Reno Aces 14, Chihuahuas 5

It’s been a rough campaign for Jay Groome. (Photo: Jorge Salgado)

Key Stats: LHP Jay Groome 0.2 IP, 5 H, 7 ER, 2 BB; RHP Sean Reynolds 0.2 IP, 3 H, 5 ER, 1 K, 3 BB; LHP Drew Pomeranz 1 IP, 1 K, 1 BB; LHP Adrian Morejon 2 IP, 3 K; SS Ray-Patrick Didder 2-for-5, HR (5); DH Tim Lopes 1-for-4, 3B

Prospect Watch: The nightmare pitching campaigns for Jay Groome and Sean Reynolds continued as the Chihuahuas dropped their series in Reno. Groome, who nearly pitched himself into the big league rotation in spring training, gave up seven earned runs in just two-thirds of an inning, the second time this year he didn’t make it out of the first inning. The 25-year-old lefty, who impressed after the Padres acquired him last July, had things go sideways from the outset this season, and he finished June with an ERA above nine. It appeared he turned a corner in July, posting a 3.77 ERA and a better than two-to-one strikeout-to-walk ratio over five starts. But over his last six starts, he’s been torched for 29 earned runs in 21 innings, walking 26 while opponents have hit almost .400. Groome is finishing his third option year, making it likely the team will look to pass him through waivers at the end of the year. … Reynolds, 25, came over from the Miami organization in the Ryan Weathers deal at this year’s deadline, carrying a 3.50 ERA after 14 Triple-A outings. In his first outing with El Paso, he struck out the side in a scoreless inning. Since then, the 6-foot-8 righty has allowed 20 earned runs in just 6.2 innings, walking 16 along the way. … Long after this one was decided, the Padres got better news as Drew Pomeranz worked a scoreless frame. Two days after his latest rough appearance, the rehabbing big leaguer issued one walk and struck out one, though he didn’t get his fastball above 91 in the appearance. … Tirso Ornelas had his hitting streak stopped at 22 games. The big outfielder drew a pair of walks, and while he hit a pair of balls at over 100 mph exit velocity, both were grounders to second base. The 23-year-old’s line drive rate at Triple-A this year is a career-best 28%, but he’s still hit half of his balls in play into the ground.

Graham Pauley continues to hit in a stellar debut full-season. (Photo: Joe Alexander)

Wichita Wind Surge 4, Missions 3

Key Stats: 3B Graham Pauley 2-for-3, 2 2B, BB; 2B Marcos Castañon 1-for-4, HR (3); RHP Jared Kollar 4 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 K, 1 BB; RHP Bobby Milacki 3.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 K, 2 BB; RHP Henry Henry (L, 1-3) 0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 K, 2 BB

Prospect Watch: The Missions held early 2-0 and 3-2 leads, but their offense was held in check over the final six innings, and Wichita rallied against Henry Henry for a walk-off win to split the series. Graham Pauley had a pair of doubles and a walk to pace the Missions offense out of the two-hole in the lineup. In 10 games since joining San Antonio, the 22-year-old has six extra-base hits while striking out just four times in 45 plate appearances. Pauley, one of several breakouts from the third day of last year’s draft for the Padres, now sports a .925 OPS across three levels for the season. … Marcos Castañon hit a solo homer in the third to cap the Mission’s scoring. After connecting on 13 home runs in 77 games for Fort Wayne, he has three in 42 Texas League contests. The 24-year-old infielder has maintained his strikeout and walk rates at the higher level but has rolled over more pull-side ground balls when he does make contact.

Victor Lizaraga made his last start at Parkview Field his best of the year. (Photo: Adam Gaddy)

TinCaps 2 South Bend Cubs 0

Key Stats: RF Tyler Robertson 1-for-4, HR (1); 1B Carlos Luis 1-for-3, 2B, RBI; RHP Victor Lizarraga 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 9 K; RHP Joan Gonzalez 2 IP, 1 H, 2 K; RHP Carter Loewen (S, 2), 1 IP

Tyler Robertson hit his first Midwest League home run of the season. (Photo: Adam Gaddy)

Prospect Watch: Victor Lizarraga delivered his best start of the year to lead the TinCaps to their fifth straight win and a lead in the chase for the playoffs heading into the final series of the regular season. Lizarraga, 19, held South Bend to just three singles over six innings while posting a career-best nine strikeouts. Our number five prospect coming into the year, the San Diego native, has had an up-and-down season but has finished with a stretch of strong starts, giving up just three earned runs on 11 hits over 17 innings while posting a strong 20:4 strikeout-to-walk ratio. A pair of bouts with illness have cost him several starts and reduced his stamina at times this year, but when he’s been on, he’s continued to show great feel for his change-up, which was stellar on Sunday. … While Fort Wayne’s offense managed only two hits, they made them count. Tyler Robertson led off the fourth inning with a loud home run down the left-field line, his first round-tripper since getting to the Midwest League. The 23-year-old’s highly aggressive approach has gotten solid results for the TinCaps – he’s hitting .302/.318/.465 in his first 45 plate appearances – but he’s also struck out in 38% of his plate appearances. … Carlos Luis came through with a loud two-out, RBI double in the seventh after Lucas Dunn drew a walk to give the TinCaps a bit of breathing room. The big left-handed hitter has a six-game hitting streak going as he gets more playing time down the stretch following the wave of promotions last month.

Dillon Head’s walk-off celebration with his teammates left him needing to be dried off. (Photo: Robert Escalante)

Storm 5, San Jose Giants 4

Key Stats: CF Dillon Head 2-for-4, RBI CS (1); RF Braedon Karpathios 1-for-4, 2B; SS Rosman Verdugo 2-for-3, BB; RHP Francis Peña (W, 1-1) 2 IP, 5 K

Prospect Watch: Dillon Head smacked a two-out line drive single to center to give the Storm a walk-off win as they claimed their third straight victory and pulled within one game of Inland Empire in the California League South standings. The two clubs will face each other in the final regular season series of the year with a playoff spot on the line. For the Padres’ first-round pick, the single capped a second straight two-hit game as he bounced back from a 2-for-23 start in Lake Elsinore. The 18-year-old outfielder, who is scheduled to be on-hand for the Padres game at Petco Park on Monday, is hitting .256 through his first 22 professional games. … Rosman Verdugo scored the winning run after drawing a walk to reach base for the third time on the day. Four months younger than Head, the Ensenada, Mexico, native has appeared in 108 games for Elsinore this year to mixed results. His league-best 30 doubles hint at the power his strong wrists already generate, but his aggressive approach has translated into 114 strikeouts and a .224 average in his second stateside campaign. … After San Jose got to starter Henry Martinez for a pair of runs, the Storm bullpen allowed just one earned run on one hit over the final six and two-thirds innings. Francis Peña slammed the door shut on the Giants, striking out five of the six batters he faced to give his offense the opportunity for the ninth-inning heroics. Peña, 22, didn’t sign his first professional contract until January 2022. Still, he’s enjoyed his first taste of full-season ball, posting a 0.56 ERA over 16 innings since joining the Lake Elsinore bullpen in July.

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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