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Padres' Morejon unhittable in return to mound

Club's No. 7 prospect deals three hitless frames in 2020 debut
Adrian Morejon's first outing of the year marked his sixth appearance (and third start) in the Major Leagues. (Tony Gutierrez/AP)
August 19, 2020

Adrian Morejon took the mound Tuesday for his first big league appearance of 2020 and his first appearance in a live game -- either the Majors or the Minors -- in over a year. But after his performance, the left-hander probably won’t have to wait long to see the mound

Adrian Morejon took the mound Tuesday for his first big league appearance of 2020 and his first appearance in a live game -- either the Majors or the Minors -- in over a year. But after his performance, the left-hander probably won’t have to wait long to see the mound again.

The Padres’ seventh-ranked prospect dealt three hitless frames as the starting pitcher in their 6-4 victory over the Rangers at Globe Life Park. He struck out four and walked one, the lone blemish on his otherwise spotless day.

Morejon hadn’t recorded a pitch since last Aug. 6 after a shoulder injury sent him to the Injured List and eventually led to him being shut down for the year. But he’d been working out at the team’s alternate site at the University of San Diego since the season began, and according to Padres skipper Jayce Tingler, likely isn’t heading back soon.

"All I know is this: He continues to throw the ball like that, there will be roles for him, whether that's coming out of the 'pen or another start," Tingler told "Because that's exactly what we needed. That was power stuff, that was swing-and-miss, that was aggressive, that was a good tempo. It was everything we're looking for."

Morejon hit the ground running, striking out Shin-Soo Choo and Danny Santana back-to-back to start the bottom of the first inning. He retired three more before issuing a free pass to Isiah Kiner-Falefa, but got Derek Dietrich to ground out to end the inning. In the third, the 21-year-old struck out Scott Heinemann and induced groundouts from Jeff Mathis and Choo to cap his start.

The outing was Morejon’s sixth in The Show -- he made two starts and three relief appearances in 2019. His second go-around has gotten off on a better foot, he posted a 10.13 ERA last season after allowing nine runs in eight innings.

Over five years in the Minors, Morejon logged a 3.78 ERA across five different levels. He never pitched at Triple-A, posting a 4.25 ERA over 16 starts with Double-A Amarillo in 2019 before getting called to the Majors in July.

Following Morejon was San Diego's No. 27 prospect Javy Guerra, who was pegged for four runs -- three earned -- without recording an out in the fourth. Veteran Craig Stammen steadied the ship with two one-hit frames to set up third-ranked Luis Patiño, who walked three and struck out one in the sixth, but escaped unscathed and without allowing a hit.

Offensively, No. 19 Jake Cronenworth stayed red-hot season by going 2-for-3 with a double, a walk and a run scored. The rookie is batting .321/.387/.607 on the year.

No. 26 Rangers prospect Jonathan Hernández threw a perfect eighth, striking out two. His ERA sits at 1.28.

In other action:

Nationals 8, Braves 5

Luis Garcia followed up his historic home run Monday night with his first three-hit game in the Majors. Washington’s No. 2 prospect singled three times, walked and scored once while No. 11 Seth Romero worked around a hit in two-thirds of an inning. Top Braves prospect Cristian Pache, who was promoted earlier in the day, did not play. Box score

Giants 8, Angels 2

Los Angeles’ top prospect Jo Adell went 1-for-3 with a walk. His lone hit was a fourth-inning single, but he was thrown out trying to steal second to end the frame.’s No. 6 overall prospect is batting .200/.243/.200 through 10 games as a big leaguer. Box score

Blue Jays 8, Orioles 7 (10 innings)

Toronto's No. 1 prospect Nate Pearson gave up five runs in his four-inning start, allowing four hits and three walks while striking out three. The No. 9 overall prospect sports a 6.61 ERA over his first four big league starts. No. 22 Anthony Alford went 1-for-4 and scored a run, and No. 23 Santiago Espinal went 2-for-4 with a run. Box score

Phillies 13, Red Sox 6

Alec Bohm continued to prove he belongs in the big leagues. Philadelphia's top prospect went 2-for-3 with two walks and crossed the plate once on a homer by Jay Bruce. Bohm also made a dazzling play at third base. Called up to make his big league debut less than a week ago, Bohm is batting .353/.450/.471 with three runs. Box score

Cubs 6, Cardinals 3

Dylan Carlson singled in four at-bats, and the top Cardinals prospect has gone 3-for-21 in his first six Major League games. No. 28 prospect Seth Elledge recorded both of his outs via the strikeout but allowed two hits, including a two-run homer to Kyle Schwarber, and two walks. Top Cubs prospect Nico Hoerner entered the game as a defensive replacement in the eighth and did not bat. Box score

D-backs 10, A’s 1

Sean Murphy extended his hitting streak to six games with a second-inning double for Oakland’s only run. The No. 2 A’s prospect has increased his average 58 points to .234 since Aug. 10. Third-ranked D-backs prospect Daulton Varsho went hitless in three at-bats. Box score

Indians 6, Pirates 3 (10 innings)

James Karinchak’s Minor League success continues to translate to the big leagues. The No. 16 Cleveland prospect retired all four batters he faced, striking out two. Karinchak has an 0.71 ERA, a 0.71 WHIP and a 24-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 12 2/3 innings. Box score

Rays 6, Yankees 3

Yankees No. 17 prospect Nick Nelson provided three stout innings of relief after starter Masahiro Tanaka got tagged for six runs -- five earned -- in four innings. The right-hander allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out two over three frames. He lowered his ERA to 7.04 in his third appearance of the year and in the big leagues as a whole. Box score

Astros 2, Rockies 1 (11 innings)

Enoli Paredes followed starter Zack Greinke with a perfect inning of relief. The No. 14 Astros prospect fanned two and has surrendered one run over his past five appearances. Third-ranked Abraham Toro went 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. Rockies No. 12 prospect Sam Hilliard was hitless in three at-bats and walked. Box score

White Sox 10, Tigers 4

After homering twice last night, top White Sox prospect Luis Robert went 0-for-3 and left late in the game with a sore hand. (X-rays later proved to be negative.) Robert was replaced by No. 13 prospect Luis Gonzalez, who made his big league debut and was hit by a pitch and scored. No. 19 Danny Mendick went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run. No. 27 Codi Heuer threw two-thirds of an inning of spotless relief, and No. 17 Zack Burdi gave up two runs -- one earned -- in one frame. Fifth-ranked Detroit prospect Tarik Skubal experienced a rocky big league debut. The left-hander was shelled for four runs on seven hits and a walk in two innings, and his night ended after 52 pitches. He was promoted Monday along with No. 2 Casey Mize , who will start Wednesday. Also called up was sixth-ranked Isaac Paredes, who went hitless but drew a walk against the White Sox. No. 7 Willi Castro entered the game as a pinch-runner and scored. Box score

Twins 4, Brewers 3 (12 innings)

Minnesota's No. 26 prospect Jorge Alcala picked up the first win of his Major League career with two stellar innings of relief. The right-hander allowed one hit and one walk over two frames, closing out a 12-inning epic in which Kenta Maeda carried a no-hit bid into the ninth. Box score

Jordan Wolf is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter: @byjordanwolf.