Albuquerque Isotopes 5, Chihuahuas 3

Key Statistics: DH Tim Lopes 2-for-5; 3B-2B Eguy Rosario 1-for-3, BB; LF Tirso Ornelas 2-for-3, BB; SS Ray-Patrick Didder 1-for-2, 2 RBI, 2 BB 2 SB (8); RHP Anderson Espinoza 7 IP 2 H, BB, 5 K; RHP Sean Reynolds (L, 0-1) 1 IP 3 H 5 R, 2 BB, 2 K, HR

Anderson Espinoza had his best outing of the year on Saturday night. (Photo: Jorge Salgado)

Prospect Watch:  El Paso had a 1-0 lead on the road going into the bottom of the eighth inning in one of the more hitter-friendly parks in the PCL thanks to a career outing Anderson Espinoza. The 25-year-old carried a no-hitter through six innings, allowing just one walk and one hit batter along the way. Both runners were then thrown out on the bases to keep the Isotopes to 18 plate appearances through six. With one out in the seventh, Albuquerque broke up the no-hit bid with back-to-back singles before Espinoza rallied to strike out the final two batters of his outing. He finished the night with five strikeouts as he needed only 86 pitches to go seven innings for the second time this month. The one-time top prospect has had six outings of at least six innings and two or fewer earned runs on the year, but has been hit hard just as often, leading to a 5.68 ERA overall. … Sean Reynolds, 25, who came over in the Miami Marlins trade with Garrett Cooper for Ryan Weathers, came on in the eighth, but his nightmare stint with the Chihuahuas continued. He gave up a leadoff double, followed by a pair of walks, a single to tie the game, then a grand slam to put it away. Reynolds did stay in to get the final three outs – two by punch outs – but it was yet another a rough night for the 6-foot-8 converted pitcher. Of his 34 pitches, only 19 were for strikes. Since arriving in the Padres organization, he has walked 12 and given up seven hits, two of them home runs, in 3.2 innings on his way to a 22.09 ERA. … Tirso Ornelas, 23, had another good night, collecting a pair of hits and a walk. The outfielder has reached base 11 times in four games since rejoining El Paso for the series and has pushed his slash line to .286/.377/.385 in 104 plate appearances in Triple-A.

Ripken Reyes is now the all-time record holder for being hit by a pitch in a season. (Photo: San Antonio Missions)

Midland Rockhounds 8, Missions 1

Key Statistics: LF Jackson Merrill 2-for-3, 2B, HBP, RBI; SS Ripken Reyes 0-for-3, HBP, R; RF Daniel Johnson 2-for-4, 2B; RHP Jairo Iriarte (L, 0-1) 2.1 IP, H, 2 R (1 ER), BB, 5 K; LHP Jason Blanchard 2.0 IP, 2 H, 5 R (4 ER), 3 BB, 2 K

Jackson Merrill is hitting better in San Antonio than in Fort Wayne. (Photo: San Antonio Missions)

Prospect Watch:  A relatively close game got away from the Missions in the ninth as the visitors put five runs on the board to send San Antonio down at home. … For the 44th time this year, Ripken Reyes got hit by a pitch in his third plate appearance, breaking the all-time minor league single-season record. The 5-foot-7 USD and UC Berkley alum has ridden all those HBPs and 50 walks to a Texas League-best .428 on-base percentage. He is one extra-base hit away from reaching his career high of 21. … Jackson Merrill, playing his second game in left field, collected two more hits, including a single to drive in the Missions’ only run. In 30 games and 122 plate appearances with the Missions, Merrill’s OPS is up to .860, almost 100 points higher than he managed with the TinCaps in 296 PAs to open the year. He’s also played a game at second and first base in Double-A. … Jairo Iriarte, 21, only threw two-and-one-third innings as the starter, but he made the most of his 50 pitches. The hard-throwing righty landed 32 for strikes as he punched out five Midland batters. Since joining the Missions, he has a 3.21 ERA with 24 strikeouts in 14.1 innings. He’s allowed just ten hits, and has yet to give up a home run in short-burst outings from the bullpen and now back in the rotation.

Dayton Dragons 7, TinCaps 1

Key Statistics: SS Jarryd Dale 2-for-3, 2 2B,BB; DH Ethan Salas 1-for-3, BB; 3B Graham Pauley 2-for-4, SB (8); 1B Carlos Luis 1-for-4, RBI; LHP Miguel Cienfuegos (L, 2-4) 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R (3 ER), BB, 2 K; RHP Will Geerdes 1.2 IP, H, R, 2 K, HR

Jarryd Dale in action last year with Fort Wayne. (Photo: Jeff Nycz)

Prospect Watch: The TinCaps offense was held in check for the first eight innings until Carlos Luis’ RBI single brought in the only TinCaps run. … Jarryd Dale had a nice day at the plate with a pair of doubles and a walk. Dale was the primary shortstop for last year’s TinCaps and showed flashes of his plus athleticism, but struggled at the plate with a .198 batting average and .595 OPS. Since returning from the IL this season, he has had six hits in five games for Fort Wayne, including three doubles and a home run. Despite being in the system since 2018, he won’t turn 23 until September. … After a double Saturday, Graham Pauley has 23 extra-base hits for both the TinCaps and the Storm this year, but he needed only 179 plate appearances to hit that total with the TinCaps after making 270 trips to the plate with Lake Elsinore. On the year, between both affiliates, he has a .923 OPS with 22 doubles, five triples (all in Lake Elsinore), and 19 home runs. In the field, the 22-year-old Duke graduate has seen most of his time at third base but has also been at second base and left field. … Ethan Salas, 17, reached base twice with a single and walk. In his first nine games with the TinCaps, he has six singles, a double, and two walks in 39 plate appearances.

Game 1: Storm 7, Inland Empire 66ers 1 (7 innings)

Key Statistics: 3B Devin Ortiz 2-for-3, BB; RF Samuel Zavala 0-for-2, 2 BB; CF Tyler Robertson 2-for-3, 3 RBI; 2B Charlis Aquino 1-for-2, 2 RBI, BB; RHP Ruben Galindo 3 IP, 2 H, BB, 3 K; RHP Xavier Ruiz (W, 1-0) 2.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, K, HR

Game 2: Storm 5Inland Empire 66ers 1 (7 innings)

Key Statistics: 1B Griffin Doersching 1-fo-2, 2B, BB; LF Tyler Robertson 1-for-1, BB, RBI; 2B Rosman Verdugo 1-for-2, 2 RBI, 2B; RHP Enmanuel Pinales 6 IP 6 H, R, 5; RHP Sam Whiting 1 IP, BB 2 K

Rosman Verdugo has flashed plenty of pop as one of the youngest players in the Cal League. (Photo: Rosman Verdugo)

Prospect Watch: The Storm took both games of the doubleheader in the system’s only good news as they held the Angels affiliate to two runs in 14 innings. … In Game 1, the Storm put five runs on the board in the fourth inning and added two runs in the fifth. Tyler Robertson, 23, who we interviewed earlier in the week, had a big game with three RBI and a pair of hits in the first game and added another RBI in the nightcap. The Alabama native has 20 extra-base hits, 23 stolen bases, and 30 RBI in 56 games. … In the nightcap, Rosman Verdugo, only 18 years old, hit his league-leading 29th double as he drove in two runs. The Ensenada native came into the night mired in an 8-for-47 slump. … On the mound, the Storm got another great outing from Enmanuel Pinales, 22, who now has a 1.83 ERA in 19.2 innings across three starts with 25 strikeouts and only five walks. The Dominican started the year in the ACL where his peripherals were solid with a 26:8 strikeout-to-walk ratio, but he yielded 31 hits on the way to a 7.15 ERA. The righty, who got a small signing bonus in January, 2022, is one of several pitchers signed at older ages in the last few years who is producing in the lower levels of the system this year. … Sam Whiting, 22, a 16th-round draft pick in the 2023 draft and yet, another UC Santa Barbara Gaucho, came in for the final frame. He struck out two in his second appearance with the Storm.

ACL Giants Orange 9, ACL Padres 6

Key Statistics:  Dillon Head 1-for-4, RBI, BB; HR (1); DH Juan Murillo 3-for-5, RBI, 2B; RF Braedon Karpathios 0-for-3, 2 BB; 1B Daniel Montesino 2-for-4, RBI; C Kaden Hollow 1-for-2, BB; 3B Wyatt Hoffman 1-for-2, 2 BB, SB (1); RHP Wilton Castillo 2.1 IP 4 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 2 K; RHP Adan Moreno 2 IP, 3 H, 4 R (2 ER), 4 BB, 2 K

Dillon Head got off to a fast start in the desert. (Photo: Jerry Espinoza)

Prospect Watch:  Dillon Head, 18, continued his strong debut in professional baseball, hitting his first career home run. Head, the 25th overall pick in the 2023 draft, has 15 hits in his first 14 games, with six of them for extra bases and three stolen bases in four attempts. His most impressive statistic may be his 11 walks to nine strikeouts in 60 plate appearances. … Daniel Montesino, our 20th-ranked prospect coming into the season, had a pair of hits to extend a red-hot August after hitting .242 in June and .128 in July. This month he has a .395/.477/.477 slash line in 43 plate appearances. The 19-year-old has seen more time in the outfield corners than first base, with Romeo Sanabria having a big year. Montesino missed all last year recovering from Tommy John surgery … Rehabbing Wyatt Hoffman, 24, had a nice day at the plate with a hit, pair of walks, and a stolen base.

Posted by John Conniff

John grew up in Poway and has written for MadFriars since 2004. He has written articles for Baseball America, FoxSports San Diego, the El Paso Times, San Antonio Express-News, Amarillo Globe-News, Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette and Pacific Daily News in addition to appearing on numerous radio programs and podcasts. He can also break down the best places to eat for all five of the affiliates. There is no best place to eat in Peoria, Arizona.

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