Madfriars' Daily Farm Report: August 31

The TinCaps locked up a playoff spot and still have a chance to claim the second-half division title, but both Eugene and Lake Elsinore were eliminated from the playoffs Friday night. The Padres got good news from Andrew Cashner's final rehab start in Tucson and San Antonio showed some spirit as they play out the season.

Reno 7 Tucson 2

Key Stats: RHP Cashner 4 IP, 4H, 3ER, 2, 1BB; 1B Carroll 1-4, HR;

In his third and final rehab appearance for Tucson, Padres righty Andrew Cashner extended to four innings, giving up three earned runs on four hits and a walk. The 25-year-old threw 56 pitches, 37 for strikes and recorded eight ground-ball outs, including one double play ball.

Sawyer Carroll continued his recent hot hitting, knocking his seventh homer of the season and second of the road trip. The 26-year-old Kentucky Wildcat is 8-for-18 during his five game hitting streak. Dan Robertson collected a pair of singles to extend his hitting streak to 13 and to nudge his season batting average back up to .303.

San Antonio 4 Midland 2

Key Stats: RF C. Decker 1-4, HR (25); 1B Freiman 2-2, 2B, HBP, BB

Mark Hardy and a trio of Missions relievers combined to keep the RockHounds mostly in check as San Antonio finished off a stretch of five games against Midland with a 2-3 record.

As has been the case so much of the season, Nate Freiman and Cody Decker provided most of the offense. Freiman finished the game 2-for-2 with a double, walk and was hit by a pitch. Decker, hitting behind him in the lineup, launched his 25th homer of the year to drive in a pair to get the Missions on the board in the first inning.

Starter Mark Hardy worked three scoreless innings in his final appearance of the year. The Canadian lefty had six solid appearances for the Missions on the year, posting a 2.65 ERA over 17 innings. In all, at four levels, the 24-year-old posted a 4.71 in 70 innings, striking out 68 against 17 walks.

The Missions host Corpus Christi for their final series of the year starting Saturday.

Inland Empire 2 Lake Elsinore 1

Key Stats: IF Miller 3-5, 2B; CF Noel 1-3, BB, SB

The 66ers eliminated the Storm from the playoff hunt with a pair of unearned runs in the top of the first inning Friday night. With the loss, Elsinore falls four behind Lancaster for the final playoff spot with three games remaining.

The Storm committed a pair of errors in the first frame and Chris Fetter gave up two doubles to give IE an early lead. The giant righty got on track after that, but the Storm offense never did, stranding 10 runners on the night.

Justin Miller, whose error at first base put the leadoff runner on, was strong at the plate once again, going 3-for-5 with a double. The right-handed hitter sports a 316/392/483 line over 89 games in the Cal League. Casey McElroy added a double and a walk, making a nice surge at the end of the season. After demolishing High-A for his first month, he had faded earlier in the month. But a recent hot streak has pushed his season line back to 329/406/466.

Fort Wayne 7 West Michigan 0

Key Stats: CF Jankowski 3-4, 2R; C Hedges 2-4, 2RBI; 3B Jones 2-4, 2B, 2 E (33); RHP Cabrera 5.1IP, 2H, 0R, 2K, 2BB

The TinCaps clinched a playoff spot with an impressive 7-0 victory over West Michigan. The club still has three games remaining to try to overtake Lake County for the second-half division title, but will at worst claim the wild card to make the playoffs for the fourth straight year.

Starter Erik Cabrera turned in his best appearance since arriving from the Dominican Summer League at the start of the month. The 22-year-old righty worked 5.1 scoreless innings, giving up only two hits along the way. After two rough appearances when he first got stateside, the Dominican native have given up only one earned run over 15.2 innings in his last three appearances.

Supplemental pick Travis Jankowski continued his torrid streak at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored in the leadoff slot. The 21-year-old center fielder has hit in 14 straight games and hit .327 in August, although he drew only five walks with eight extra-base hits in the process.

Duanel Jones and Austin Hedges each had a pair of hits in the victory. Hedges, who turned 20 earlier in the month, hit 346/369/487 for August, and has turned in a strong offensive performance in his first professional season despite the questions about his bat coming out of last year's draft.

Spokane 3 Eugene 1

Key Stats: LHP Marcano 5.2IP, 6H, 3ER, 7K, 1BB; LF Baltz 1-3, HR (5), BB

Eugene played their way out of the playoffs in the season finale as they lost to Spokane 3-1 while Vancouver won to take the second-half title. Eugene finished the year 47-28, but just missed the top spot in both halves of the campaign, and will not be in the four-team playoff.

The Ems managed only four hits in the contest, including Jeremy Baltz's fifth homer of the year. The right-handed slugger from St. John's finished the season with a surge, going .359/.432/.692 over the final 10 games over the season.

Starter Juan Mercano took the loss as he wrapped up his first campaign in the Padres organization. The 22-year-old Venezuelan missed most of the previous two seasons in the Yankees system before signing as a free agent in January. The lefty surrendered three runs in 5.2 innings Friday, but did strike out seven in the game. On the year, he posted a 3.03 ERA and whiffed 62 hitters against just 13 walks in 65.1 innings to assure himself a shot at the Ft. Wayne rotation next spring.

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