Fare thee well, August. In addition to being a night the TinCaps hosted a Grateful Dead theme game that provided lyrical inspiration to your faithful writer, Thursday marked the final day of a month the Padres may find to be a brokedown palace. So sit down, relax, and draw the curtains; I don’t care.
Chihuahuas 12, Reno Aces 8
Key Statistics: LHP Adrian Morejon 2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1K, 1 BB; RHP Aaron Brooks (W, 3-3), 2 IP, 1 H; RHP Sean Reynolds (H, 1), 1 IP, 1 H, 1 K; RHP Kevin Kopps 2 IP, 2 H, 3 K; RF Tirso Ornelas, 3-for-5, 2B, HR (4), 3 R, RBI, BB; 3B Eguy Rosario, 3-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI; CF Taylor Kohlwey, 4-for-6, 2B
Prospect Watch: Lit out from Reno, the Chihuahuas were a friend of the devil tonight, as Aaron Brooks took control in a high-scoring PCL affair, throwing two scoreless innings to pick up the win. The 33-year-old Brooks is 3-3 with a 5.20 ERA in 53.2 innings pitched, working in a multi-inning relief role for El Paso in 2023. … Well, the first days are the hardest days, and Sean Reynolds picked up his first hold since joining the organization with a scoreless inning. The towering righty, acquired in a trade with Miami at the deadline, threw his first blank frame since August 15, with 11 earned runs in the three appearances in between. Reynolds and lefty Adrian Morejon, who threw two innings of one-run ball as the opener, are two of only three pitchers on the 40-player roster who are not currently on the big league active roster or injured list as rosters expand by three spots Friday. … Tirso Ornelas continues to build a groove in his 2023 breakout season, shedding the frustrations of years past and seeing better results despite continuing to post ground ball rates near 50%. With Thursday’s three-hit night, including a double and a home run, Ornelas is slashing .308/.377/.462 in 130 at-bats at Triple-A, building on his work with San Antonio this season. … Infielder Eguy Rosario also contributed three hits, including a double, as part of a productive evening. Rosario is now batting .255 with a .745 OPS in 145 at-bats for El Paso, many of them collected while on several rehab assignments. … Taylor Kohlwey started in center field and had a four-hit night, including a double. The Wisconsin native’s big night extended his hitting streak to six games. He produced a .953 OPS in August.
Missions 8, Wichita Wind Surge 6
Key Statistics: RHP Adam Mazur (W, 1-2), 6 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K; LHP Daniel Camarena (S, 1), 1 IP, 2 K; LF Jackson Merrill, 1-for-5, HR (5); CF Jakob Marsee, 2-for-5, HR (2); 2B Graham Pauley, 1-for-5, HR (1); Marcos Castañon, 2-for-4, HR (2), 2 RBI; DH Cole Cummings, 1-for-4, HR (7), 3 RBI
Prospect Watch: Tonight was one good ride from start to end for San Antonio, and I’m sure they’d like to take it again. Adam Mazur got the party started with a quality start, picking up his first win in a Missions uniform and continuing to build back strongly to starting form after a stint in the bullpen. The Iowa product struck out five and allowed two runs in six innings of work. … Daniel Camarena recorded the third save of his professional career and first since 2021 with El Paso, cutting down a pair of Wichita batters via strikeout in a perfect inning. The veteran southpaw has struck out 53 batters in 66.1 innings in 2023, spending much of it in San Antonio’s rotation before a raft of promotions moved him to the bullpen. … “The cards ain’t worth a dime if you don’t lay ’em down,” and Jackson Merrill continues to make strides in his power in an all-in 2023 season. Playing left field, the Padres’ top prospect hit his 15th home run of the season and fifth since being promoted from Fort Wayne. … Some folks look for answers, some folks look for fights, Jakob Marsee makes highlight-reel catches and logs a two-hit night. The Missions center fielder’s all-around evening included his 15th homer of the season (second with San Antonio) and an outstanding grab in the outfield. … Graham Pauley also connected on his first homer for the powerful San Antonio lineup, giving the Duke product 21 round-trippers overall on the season. Pauley hit four home runs with Lake Elsinore before powering up with 16 bombs in 170 at-bats for Fort Wayne.
TinCaps 8, South Bend Cubs 5
Key Statistics: LHP Miguel Cienfuegos 4.1 IP, 6 H, 5 R (4 ER), 2 BB; RHP Ethan Routzahn 2.2 IP, 0 H, 3 K, 1 BB; RHP Joan Gonzalez (W, 1-0), 1 IP, 1 H, 1 K; RHP Cole Paplham (S, 3) 1 IP, 2 K; 1B Griffin Doersching, 2-for-4, HR (2), 2 R, 2 RBI; C Colton Bender, 3-for-4, HR (3), 3 RBI
Prospect Watch: Some powerful performances and excellent relief pitching buoyed the TinCaps. … “Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world” may be the sort of euphoria Colton Bender felt after connecting on a game-winning three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth. The Quinnipiac product’s third homer of the year came as he collected his second three-hit game of August and third of the season. Bender hit .303 with a .910 OPS in 33 at-bats in August. … Griffin Doersching reached for the stars and smacked into the sky, sending his second home run as a TinCap into the stands. The hulking Oklahoma State product has posted a .849 OPS in 22 at-bats since being promoted from Lake Elsinore. … Joan Gonzalez picked up his first professional win with a scoreless eighth. Gonzalez, 25, whose journey from the Dominican Republic included a stint at community college in Kansas before Bethune-Cookman University, has made eight appearances since signing as an undrafted free agent in July. … Cole Paplham, who signed after his name wasn’t called in last year’s draft but didn’t make his professional debut until this spring, closed out his third save for the TinCaps. A New Orleans product, Paplham is 1-0 with a 3.33 ERA in 27 innings split between Lake Elsinore and Fort Wayne.
San Jose Giants 10, Storm 4
Key Statistics: RHP Breck Eichelberger 0.1 IP, 2 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, HBP, K; Alejandro Lugo 3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K; LHP Javier Chacon 2.1 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 3 K; 2B Oswaldo Linares, 2-for-4, R; SS Nik McClaughry, 2-for-4, 2B, HR (1), 3 RBI
Prospect Watch: There is no road, no simple highway for the Storm as they have seen much of their star talent promoted to higher levels, and they are now breaking in a new crop of young players from the complex. After a rough outing for Breck Eichelberger, Alejandro Lugo minimized damage in his three innings of work, striking out six and allowing one earned run on two hits. The 21-year-old righty actually began his career in 2019 but did not come stateside until this year, and now owns a 2.31 ERA in four appearances for Lake Elsinore, striking out 17 with only two walks across 11.2 innings. … Javier Chacon threw two-plus impressive innings, striking out three. The 20-year-old lefty spent much of the season rehabbing in Peoria but has been solid in limited action with the Storm, posting a 2.40 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 15 innings for Lake Elsinore. The only thing keeping “solid” from being “stellar” is 18 walks in the same span. … The Storm did their best Missions impression today and played a catcher in the infield, with Oswaldo Linares lacing a pair of hits while playing second base. The 20-year-old Venezuela native is batting .243 with four home runs and 28 RBIs in 177 at-bats in 2023. … “Half a mile from Tucson, by the morning light…” University of Arizona alum Nik McClaughry slugged a double as part of his fourth two-hit game of August. McClaughry hit .217 in August after the Padres drafted him in the 10th round in July.