Albuquerque Isotopes 9, Chihuahuas 8

Key Statistics: LHP Jay Groome, 3.2 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 5 BB, 4 K; RHP Sean Reynolds, 1.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 2 K; RF Tirso Ornelas, 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI; CF Daniel Johnson, 1-for-4, HR, R, 3 RBI

Tirso Ornelas had a pair of hits on Thursday. (Photo: Jorge Salgado)

Prospect Watch: It’s a tough enough environment for pitching in the PCL without walking 11 batters, which is precisely what the Chihuahuas did in their matchup with Albuquerque tonight. Nine of those free passes came in the first five innings, with five coming from Jay Groome in three-plus innings of work. The southpaw allowed six hits and five runs while striking out four, pushing his ERA to 8.42 in a difficult 2023 season for the former Red Sox prospect. In 130.1 innings, Groome has Chihuahuas records with 134 strikeouts and 104 walks. In 2022, Groome issued 64 free passes in 144 innings. … The next four walks came from Sean Reynolds, who pulled his best magic act by walking four, uncorking a wild pitch, and allowing three doubles while somehow only being charged with one earned run. When Reynolds was traded to the Padres organization, he owned a 3.50 ERA in 18 innings at Triple-A and seemed poised for a promotion to the big leagues sooner rather than later. The 6-foot-8, 25-year-old righty struck out 17 and walked seven in that span. However, in 12 innings for El Paso, Reynolds has walked 23 batters while striking out 15, a setback that has his season poised to end on a down note. … Will we ever see Tirso Ornelas in a Padres uniform in a regular season game? I can’t answer that, but his performance in 2023 has made the idea far more palpable than in the past. The 23-year-old outfielder slugged a double and drove in a pair of runs tonight, boosting his overall OPS on the season to .849. In 179 at-bats for El Paso, that mark is .841. … Daniel “Jet” Johnson continues to enjoy a sort of homecoming as the New Mexico State alum has taken to playing once again in the Mesilla Valley, clubbing his fifth home run in 75 at-bats since being promoted from San Antonio. The 28-year-old outfielder owned a .772 OPS in 361 at-bats for the Missions and has posted a 1.033 mark for El Paso.

Springfield Cardinals 10, Missions 2

Lake Bachar has delivered at the back of the Missions bullpen. (Photo: Joe Alexander)

Key Statistics: RHP Bobby Milacki 4 IP, 9 H, 7 ER, 2 K; RHP Lake Bachar, 1.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K; RHP Efrain Contreras 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 K, 2 BB; RF Connor Hollis, 3-for-4, R; DH Jackson Merrill, 1-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI; CF Homer Bush Jr., 1-for-4

Prospect Watch: The Wolff did not feel pitcher-friendly tonight, as the Missions allowed 10 runs on 16 hits. A bright spot in the San Antonio bullpen was Lake Bachar, who threw 1.2 scoreless innings while striking out two and allowing just two hits. The 28-year-old righty, a fifth-round pick in 2016, has enjoyed a solid 2023 season, posting a 2.73 ERA in 59.1 innings with 67 strikeouts and 25 walks. This follows a 2022 season that the Wisconsin-Whitewater product spent finding his form after injury wiped out the entire 2021 season. … Connor Hollis has started to look more like the 2022 Texas League batting champion. He is seemingly rounding into form after spending much of 2023 battling injuries. Playing right field, the Houston product logged his second consecutive three-hit night and his fourth multi-hit outing of September. … Jackson Merrill put the “hitter” in “designated hitter,” hitting a double for the Missions’ only extra-base hit of the evening, driving in both San Antonio runs. The 20-year-old top Padres’ prospect owns a .671 OPS in September after an impressive .831 line in August. … This year’s fourth-round pick, Homer Bush Jr., went 1-for-4 and has reached base in all five games played at the Double-A level. The Grand Canyon University alum is on a three-game hitting streak and owns an .839 OPS in a season split between the Complex League, Lake Elsinore, and San Antonio.

Great Lakes Loons 3, TinCaps 2

Miguel Cienfuegos got the start on Thursday night. (Photo: Adam Gaddy)

Key Statistics: LHP Miguel Cienfuegos (L, 0-1), 5 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K; RHP Joan Gonzalez, 2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K; LF Tyler Robertson, 1-for-4; RF Lucas Dunn, 1-for-3, R

Prospect Watch: Even at the High-A level, postseason baseball brings out some great pitching performances, and the TinCaps’ pitchers combined to allow three runs on seven hits. Unfortunately, their batters managed only a pair of hits and struck out 15 times. They’ll have Dylan Lesko on the mound Friday night as they show down with Great Lakes for the right to advance to the Midwest League championship. Despite only allowing two runs on three hits in five innings, Miguel Cienfuegos took the loss, The 26-year-old lefty went 3-7 with a 4.04 ERA in 78 innings in his first professional season, striking out 62 while walking 30. … The Loons’ third run came off Joan Gonzalez, who followed Cienfuegos with a pair of one-run innings, walking none and striking out three while allowing a pair of hits. The 25-year-old righty is 1-0 with a 5.21 ERA in 19 innings of work with 15 strikeouts since signing as an undrafted free agent out of Bethune-Cookman. … One of the hits of the evening belonged to Tyler Robertson, who began the season with the Storm and ended it on a high note in Fort Wayne posting a .927 OPS in 67 at-bats to finish off the regular season. … The other base knock came courtesy of Lucas Dunn, who played the full 2023 campaign for the TinCaps after first being promoted to the club midway through the 2022 season. The 2021 eighth-rounder posted a .673 OPS for the season, including a .574 mark in September after a strong July in which his OPS soared to .987.

Posted by Mark Wilkens

Born in San Diego and raised in Escondido, Mark now calls Phoenix home. Prior to MadFriars, Mark had multiple articles featured on Bleacher Report and covering the Padres, Angels and Clippers.

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