Tucson defeats Las Vegas 8-5
First baseman Anthony Rizzo returned to the lineup, pacing the T-Padres’ offense on the way to a series victory over the Blue Jays’ top affiliate. After missing two games with a sore wrist, the hot-hitting first baseman went 3-for-5, coming up just a triple short of a cycle. He blasted his 16th homer of the year in the seventh to reclaim the PCL lead with a .735 slugging percentage.
Starter Jeremy Hefner wasn’t particularly pretty, but held the 51s in check to claim his second straight victory. The big righty surrendered just two runs over six innings for his third consecutive quality start, but he five hits and four walks against just one strikeout in the process. On the season, he sports a 41:19 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 56.2 innings.
Recently acquired Steve Tolleson got his first homer for the club en route to a 3-for-5 line. The 27-year-old infielder, who was originally a fifth-round pick of the Twins, has been at third base for Tucson, but offers flexibility around the infield.
Will Venable’s struggles continued, going 0-for-5 with a strikeout. He was hitless in the series.
San Antonio defeats Arkansas 6-5
The Missions rallied for three runs in the bottom of the ninth to claim their third straight walk-off victory over the Travellers. While the night before ended on a blast deep into the stands, Friday’s win was sealed with back-to-back RBI walks to Sawyer Carroll and Eddy Rodriguez.
James Darnell led the offense with a pair of doubles and his 11th homer of the year, a three-run shot in the first. After going seven games without an extra-base hit, the third baseman had seen his slugging percentage dip all the way down to fourth in the Texas League, but bounced back up to a .647 mark. He remains second on the circuit with a .465 on-base percentage.
Jorge Reyes gave up three runs on five hits and three walks over five innings, striking out five to keep his season strikeout rate at one per inning. The righty from Oregon State has issued two or more free passes in five of his 11 starts on the season.
Elsinore falls to Inland Empire 9-7
Chris Fetter and Robert Lara were tagged for six runs in the fifth inning and the Storm never got back into the game as they had their four game winning streak snapped. Lara, working for the third time since he was called up from extended last week, surrendered two and allowed one inherited runner to score, but then bounced back to two pitch two additional innings without allowing another runner.
Reymond Fuentes went 2-for-3 with a pair of walks and three runs scored, but has gone 11 games without an extra-base hit. The fleet centerfielder swiped two more bags on the night, victimizing the 66ers for five stolen bases in the series.
Jonathan Valdez, who continues to split his time between second and shortstop, collected two hits and a pair of stolen bases as well. The 20-year-old has reached base in six of his last seven contests, sporting a .419 on-base percentage over the last 10. On the year, he’s been successful on 18 of 20 stolen base attempts.
Fort Wayne defeats Kane County 5-0
Adys Portillo turned in the performance Padres fans have been waiting for all year, allowing just one hit and a pair of walks over five innings of work, while hold the Cougars scoreless and striking out eight. The innings and strikeout totals were season highs as he claimed his first Midwest League victory. After a rocky start to the year, the high-profile 2008 international signee, who is still just 19 years old, has surrendered two runs over 13 innings in his last three starts posting 19 strikeouts in the process. While he continues to walk to many – eight in those three games and 25 total in 35.2 innings this year – the raw talent is starting to convert to success on the field.
Also on a hot spurt recently, 20-year-old outfielder Rymer Liriano collected a single and two walks, extending his on-base streak to 13 games. Over that stretch, he sports a .463 on-base percentage, striking out nine times against eight walks. He also continues his exceptional work on the bases, swiping nine, while getting caught only twice during the run.
Connor Powers made his season debut after Tommy Medica was placed on the disabled list with a separated shoulder. Powers, a 21st-round pick out of Mississippi State last year, went 1-for-4 with a two-run double.