4 BB, 0 K; RHP Adam Smith, 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R; 1B Nathan Martorella, 2-for-3, 2 2B, RBI, BB; CF Jakob Marsee, 1-for-2, HR (11), 2 R, RBI, BB 3 SB (40)
Prospect Watch: It was another tough night on the mound for Victor Lizarraga, who allowed six runs (five earned) in three innings of work while walking four batters. After allowing eight runs in 21.1 innings in July, the righty went on the IL with an infection and has struggled in his return. The 19-year-old has allowed eight earned runs in four innings across two outings, raising his ERA to 5.02 in 71.2 innings for the season. … Adam Smith tossed two-plus innings of one-hit ball, his longest scoreless outing of the season. The 23-year-old righty, selected in the 14th round in 2021 out of UNC Wilmington, is 0-1 with a 6.40 ERA in 32.1 innings for the TinCaps in 2023. … Nathan Martorella slugged a pair of doubles and drove in a run while also working a walk. It was his first multi-hit game in three weeks and the first time he collected multiple extra-base hits since early June. Even after a 3-for-30 stretch coming into the game, the 22-year-old first baseman owns a .832 OPS and has hit 16 home runs in 372 at-bats in 2023. … Things were looking up for the TinCaps when Jakob Marsee led off the game with his 11th home run of the season. The 22-year-old center fielder, selected in the sixth round last year, reached base with a walk and got hit by a pitch later in the game, and swiped three more bags while he was on base. He now has 40 stolen bases in 49 attempts on the year and continues to lead the league with a .407 on-base percentage.
Storm 4, Visalia Rawhide 1
Key Statistics: LF Tyler Robertson, 2-for-4, R, RBI, 2B; RF Samuel Zavala, 1-for-4, R, RBI; SS Rosman Verdugo, 1-for-3, BB; RHP Henry Baez (W, 7-3) 6 IP, 2 H, BB, 6 K; RHP Cole Paplham (S, 8) IP, 2 K.
Prospect Watch: The Storm got another ace-like performance from starter Henry Baez. John Conniff was on-hand for coverage and has the game story from Lake Elsinore.
ACL Rangers 11, ACL Padres 2
Key Statistics: LHP Luis Gutierrez 2.2 IP, 7 H, 6 R (5 ER), 3 BB, 1 K; RHP Adan Moreno 3.1 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 4 K, 2 BB; RHP Sam Whiting, 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K; RHP Jhosep Chirinos, 1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K; SS Spence Coffman, 2-for-4, 2B, R; 1B Romeo Sanabria, 2-for-4, 2B
Prospect Watch: The Gaucho-to-Padre pipeline remains alive and well as former UC Santa Barbara righty Sam Whiting threw a scoreless inning for his professional debut. The 22-year-old was selected in the 16th round of this year’s draft after striking out 32 batters in 24.1 innings in his redshirt junior season. … In one of the most “Complex League” innings in memory, Jhosep Chirinos struck out the side, but also allowed a run to score on just one hit allowed in the frame after giving up a double and throwing a pair of wild pitches. The 19-year-old Venezuelan righty is 2-2 with an 11.93 ERA but 30 strikeouts in 14.1 innings pitched. … 2022 19th-rounder Spence Coffman went 2-for-4 with a double and scored a run. The 19-year-old shortstop is .250 with a .652 OPS in 48 at-bats at the complex this year after only 11 at-bats in Peoria in his debut professional season. … After another 2-for-4 performance with a double, Romeo Sanabria is batting .372 with a 1.114 OPS in the desert, including eight home runs and 50 runs batted in in 148 at-bats. The 21-year-old, who has fully converted from catching to first base, ranks among ACL leaders in many offensive categories.