Padres Down on the Farm: May 28 (Lopes HR for EP/Mendez impresses for LE)

Credit: El Paso Times

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Credit: EVT News
The San Diego Padres, minor league affiliates, went 0-4 on Sunday.

Here is a recap of the day’s events.


El Paso Chihuahuas (Lost to Reno Aces 15-6) (23-28 on the season)

Jay Groome: 0.2 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 3 BB, HBP, K (37 pitches, 18 strikes)

Tim Lopes: (2-for-3), R, HR, 2 RBI

Alfonso Rivas: (2-for-5), R, RBI

Luis Liberato: (2-for-3), R, 2B, BB

After a strong spring training, many were surprised when Jay Groome was sent back to AAA El Paso. Groome, who has had his fair share of ups and down as a professional since being drafted in the first round by Boston in 2016, had one of his worst starts of the season Sunday night. The left-hander faced just nine batters, allowing three hits, three walks, in addition to plunking Alek Thomas. Groome was pulled after only getting two outs.

The Chihuahuas bullpen gave up a pair of runs in each of the second, third, and fourth innings, taking a commanding 11-4 lead. Reno had their offense come from everywhere, with eight players picking up multiple hits. Kyle Lewis (rehab stint) and Jorge Barrosa combined for three home runs and nine runs batted in.

El Paso did manage to score four runs off of Reno starter Tyler Gilbert, including a two-run blast from Tim Lopes. The lefty Gilbert, well known for no-hitting the Padres in his MLB debut in 2021 (August 3), struck out three. El Paso had opportunities to get back in the game but managed to go just 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

One bright spot for El Paso is reliever Aaron Brooks who extended his scoreless appearance streak to 11 games. Since April 25, Brooks has allowed just nine hits in 11.2 innings while striking out 11.


San Antonio Missions (Lost to Amarillo Sod Poodles 9-3) (23-22 on the season)

Efrain Contreras: 4 IP, 3 H, 2 R, BB, 7 K (69 pitches, 43 strikes)

Korry Howell: (1-for-4), R, 2B, RBI

Daniel Johnson: (3-for-3), R, BB, SB

Michael De La Cruz: (2-for-4), 2B, RBI

What started as a competitive game got away from the Missions late when Amarillo plated five runs in the eighth inning and secured a 9-3 victory in the series finale. Efrain Contreras started on the bump for San Antonio, and he rolled early, retiring the first seven Sod Poodle hitters, four of whom struck out swinging. Contreras would strike out seven on the day in four innings, giving up two runs.

Daniel Johnson started the bottom of the fourth with a single and stole second base. Korry Howell and Michael De La Cruz followed with back-to-back doubles to give San Antonio the lead, 3-2. The Sod Poodles responded by scoring seven unanswered runs. Jose Espada, who had arguably been San Antonio’s most reliable arm out of the pen’ gave up four runs in 2.2 innings in a relief, all in the eighth inning.


Fort Wayne TinCaps (Lost to Lansing Lugnuts 2-1) (19-26 on the season)

Victor Lizarraga: 4 IP, 5 H, 2 R, HBP, 3 K (61 pitches, 40 strikes)

Joshua Mears: (1-for-3), RBI

Jackson Merrill: (2-for-4)

Marcos Castanon: (1-for-4), 2B

Fort Wayne’s winning streak snapped Sunday, but it wasn’t due to a lack of quality pitching. The TinCaps have allowed three or fewer runs now in 10 of their last 13 games dating back to May 14. San Diego native Victor Lizarraga pitched four innings, striking out three. He allowed a run in the first and third innings but was otherwise effective. The TinCaps bullpen combined for five shutout innings between Ruben Galindo, Jose Geraldo, and Raul Brito.

For most of the game, Fort Wayne’s offense was held at bay. Lugnuts starter Christian Fernandez pitched five innings, striking out six. Three of the four hits Fernandez allowed came in the fifth inning. With two-on, two-out, Joshua Mears singled to left to make it 2-1. Mears has now driven in a run in each of his last seven games.

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Lake Elsinore Storm (Lost to Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 3-2) (23-19 on the season)

Miguel Mendez: 4 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K (73 pitches, 46 strikes)

Samuel Zavala: (1-for-4), RBI

Nick Vogt: (1-for-3), R, 2B, SB

Devin Ortiz: (1-for-3), R

After consecutive games with the offensive dueling, it was the pitching that shined Sunday afternoon at LoanMart Field in Rancho Cucamonga. For the Quakes, Jared Karros continued his excellent season with four shutout innings lowering his ERA to 1.86 in eight outings this season. For Lake Elsinore, Miguel Mendez also went four innings, striking out five. Mendez allowed his first run of the season in the fourth inning. After doubling to lead off the inning, Kyle Nevin came around to score on a fielder’s choice.

In the top of the eighth inning, Nick Vogt led off with a double, Lake Elsinore’s first hit of the game. He proceeded to steal third base and then scored on a throwing error from Quakes catcher Jesus Galiz, tying the game. Rancho Cucamonga added two insurance runs in the bottom half to retake the lead. With two outs in the ninth inning, Samuel Zavala singled to center to cut the deficit to just a run. The magic ended there, though, falling 3-2.


Tuesday’s Probables:

El Paso: TBD

San Antonio: TBD

Fort Wayne: TBD

Lake Elsinore: TBD

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