Albuquerque Isotopes 9, Chihuahuas 5
Key Statistics: LHP Nolan Watson 5.2 IP, 16 H, 9 ER, 4 K, 3 HR; RHP Eric Hanhold, 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K; LHP Ray Kerr, 1 IP, 2 K; 3B Jantzen Witte, 3-for-5, HR (16), R, 2 RBI; LF Tirso Ornelas, 2-for-3, 2 2B, R, RBI; 1B Rangel Ravelo, 2-for-4, BB, HR (7), RBI
Prospect Watch: The Chihuahuas fell behind early, but kept the game in reach long enough to mount a rally which unfortunately fell short. Starter Nolan Watson was jumped for eight runs in the first two innings, but with a depleted pitching staff, was asked to give the club some more length. He held the Isotopes in check for the next three innings, but finally gave way after a homer and two more hits in the sixth inning. By the time his outing was over, the 26-year-old had yielded 16 hits and thrown 97 pitches. … Eric Hanhold ended the damage with four outs of one-hit ball, recording three by strikeout. The 29-year-old righty will look to carry that momentum into a solid finish to August, a month in which he owns a 10.80 ERA in five innings so far, following an identical July mark and a 14.04 ERA in June. … After a brief tour back with the Padres, Ray Kerr has returned to Triple-A. He continues to display fine form at the level, throwing a scoreless inning and striking out a pair of batters. The fireballing southpaw has struck out 40 batters in 32 innings in the 2023 season for El Paso around four separate call-ups to the big league club. … Jantzen Witte collected a three-hit night, including a home run. The 33-year-old infielder owns a .933 OPS with runners in scoring position this season. … Tirso Ornelas is back with El Paso after a brief detour back down into the heart of the Lone Star State. The Tijuana native collected a pair of two-baggers as he notched his third straight two-hit game since rejoining the club and is now slashing .273/.363/.375 in 88 at-bats for the Chihuahuas. The 23-year-old outfielder is making his case before becoming a minor league free agent in the offseason.
Midland RockHounds 9, Missions 4
Key Statistics: RHP Adam Mazur (L, 4-2), 3.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 7 K; LHP Jason Blanchard, 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K; 2B Marcos Castañon, 1-for-3, 2B, RBI, BB; LF Jackson Merrill, 1-for-3, HR (3), 2 R, 2 RBI, SB (5)
Prospect Watch: It was tough for the Flying Chanclas as Adam Mazur had his roughest outing since returning to the starting rotation. The 22-year-old righty allowed three runs on five hits in three-plus innings. On the bright side, he only walked one batter while striking out seven. It’s still a process for the Minnesota product by way of the University of Iowa, who began the year firmly entrenched in Fort Wayne’s rotation before finding himself being used in relief in San Antonio, then returned to the rotation, where he is being slowly stretched back out. He got up to 72 pitches before giving way with two outs in the fourth. … Jason Blanchard stopped further damage late in the game with five outs’ worth of no-hit ball, striking out three batters in the process. The 2019 ninth-rounder is 2-2 with a 5.03 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 39.1 innings in the 2023 season. … Marcos Castañon got on the board with his first hit of the series, slugging a double and driving in a run to go along with a walk. The UC Santa Barbara product is batting .276 in August but slugging .397, a slight drop from a .410 mark in the month prior. … He made headlines by starting in left field, and he scored the Missions’ first run by stealing home. He scored their last by hitting his third home run since being promoted to San Antonio. Have a day, Jackson Merrill. Firmly entrenched in the two-spot in the lineup, the top prospect continues to get looks at other defensive positions from the Padres as they reportedly consider a near-term promotion to a major league roster that is deep at shortstop and will be lacking at other positions.
TinCaps 9, Dayton Dragons 8
Key Statistics: RHP Henry Baez, 4.1 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 K; RHP Carter Loewen (W, 4-2), 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K; RF Joshua Mears, 2-for-3, HR (9), 2 R, RBI, BB; 3B Graham Pauley, 2-for-5, HR (14), R, 2 RBI
Prospect Watch: The difference between Single-A and High-A is hard to explain. While it isn’t the profound distance that separates High-A from Double-A, there is an escalation in the challenges faced in Fort Wayne compared to those in Lake Elsinore, and Henry Baez got his first taste of that tonight. After posting a 7-3 record, 3.24 ERA, and striking out 85 batters in 83.1 innings for the Storm, Baez made his TinCaps debut. He cruised through his first four innings, allowing just one run on two singles on 57 pitches. But things fell apart in the fifth as he gave up four singles and a walk while only retiring one more batter. He finished the night charged with five earned runs. All part of the learning curve for the 20-year-old righty who is in his first season of full-season ball after spending 2022 in the Arizona Complex League and 2021 in the Dominican Summer League. … Carter Loewen improved his record to 4-2 overall and 3-0 since rejoining the TinCaps with four strikeouts across five outs of work. The 24-year-old native of Abbotsford, British Columbia, has struck out 23 batters in 23 innings for Fort Wayne while posting a 2.74 ERA. … Amidst a challenging summer, Joshua Mears found a bright spot, going 2-for-3 and slugging his ninth home run of the season. The 2019 second-rounder is batting .158 with a .638 OPS and 96 strikeouts in 227 plate appearances in the 2023 season. … Graham Pauley slugged his 18th home run of the season and 14th since joining the TinCaps on June 27. The 2022 13th-round pick is batting .301 with a .914 OPS in 389 at-bats between Lake Elsinore and Fort Wayne this season.
Storm 8, Inland Empire 66ers 4
Key Statistics: LHP Javier Chacon (W, 1-0), 2.2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K; RHP Eric Yost (S, 1), 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K; LF Tyler Robertson, 2-for-4, 3B, HR (6), 2 R, 2 RBI; DH Samuel Zavala, 1-for-4, HR (14), 2 R, 2 RBI
Prospect Watch: Javier Chacon earned his first win of the season in his third appearance back with the Storm after a rehab stint in the desert. The 20-year-old southpaw threw two-plus innings of one-run ball and struck out four batters in the process. In 11.1 innings for Lake Elsinore, the Havana native has struck out 11 batters, but walked 12. The wildness has yet to bite him much, as he’s held opponents to a .184 average to keep his ERA at 3.18 ERA thus far. … Making his fourth professional appearance and third for Lake Elsinore after debuting for Fort Wayne, Eric Yost picked up his first career save with a scoreless inning-plus. The 20-year-old righty was selected in the 17th round in 2023 out of Northeastern University in Boston. … With a triple and a home run, Tyler Robertson slugged the difficult half of a cycle in an impressive outing for the 23-year-old outfielder. Selected in the 14th round in 2022 out of Louisiana-Lafayette, Robertson has proven to be one of an intriguing group of late-round picks from the Padres’ deep draft, slashing .264/.353/.421 in 216 at-bats for Lake Elsinore. … Samuel Zavala clubbed his 14th home run of the 2023 season and scored a pair of runs. After a scorching July slash line of .316/.481/.618, Zavala has maintained a .255/426/.489 line in August as the 19-year-old continues to display impressive power for the Storm.
ACL Mariners 8, ACL Padres 1
Prospect Watch: Sure, Luis Gutierrez gave up four runs on four hits, but the 20-year-old lefty walked one and struck out six in the span. The Cabimas, Venezuela native has walked 23 while striking out 40 in 39 innings in 2023, an impressive feat in the free-pass-heavy Complex League. … After going 0-for-3 in his professional debut, Ryan Wilson homered in his second outing, giving the 2023 ninth-rounder a .167 batting average and .953 OPS in today’s edition of fun with small sample sizes. The 21-year-old Wilson played his collegiate baseball at Davidson before being selected with the 281st pick in this summer’s draft. … With a single tonight, Braedon Karpathios is slashing .379/.519/.552 and possesses those numbers despite no home runs in 58 at-bats in the desert. The 20-year-old outfielder began the season in extended spring training, but has had a pair of stints with the Storm. When pushed to the higher level, the Pennsylvania native’s uber-patient approach hasn’t translated as well. … The Padres’ only two-hit outing of the night belonged to 19-year-old Daniel Montesino. A native of San Juan de los Morros in Venezuela, Montesino is batting .245 with a .645 OPS in 139 at-bats in 2023, his first season stateside.