Chihuahuas 7, Sugar Land Space Cowboys 4

Oscar Mercado capped a monster week with two homers on Sunday. (Photo: Jorge Salgado)

Key Stats: CF Óscar Mercado 3-for-4, 2 HR (10); 3B Eguy Rosario 3-for-4, SB (4), CS (1); LF Matthew Batten 1-for-5, HR (11); RHP Anderson Espinoza 5 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 9 K, 3 BB; RHP Aaron Brooks 2 IP, 1 H, 4 K; LHP Jared Koenig (S, 3), 1 IP, 1 K

Prospect Watch: Óscar Mercado capped a monster series with his second two-homer game of the week to lead the Chihuahuas to their fourth straight win and a series victory. The 28-year-old outfielder, who signed with the Padres on July 7 after he refused an outright assignment by the Cardinals, finished the series 10-for-19 with six extra-base hits on his way to a 1.421 slugging percentage. The right-handed hitter continues to grade out as an average center-field defender, but he’s never matched his big league production from his 2019 rookie campaign. His performance across two Triple-A starts this year is on track to set a variety of career bests. … Eguy Rosario, who was optioned off his rehab assignment to El Paso earlier this month, also picked up three hits and stole his fourth base in 24 Triple-A games. The 23-year-old infielder only has one extra-base hit over his last 10 games. … Lefty Jared Koenig, who had not had a professional save opportunity coming into the year, picked up his sixth save across two levels with a clean inning. The 29-year-old, who didn’t get his first contract with an MLB organization until 2021, has posted a 3.48 ERA with 36 strikeouts in 33.2 innings for El Paso.

Missions 5, Springfield Cardinals 4

Tirso Ornelas blasted two homers in the Missions’ victory. (Photo: San Antonio Missions)

Key Stats: LF Tirso Ornelas 3-for-3, 2 HR (11), BB; RF Daniel Johnson 2-for-3, HR (13), CS (6); RHP Jared Kollar 4 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 5 K, 2 BB; RHP Efrain Contreras 2.2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 K, 2 BB; RHP Lake Bachar (W, 3-0) 1.1 IP, 1 H, 2 K; RHP Kevin Kopps 1 IP, 1 H, 2 K

Prospect Watch: Outfielder Tirso Ornelas connected on a pair of home runs, including a two-run eighth-inning shot that gave the Missions the lead, as San Antonio carved out a series split in Springfield. The 23-year-old has hit in all the games he played after rejoining the club from Triple-A, finishing the week 8-for-19. Ornelas, who posted just a .655 OPS in the supercharged offensive environment of the PCL, has been a strong performer in the Texas League. On the year, the Tijuana native has a .284/.381/.473 line for the Missions, which is 25% better than average production on the circuit. … Daniel Johnson drove in the other two Missions runs with his 13th round-tripper of the year. The 28-year-old, who signed as a minor league free agent last winter, had three homers through the end of June before his production exploded. The left-handed outfielder is slugging .675 over his last 31 games, more than 200 points above his career mark across 646 minor league games. The Northern California native has spent the majority of his last three seasons at Triple-A and saw big league time in both 2020 and 2021. … Righty Lake Bachar, the Padres’ fifth-round pick back in 2015, picked up his third win by recording four outs with a pair of strikeouts. The Wisconsin native opened the year with a rough April, but has been dominant since. Over his last 24 games, Bachar has allowed just six earned runs in 33 innings, good for a 1.64 ERA. He’s struck out 32 against 13 walks while holding opponents to an average just above .200. Shoulder and elbow injuries cost the 28-year-old all of the 2021 sea. Still, when fully healthy, he’s consistently performed in the organization.

TinCaps 11, Lansing Lugnuts 6

Key Stats: CF Jakob Marsee 3-for-5, 3B, BB; SS Nerwilian Cedeño 1-for-4, 2 BB, SB (4); 1B Nathan Martorella 1-for-4, 2B, BB; LF Graham Pauley 2-for-5; 3B Lucas Dunn 3-for-5, 2B; RHP Tyler Morgan 2.2 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 2 K, 2 BB; RHP Carter Loewen 3.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER)

Lucas Dunn has been an under the radar contributor. (Photo: Jeff Nycz)

Prospect Watch: All nine TinCaps hitters contributed to a 17-hit attack to match the club’s season-high as Fort Wayne claimed a split on the road in Lansing. Outfielder Jakob Marsee remained hot, picking up three hits and a walk over six trips to the plate and scoring three more runs to extend his league-leading total to 86. The 22-year-old collected multiple hits in five of the six games in the series and finished the week 13-for- 23 with a .953 slugging percentage. Last year’s sixth-rounder has run his hitting streak to nine. His OPS on the year is nearly 200 points better on the road than at Parkview Field. … Lucas Dunn added three more hits to the TinCaps attack, including his 17th double of the year. The utilityman has given the TinCaps slightly better than league-average offense while playing all over the field this year, his second pass at the Midwest League. … Righty Carter Loewen, who’d never worked three innings in the system until his last outing, picked up the win with 3.1 frames of one-run ball Sunday. The 2020 undrafted free agent out of the University of Hawaii missed much of last season on the IL and got underway a month late this year, but he’s been solid at both Single-A levels; in 21.1 innings from Fort Wayne, the 24-year-old sports a 2.53 ERA.

Visalia Rawhide 7, Storm 6

Griffin Doersching can put a charge into the ball. (Photo: Jerry Espinoza)

Key Stats: CF Samuel Zavala 1-for-4, BB, SB (20); SS Rosman Verdugo 1-for-3, BB; DH Griffin Doersching 1-for-4, HR (11), 3 RBI; RHP Enmanuel Pinales 3.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 7 K, 2 BB; RHP Cole Paplham 1 IP, 1 K

Prospect Watch: The Storm rallied back from an early 6-1 deficit to tie, but Visalia rallied for their third straight win over Lake Elsinore. First baseman Griffin Doersching timed the club’s only extra-base hit of the day well, welcoming Rawhide reliever Jake Fitzgibbons‘ first pitch for a three-run homer. The big first baseman has struggled to make enough consistent contact through the year and, despite his plus raw power, is slugging just .395. He’s been very streaky all season and hadn’t homered yet this month before Sunday’s blast. His homer came a day after his 25th birthday. … After a 3-for-17 series in Modesto, Samuel Zavala bounced back nicely at home. The 18-year-old singled and walked Sunday to finish the set against Visalia 6-for-19 with seven walks and reclaimed the league lead with a .422 on-base percentage. … Enmanuel Pinales, making his second start for Lake Elsinore, surrendered three earned runs over 3.2 innings, but struck out seven more batters. The 22-year-old righty, who opened the season in the desert, has struck out 20 over 13.2 frames since joining the Storm.

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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