Albuquerque Isotopes 4, Chihuahuas 2
Key Statistics: RHP Anderson Espinoza (L, 7-8) 6 IP, 8 H, 4 R (3 ER), BB, 3 K; LHP Adrian Morejon IP, H, BB; RF Tirso Ornelas 1-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI; CF Daniel Johnson 2-for-3, 2B, R, SB (5); DH Ji Man Choi 0-for-4, 2 K
Prospect Watch: In a game at elevation, Anderson Espinoza pitched well enough to win. While the overall stat line left some to be desired, going six innings, allowing three earned runs with one walk and no home runs allowed, is impressive in El Paso. This was the ninth time this season Espinoza has gone at least six innings in a start, and his 120.2 innings this season is second only to Jay Groome in organizational innings thrown. The 120.2 innings and 107 strikeouts are both career highs for the 25-year-old, former can’t-miss prospect. … After allowing 14 earned runs over a stretch of 10.1 innings, Adrian Morejon delivered his fourth scoreless outing in his last nine. While the numbers haven’t been great, his peripherals look dominant. He still sits 95-96 with good spin on his fastball (2450 rpm). He’s showing tremendous spin on both his curve (2700) and slider (2678). When he locates his secondary pitches and gets more horizontal break on his fastball, he shows the talent to be a mainstay in the MLB. … The only big hit came off the bat of Tirso Ornelas. He smashed a two-run double with the bases loaded to tie the game at two. For the 23-year-old, every hit adds to his best season yet. The 2 RBI gave him 71 on the season; his previous career high was 53. His 15 home runs this season equal his home run total from 2019-2022 combined. His .292/.379/.466 slash-line would be a career-high in all three categories. He has the highest walk rate of his career, while his 18.8% K-rate is consistent with his career. Ornelas is walking more, hitting for more power, and striking out at the same rate. Ornelas would reach minor league free agency this winter if the Padres don’t add him to the 40-player roster.
Springfield Cardinals 7, Missions 5
Key Statistics: RHP Gabe Mosser (L, 1-4) 3.1 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, K; 1B Nathan Martorella 2-for-4, BB; LF Cole Cummings 1-for-4, HR (12), RBI; CF Homer Bush Jr 1-for-4; C Juan Zabala 1-for-3, 2B, 2 R, BB; RF Connor Hollis 3-for-4, RBI
Prospect Watch: The Missions lost Wednesday as they continue to struggle down the stretch. Cole Cummings homered for the second time in as many days. The versatile UC Santa Barbara alum has spent time at four different positions this year. After struggling for most of the last few months, he has been the consistent offensive leader the last few weeks. He is hitting .314/.415/.857 with five home runs over his last 10 games. … Connor Hollis picked up three hits for the second time this season. The 2022 Texas League batting champion hit .333/.432/.469 last year with San Antonio, but this year has struggled to the tune of a .657 OPS. The 28-year-old will again be a minor league free agent at the end of the year. … Homer Bush Jr. has played four games in Double-A and reached base safely in all four. He is hitting .385/.429/.385 over those first 14 plate appearances. Bush is hitting .310/.418/.430 between three levels this year with nearly as many stolen bases (21) as strikeouts (24) in 40 games. … Jackson Merrill and Jakob Marsee did not play.
TheTinCaps had a travel day as they prepare to play the second game in a best-of-three series against the Great Lakes Loons (Dodgers). They are one win away from reaching the Midwest League Championship, which will begin on Sunday. Miguel Cienfuegos will start Thursday for Fort Wayne.