Sacramento River Cats 9, Chihuahuas 6

Nolan Watson has been a solid contributor in the Padres system. (Photo: San Antonio Missions)

Key Statistics: CF Daniel Johnson 3-for-4, R, HR (1), RBI, SB (1); 1B Brandon Dixon 1-for-3, R, HR (14), RBI; LF Tirso Ornelas 1-for-4, 2 R; RHP Nolan Watson 6 IP, H, BB, 8 K; LHP Adrian Morejon 0.2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, WP; RHP Sean Poppen (L, 1-1) IP, 4 H, 4 R, ER, BB

Prospect Watch: Through six innings, the Chihuahuas held a 3-0 lead. Sacramento proceeded to score nine runs against the Chihuahuas’ bullpen, and the River Cats took the series opener. … Daniel Johnson made his PCL debut a memorable one. The outfielder had three hits, including a home run. Johnson has played 213 games at the Triple-A level, all of which came in the International League. In 98 games with the Missions this year, Johnson produced a .772 OPS. … After hitting four homers last week in Albuquerque, Brandon Dixon homered again. It was Dixon’s 14th homer in 212 plate appearances for El Paso this season. Despite his continued struggles at the big league level, the veteran slugger is hitting a robust .326/.404/.783 this month for El Paso. …In another example of “Baseball is Weird,” we bring you Nolan Watson. Last week, Watson allowed nine runs on 16 hits, including three home runs. On Tuesday, Watson allowed just one hit in six innings. Watson was in line to win, but the River Cats mounted a comeback. Tuesday marked just the second time in 24 appearances that Watson averaged more than a strikeout per inning in an outing. The 26-year-old from Indianapolis doesn’t possess great stuff, but he’s typically been able to give his team innings which is a valuable trait in the PCL. Watson has pitched at least five innings in five consecutive outings for El Paso. 

Ethan Salas had the game-winning hit in his debut. (Photo: Joe Alexander)

Missions 8, Amarillo Sod Poodles 7 (10 innings)

Key Statistics: 3B Marcos Castañon 3-for-5, 2 R, 2 2B, RBI; 1B Nathan Martorella 3-for-5, 3 RBI; C Ethan Salas, 1-for-4, BB, 2B, RBI; RHP Gabe Mosser, 4.1 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K; RHP Seth Mayberry 2 IP, 1 H, 2 K, 1 BB; RHP Lake Bachar (W, 4-0) 2 IP, H, 1 R (0 ER), 2 K

Nathan Martorella in his Double-A debut. (Photo: Joe Alexander)

Prospect Watch: In El Paso, the Chihuahuas failed to hold the lead, but across the state, the Missions erased a five-run deficit to defeat the Sod Poodles at home. Ethan Salas’s first Double-A hit was a big one. The 17-year-old catcher doubled in the bottom of the tenth to drive in the winning run and cap an epic comeback to walk it off for San Antonio. The top prospect made headlines earlier this week with his nearly unprecedented promotion to Double-A. Between three stops in the Padres organization since signing in January, Salas has a .784 OPS. … Infielder Marcos Castañon had a three-hit effort, including a pair of doubles and an RBI. The 24-year-old has been a solid offensive contributor since joining the Missions, albeit one who hasn’t hit for much power. After posting a .223 ISO in Lake Elsinore last season and a .204 mark this season in Fort Wayne, that mark has dropped to just .138 with the Missions. Castañon hit 13 homers this season with Fort Wayne, but he’s connected on just one in 143 plate appearances with San Antonio. … Nathan Martorella had three singles in his Double-A debut and drove in three runs. The slugging first baseman was a bit of a surprise omission last month when Jackson Merrill and Castañon were moved up to the Missions. In fact, before being promoted, the Salinas native was in the midst of his worst month of the year. In 17 games this month with the TinCaps, the former Cal Bear was hitting just .169/.315/.271 without a homer. Of course, he’s hitting .600 with the Missions, so perhaps the promotion will help him break out of a slump. … After Gabe Mosser struggled early, the Missions’ bullpen held things down. The best work came from righty Lake Bachar, who pitched the final two innings. Bachar allowed the ghost runner to score in the tenth, but he kept Amarillo at bay with his fastball/slider combo. The 28-year-old punched out a pair in his two innings of work, earning his fourth win. If you subtract a disastrous April in which Bachar pitched to an ERA north of eight, the former college punter has been quite good. Since May 1, Bachar has a 2.11 ERA in 38.1 innings. Unless he is added to the 40-man roster this winter, he will be eligible for free agency. Bachar (fifth-round) and Chihuahuas outfielder Taylor Kohlwey (21st-round) are the only players from the 2016 draft who are still in the organization. Interestingly, both players went to college in Wisconsin, playing for rivals in the Division III Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. 

Great Lakes Loons 5, TinCaps 2

Carlos Luis has had to fight through this year. (Photo: Jeff Nycz)

Key Statistics: 3B Carlos Luis 2-for-3, BB, RBI; 1B Griffin Doersching 1-for-4; SS Kervin Pichardo 2-for-3, R, HR (5), RBI; RHP Edwuin Bencomo (L, 2-2) 5 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K; RHP Ethan Routzahn 2.2 IP, ER, 3 BB, 2 K

Prospect Watch: The TinCaps hit the road north to Michigan, but they couldn’t muster much offense in a loss to the Loons. … Shortstop Kervin Pichardo singled and connected on his fifth homer of the season. The 21-year-old has been a bit of an organizational player since coming over from Philadelphia in the James Norwood trade, but he’s quietly been solid for the TinCaps this year. While he’s striking out in nearly 30% of his plate appearances, he’s delivered a .719 OPS that is just above league average. Pichardo has hit seven homers in each of the last two seasons; he will have 17 games to connect on another one to set a new career-high. … Carlos Luis had two hits and drew a walk in the Fort Wayne loss. The left-handed swinging infielder hasn’t been able to build on the solid year he produced last season. After posting a .817 OPS between Lake Elsinore and Fort Wayne last season, Luis has posted a .654 OPS this season. Luis has struck out in just 18.7% of his plate appearances, but he has only 18 extra-base hits this season for the TinCaps. … Edwuin Bencomo made his fifth season start for Fort Wayne and struggled a bit, earning his second loss of the year. The 24-year-old pitched five innings, allowing four runs and six hits. He walked two batters and struck out four. The organizational veteran has mainly functioned as a reliever in his career, but out of necessity, he’s made five starts for Fort Wayne. As a starter, he’s pitched to a 6.75 ERA. 

Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 10, Storm 1

Dillon Head shows off his speed in the ACL. (Photo: Jerry Espinoza)

Key Statistics: CF Dillon Head, 1-for-4; DH Romeo Sanabria, 1-for-4; RF Nick Vogt, 3-for-4, R, 2B; RHP Miguel Mendez (L, 2-3) 3.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 5 K; RHP Alejandro Lugo, 2.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, ER, BB, 5 K

Prospect Watch: The Storm allowed six runs in the sixth inning, and the Quakes cruised past Lake Elsinore in Rancho. With Inland Empire winning Tuesday night, the Storm are five games back with 17 games to play. … With all the musical chairs played in the organization, Dillon Head landed in Lake Elsinore. The 2023 first-rounder singled in four at-bats in his full-season debut. … Romeo Sanabria finally made it to full-season ball. The slugging first baseman also went 1-for-4 in his Storm debut. In 50 games for the ACL Padres, the 21-year-old hit .359/.443/.617 with eight homers and 53 RBI. … Outfielder Nick Vogt had three hits, including the Storm’s lone extra-base hit of the evening. In 16 games this month, Vogt has produced a .709 OPS. … Righty Miguel Mendez made the start and punched out five hitters in 3.2 innings. He allowed two runs on four hits. The 21-year-old can dial up his fastball to 98 mph, but he’s struggled with consistency. Overall, he has a 6.42 ERA in 47.2 innings for the Storm this season. … Homer Bush, Jr., who slid over to left field in deference to Head, fouled a ball off his leg in the first inning. While he stayed in the game defensively for the bottom of the frame, he was removed after that.

ACL Padres 8, ACL Rangers 3

Isaiah Lowe impressed before going down with a rotator cuff injury. (Photo: Robert Escalante)

Key Statistics: RF Juan Murillo 2-for-5, RBI; 1B Chase Valentine 2-for-4, 2 R, 2B, BB; C Kaden Hollow 1-for-3, R, BB, 2 RBI; RHP Isaiah Lowe IP, H, ER, BB, K; RHP Drew Carlton (W, 1-0) IP, 2 H, K; LHP CD Pelham IP, BB

Prospect Watch: In the final game of the ACL season, the Padres put up eight runs in a win over the Rangers. The game featured a procession of rehab appearances, beginning as hard-throwing Isaiah Lowe made his first appearance since late April. The 20-year-old has had a rotator cuff issue for most of the year. With the season coming to an end, Lowe may be able to get some innings as a reliever, and he seems like a good candidate to eat some innings during instructional league. … Righty Angel Sánchez, who has been on the El Paso IL since mid-July, followed with a scoreless inning before Drew Carlton earned the win with his second scoreless outing in the desert. He allowed two hits and struck out a batter. Carlton will likely continue his rehab with a full-season club this week. … Reliever CD Pelham, who has been on the Missions’ 60-day IL since May, also got in an inning, working around a walk. … Zac Addkison made his professional debut with a scoreless inning of work. The righty was the Padres’ 15th-round pick in the July draft after he carried a big workload at Marshall this spring. The San Antonio native will likely develop in the bullpen for the Padres. …  At the plate, Juan Murillo had a pair of singles and drove in a run Tuesday. Murillo has spent the last two seasons in the desert, awaiting an opportunity with the Storm. Last season, Murillo produced a .844 OPS; this season, he posted a near-identical .842 mark. … Catcher Kaden Hollow singled, walked, and drove in a pair of runs in his final game in the desert this season. The backstop signed with the Padres last season as an undrafted free agent out of Dixie State. In 16 games in the ACL, Hollow produced a .975 OPS.

Posted by Kevin Charity

Kevin Charity has written for MadFriars since 2015 and has had work featured on Fox Sports San Diego. He is a lifelong San Diego native and is looking forward to seeing the current wave of prospects thrive in San Diego.

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