Colorado Springs Sky Sox 4, Chihuahuas 2
Key Stats: RHP Tyrell Jenkins 6.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 K; CF Rafael Ortega 2-4, CS; 3B Diego Goris 1-3, 3B, RBI; SS Dusty Coleman 1-3, 2B, RBI.
Prospect Watch: LF Nick Buss is about a week shy of playing in his 1000th minor league game. Despite that ominous number the 30 year-old is having statistically his best season in the minors. He is hitting .366/.420/.521 in 26 games for the Chihuahuas. During that span he has struck out just ten times compared to his 13 RBI. Buss is struggling as of late going 3-20, but still leads the team in most offensive categories (as Jabari Blash doesn’t qualify). Speaking of Jabari Blash the power hitting outfielder once again showed that he is a man of three true outcomes; strikeout, walk, or extra-base hit. In this game he had two strikeouts, a walk, and a ground out. He is now striking out in thirty percent of his plate appearances this season. On the plus side this is his first strikeout since being sent down to El Paso on May 10th (had gone eight walks and no strikeouts during that time)
Missions 5, Corpus Christi Hooks 3
Key Statistics: RHP Brett Kennedy 5.1 IP, 7 H, ER, 5 K; SS Luis Urias 1-4, 2B, 2 RS, BB; CF Nick Schulz 2-4, 2B, RBI, SB (5); LF Alberth Martinez 3-3, HR (5), 3 RBI, BB.
Prospect Watch: After a horrific start to the year Brett Kennedy has become one of the Missions most dependable starters. In the month of May (4 starts), Kennedy has allowed just four runs on 18 hits in 23.1 innings striking out 21. He is also 3-1 with a 1.54 ERA in that span. The biggest difference is locating his pitches. He struggled with fastball command in his first few starts causing more walks (nine in 14.1 innings) and harder contact (.339 BAA). When the month flipped so did Brett, as he has found his command and pitched like he did throughout most of last year… Weird stat of the night. Alberth Martinez has only played in San Antonio for the last three years. In fact the only time he played in Triple-A was in 2011 (in Tucson) before he went on to be one of the best players in the AZL hitting .354/.394/.593 that year. The good news is this is the quickest he has ever hit five home runs, and also his best number to start off a season. The now 26 year-old has been in the Padres system for eight years and has yet to be given a real shot in Triple-A.
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 5, Storm 2
Key Statistics: RHP Pedro Avila 4.1 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 10 K; DH Josh Naylor 2-3, 2B, RBI, BB; LF Yuniel Flores 3-4, 2 2B.
Prospect Watch: You know it is going to be a tough night for any pitcher when rehabbing major leaguers are in the opposing lineup. It further doesn’t help when they are Logan Forsythe (1-2, BB, RS) and Adrian Gonzalez (3-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI). RHP Pedro Avila tried his best, and set a career high (in the States) for strikeouts in a game with 10. However it was his fourth time in five starts this season that Avila failed to complete five innings. Avila threw 94 pitches in his 4.1 innings. He was removed after a strikeout, error, and single had two on with one out and Adrian Gonzalez coming to the plate. LHP Jose Castillo came in to face the lefty, but unfortunately AGon was strong enough to send a blooper over the 2B head allowing a run to score. Avila did strike out the side in the first, working around a Forsythe single, and striking out Adrian… SS Javier Guerra committed an error and went 0-4 with four strikeouts.
TinCaps 6, Lansing Lugnuts 4
Key Stats: RHP Austin Smith 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 K; DH Fernando Tatis Jr 2-4, 2B, RS, RBI, BB; 3B Hudson Potts 2-4, 2B, RBI; RF Jorge Ona 1-3, RBI, SF.
Prospect Watch: Its hard not to continue to talk about Fernando Tatis Jr and Hudson Potts. Both players had two more hits and a double today. In the last three games Potts has raised his batting average from .205 to .252 and has seen his OPS go up 145 points (still only at .659). Tatis also has eight hits in the last three games, riding a 12-game hitting streak and saw his OPS go up another 15 points today (.813)… Three runs in five innings isn’t always a win for some pitchers, but for Austin Smith it was one of his better starts this year. He did a good job of pitching out of jams, even if they were self-inflicted. He loaded the bases in the fifth with a walk, hit, and hit-by-pitch, but was able to strike out the final two batters he faced to leave the bases loaded. All told Smith threw 90 pitches (53 strikes) in five innings with only one clean inning.
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Full box scores for the night are available from MiLB.