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Padres' Cronenworth continues hot stretch

No. 19 prospect homers, extends hitting streak to six games
Jake Cronenworth hit a career-high 10 homers with Triple-A Durham in 2019. (Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
@AndrewAtBatt
August 8, 2020

Jake Cronenworth had hit safely in all but one game coming into this weekend's slate of contests. The Padres' No. 19 prospect continued his hot stretch Friday night. Cronenworth blasted his second home run of the season as part of a two-hit night to lead San Diego to a 3-0

Jake Cronenworth had hit safely in all but one game coming into this weekend's slate of contests. The Padres' No. 19 prospect continued his hot stretch Friday night.

Cronenworth blasted his second home run of the season as part of a two-hit night to lead San Diego to a 3-0 blanking of the D-backs at Petco Park. The first baseman extended his overall hitting streak to six games, upping his average to .360.

With the Padres already up, 1-0, in the second inning, Cronenworth led off the frame and smacked a first-pitch changeup from Luke Weaver over the right field wall for his second dinger in three games.

The 26-year-old came up two innings later against lefty Alex Young and quickly fell into an 0-2 hole before evening the count. On the next pitch, Cronenworth lined a single to right for his second multi-hit game in the Major Leagues. He hit the ball hard to short in the sixth, but grounded out in his final at-bat.

“He’s playing well, defense has been good. His at-bats have been great," manager Jayce Tingler told reporters after the game. "He’s going to continue to play, and as long as he’s playing good defense, being the same person and being a tough out at the plate, what more can you ask for?”

A 2015 seventh-round pick of the Rays, Cronenworth worked his way through the Tampa Bay system and was a midseason All-Star at four Minor League levels. He flourished with Triple-A Durham last year, batting .334/.429/.520 with 41 extra-base hits.

In December, he and Tommy Pham were traded to San Diego for Hunter Renfroe and Xavier Edwards, who became the Rays' No. 4 prospect. While he has not played a Minor League game with the Padres, the University of Michigan product has quickly made his presence felt in his new team's lineup. Through eight games, he has three extra-base knocks and a 1.225 OPS.

Primarily a shortstop in the Minors, Cronenworth has played first for the Padres after logging nine total innings at the position in his professional career. But he's handled the change well and boasts a 1.000 fielding percentage since filling in for the injured Eric Hosmer, who has dealt with gastritis.

“I’m just filling in for Hoz right now, trying to do the best I can,” Cronenworth said. “We hope to get him back, whether it’s [Saturday] or whenever. Just hoping that he’s healthy. It’s just another great bat in our lineup.”

Padres No. 21 prospect Edward Olivares entered in the fifth inning as a pinch-hitter for Abraham Almonte and slugged his first big league homer to right-center field. He struck out in the seventh but has an .807 OPS.

In other action:

White Sox 2, Indians 0

One night after going hitless, Luis Robert got back into the hit column in Chicago's win. The top White Sox prospect drew a leadoff walk and scored when Jose Abreu bounced into a double play. He singled to center field in the sixth inning to break out of an 0-for-8 funk. MLB Pipeline's No. 3 overall prospect has recorded a hit in 12 of 14 games and has a .327/.393/.491 slash line. No. 21 White Sox prospect Danny Mendick went 2-for-3 to up his average to .318 and made a great defensive play at second base. Box score

Rays 1, Yankees 0

Tampa Bay had a bullpen game scheduled against their American League East rival with Blake Snell still easing back into the rotation. Tasked to handle the sixth inning, No. 26 prospect Peter Fairbanks fanned Mike Tauchman, yielded a single to DJ LeMahieu and got Aaron Judge to bounce into an inning-ending double play. The 6-foot-6 right-hander has a 3.60 ERA over five innings this season. Box score

Tigers 17, Pirates 13 (11 innings)

Tigers No. 18 prospect Bryan Garcia blew his first save of the season but recorded his second win in Friday’s marathon. The right-hander was charged with an unearned run on Cole Tucker’s sacrifice fly in the 10th and has a 4.15 ERA across 4 1/3 innings in five appearances. Garcia appeared in seven Major League games last season and has a 2.50 ERA over 115 innings in the Minors. Box score

Orioles 11, Nationals 0

Top Nationals prospect Carter Kieboom got the start at third base and drew a walk in three plate appearances. Through five games, the 22-year-old has gotten on base at a .526 clip. A quiet night at the hot corner, he was 1-for-1 on his defensive chances. Box score

Rockies 8, Mariners 4

After going hitless Monday, Kyle Lewis started a new hit streak and continued it against the Rockies with a knock in his third consecutive game. The M's No. 11 prospect laced a one-out single in the eighth and scored on a double by Austin Nola. He's gotten hits in 13 of 14 games and is batting .375. Box score

Rangers 4, Angels 3

Jonathan Hernández bailed his team out of trouble by recording the final out in the seventh, then struck out the side in the eighth. Texas’ No. 26 prospect has a 2.25 ERA through six appearances. Hernandez, who had not pitched above Double-A, went 5-9 with a 5.16 ERA in 22 games, including 16 starts, in the Texas League last season. Box score

Dodgers 7, Giants 2

Dodgers’ No. 21 prospect Edwin Ríos went deep for the third time this season. The 26-year-old caught hold of a first-pitch slider from Wandy Peralta leading off the eighth and drove it over the fence in right field. It was the only hit in three at-bats for Rios, who's batting .250/.294/.875 with five RBIs in 16 at-bats. No. 17 prospect Dennis Santana worked around Wilmer Flores' solo homer in the sixth. He gave up singles to the first two batters he faced him in the seventh but recorded an out before handing it off to Scott Alexander, who struck out Alex Dickerson and Mike Yastrzemski to end the inning. Box score

A’s 3, Astros 2 (13 innings)

The new extra innings rules aren’t easy on pitchers, but Enoli Paredes had no problem in the spare frames in Oakland. The Astros' No. 14 prospect struck out five in two scoreless innings, keeping the A’s at bay in the 10th and 11th. Paredes yielded a hit and a walk but lowered his ERA to 2.70 in six outings this season. Box score

Andrew Battifarano is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter, @AndrewAtBatt.