Albuquerque Isotopes 6, Chihuahuas 4

Key Statistics: SS Ray-Patrick Didder 1-for-4, BB; RF Tirso Ornelas 1-for-3, BB; LF Taylor Kohlwey 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI; 3B Evan Mendoza 2-for-4, RBI; RHP Glenn Otto (L, 1-3) 2 IP, H, 3 R, 5 BB, 2 K; RHP Jake Sanchez 1 IP, H, K; RHP Sean Poppen 2 IP

It’s been a fun year for Tirso Ornelas. (Photo: Jorge Salgado)

Prospect Watch:  The Chihuahuas lost for the fourth time in five games in their last homestand of the year. Glenn Otto made his second start after the Padres claimed him off waivers from the Rangers organization. While it didn’t go as poorly as his first, when he couldn’t complete an inning, Saturday he walked five in two innings. In just 2.2 innings with the Chihuahuas, he’s walked eight and allowed nine runs. This season, he has pitched well for the Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate Round Rock, with a 3.38 ERA in six starts and 29.1 innings. … Taylor Kohlwey had a pair of hits and pushed his season slash line to .276/.390/.435. His .825 OPS aligns with his career .831 mark in 353 games with the Chihuahuas. … Tirso Ornelas reached base twice and, with a week left in the regular season, is on track to finish with his best year in six minor league seasons. Between San Antonio and El Paso, he has posted a .854 OPS and has already set career highs in home runs (15), RBI (73) and BB (66).

Graham Pauley hit a go-ahead home run in the eighth inning. (Photo: Rey Holguin)

Missions 7, Springfield Cardinals 6

Key Statistics: 3B Graham Pauley 3-for-4, 2B, HR (3) 2 RBI; 2B Marcos Castañon 2-for-3, 2 2B, BB, RBI; 1B Nathan Martorella 1-for-4, HR (3); LF Ripken Reyes 1-for-3, 2B; C Michael De La Cruz 1-for-3, HR (7), 2 RBI; RHP Jairo Iriarte 5.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 9 K, HR; RHP Lake Bachar, (W, 5-1) 1.0 IP, 2 H, R, 2 K; RHP Efrain Contreras 1.0 IP, 2 H, R, K

Nathan Martorella follows Pauley’s home run with one of his own. (Photo: Rey Holguin)

Prospect Watch:  In a wild game at Nelson Wolff Stadium in San Antonio with the wind blowing out to right field, the Missions broke a five-all tie with back-to-back solo home runs to right by the red-hot Graham Pauley and Nathan Martorella to pull ahead in the eighth inning. Efrain Contreras came on in the ninth and, after giving up a run, got the last two batters to give San Antonio their third win against Springfield. … It was a strange game in that three of the Missions’ first five batters hit doubles off former Padres farmhand Brandon Komar before he settled down and retired 15 of the next 16 batters. San Antonio got to him again in the seventh. After a lead-off walk, Michael De La Cruz crushed the first pitch to deep center to tie the game. Ripken Reyes sacrifice bunt put the Missions up by one before the Cardinals evened the score in the top of the eighth. … On the mound, Jairo Iriarte rolled through the first five innings in one of his more impressive starts of the year, allowing a run on a walk and a pair of singles with nine strikeouts through five innings. San Antonio sent him out in the sixth in what would have been his longest start in Double-A, and after allowing a walk, he gave up a home run to right-center to end his evening. He finished the night having thrown 50 of his 75 pitches for strikes. … Jackson Merrill appeared at DH again and has yet to play in the field on the current homestand after he sat out the final four games of the last series with was reportedly a minor hamstring issue. He has one hit in his last 19 plate appearances. … Pauley is having a monster September, hitting .415/.478/.732 in 46 plate appearances with nine extra-base hits, two of them home runs, in nine games. In 19 games with the Missions, he has a batting average of .342 with 13 extra-base hits. On the year, through three levels, the left-handed hitter has hit .311/.396/.544 and 22 stolen bases in 27 attempts in one of the most productive seasons in the minor leagues. Last year, Pauley joined the Storm after being drafted by the Padres from Duke in the 13th round and hit .328 in 17 games, but he had to leave the team early to finish his Economics degree and missed out on Lake Elsinore’s championship run. He’ll get another opportunity to win a championship starting Tuesday in Amarillo.

Posted by John Conniff

John grew up in Poway and has written for MadFriars since 2004. He has written articles for Baseball America, FoxSports San Diego, the El Paso Times, San Antonio Express-News, Amarillo Globe-News, Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette and Pacific Daily News in addition to appearing on numerous radio programs and podcasts. He can also break down the best places to eat for all five of the affiliates. There is no best place to eat in Peoria, Arizona.

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