Chihuahuas 5, Albuquerque Isotopes 4
Key Statistics: LF Nick Buss, 2-for-4, 2B, RS; C Rocky Gale, 2-for-4, 2B, BB, 2 RS; 3B Christian Villanueva, 1-for-3, RS, HR (6), BB, RBI; 2B River Stevens, 2-for-4, RS, RBI; RHP Bryan Rodriguez, 6 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, BB, K; LHP Keith Hessler (W, 2-1) 2 IP, 2 H, ER, 2 K; RHP Phil Maton (S, 13) IP, H, K.
Prospect Watch: El Paso fell behind 3-0 in the first before scoring two in the ninth to earn the win ... Third baseman Christian Villanueva socked his sixth homer of 2017 in the El Paso victory Thursday. The former Cub prospect has an eight-game hitting streak going currently and has only struck out four times in his last 35 at-bats. Overall, the third baseman has a very good .307/.352/.510 slash line ... RHP Phil Maton nailed down the ninth for his PCL-leading 13th save Thursday, pitching a spotless ninth. The righty has been dominant for the Chihuahuas and has not allowed a run in any of his last nine outings. Maton is averaging 11.16 K’s per nine innings, showing that his fastball is playing at an advanced level. The former Louisiana Tech hurler has to be on the radar for a promotion to the Padres soon, especially with as bad as their bullpen has performed.
Midland RockHounds 6, Missions 5
Key Statistics: SS Jose Rondon, 2-for-4, BB; 3B Ty France, 2-for-5, 2B, RS, RBI; 2B Luis Urias, 1-for-4, BB; LHP Christian Friedrich, 2.1 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, BB, 2 K; LHP Jerry Keel (L, 1-2) 5 IP, 2 H, ER, 2 BB, 5 K.
Prospect Watch: Rehabbing big leaguer Christian Friedrich was roughed up in his first rehab appearance but ultimately did not factor in the decision. The lefty allowed five earned runs and six hits in just 2.1 innings. Friedrich figures to get a few more tune-up starts as he works toward getting back to Petco Park ... LHP Jerry Keel pitched the final five innings and took the loss, despite pitching well. The big lefty struck out five in five innings. Keel has been quite impressive in three outings in San Antonio, perhaps showing that he should be on the radar as a legitimate prospect. The former CS Northridge southpaw has allowed just two earned runs in 17.2 innings for the Missions. He is also averaging a strikeout for every inning pitched in a limited sample with San Antonio ... Add two more hits to the ledger for Ty France, who continues to impress with his performance. The infielder has been an on-base machine throughout his tenure in the system but he has flashed more power in San Antonio while walking less. The 22-year-old is hitting .376/.410/.602 with three homers in 25 games for the Missions.
Storm 3, Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 1
Key Statistics: RF Edwin Moreno, 3-for-4. 3B, 2 RBI; 3B Ruddy Giron, 2-for-3, RS; RHP Jacob Nix, 7 IP, 6 H, ER, 7 K; LHP Jose Castillo (W, 2-2) IP, BB, 2 K; RHP Jose Ruiz (S, 2) IP, K.
Prospect Watch: The Storm took the lead with a three-run eighth and won the opening game of their homestand ... RHP Jacob Nix dominated the Dodgers’ affiliate, pitching seven spectacular innings, allowing just a solo homer and six hits in seven innings. The righty showed outstanding command of his fastball and touched 96 mph on several occasions. The top prospect missed most of the first two months with an injury but has looked good in his return to the rotation. Nix has a 3.00 ERA in his first three starts of 2017 ... Outfielder Edwin Moreno was the offensive star for the Storm with three hits, including a triple Thursday night. The 23-year-old outfielder doesn’t walk but has some power and has four triples on the year. He and Michael Gettys have been the only outfielders to produce on a consistent basis in 2017.
Roster update: The Storm sent INF/OF Nate Easley back to Fort Wayne and OF Tyler Selesky was brought up from extended spring training.
Easley, 21, has hit .143/.236/.224 in 15 games between Fort Wayne and Lake Elsinore this season. He played mostly second base last year for Tri-City but has seen action in the outfield this season.
Selesky, 23, was signed last year as an undrafted free agent out of Florida Gulf Coast. Selesky has bounced around, seeing two different assignments to Fort Wayne. The left-handed swinging outfielder is hitting .261/.400/.304 in nine games with Fort Wayne this season.
TinCaps 7, Lake County Captains 3
Key Statistics: RF Jorge Oña, 2-for-3, RS, RBI; C A.J. Kennedy, 1-for-2, 3 RBI; DH Marcus Greene Jr., 1-for-3, 2 RS, 2B, RBI; RHP Hansel Rodriguez (W, 2-6) 5 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, BB, 8 K; RHP Jim McDade (S, 1) 4 IP, 5 K.
Prospect Watch: The TinCaps used a six-run fourth inning to cruise to a victory ... Midwest League All-Star Jorge Oña had a pair of singles and drove in a run in the victory. The Cuban outfielder is seventh in the Midwest League with a .317 average and has been the most consistent player for Fort Wayne this season. While power hasn’t been a major part of the teenager’s game, his bat-to-ball skills have been impressive ... RHP Hansel Rodriguez struck out a season-high eight batters and earned his second win of the season. The former Toronto farmhand has had a very inconsistent season but his fastball has looked dominant at times. The righty was solid in April but struggled in May. After a brief stint in extended spring training, the righty has returned to the TinCaps’ rotation. He should get plenty of opportunities to show he is worthy of prospect status this spring.
Roster Move: The TinCaps sent 17-year-old Eguy Rosario back to extended spring training, with Nate Easley taking his spot on the roster.
Rosario received a surprise assignment to the Midwest League but struggled to get anything going and hit just .206/.296/.278 in 50 games. With short-season ball starting next week, Rosario could end up playing in Tri-City.