Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.
Abraham Almonte's promotion to the Padres on Saturday gave another center-field prospect a chance to resume his career. Rico Noel, who has been in extended spring camp transitioning to a switch-hitter, made his debut with Triple-A El Paso over the weekend and went 4-for-7 with an RBI in his first two games.
Noel, 26, was San Diego's fifth-round pick in the 2010 Draft. He hit .258 with 32 steals for El Paso last season. Noel had 90 steals for Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore in 2012, hitting .270. In '13, he led the Texas League with 59 steals while hitting .266 for Double-A San Antonio.
Noel was 3-for-4 with a RBI in his second game Sunday as the Chihuahuas defeated Las Vegas at El Paso to take a 2-1 lead in the series between the top two teams in the Pacific Coast League's Pacific South Division.
The Chihuahuas overcame a 2-0 deficit with three runs in the bottom of the ninth for their first walk-off win of the season. The win brought 19-12 El Paso to within two games of division-leading Las Vegas. El Paso has the third-best record in the 16-team PCL.
Left fielder Tommy Medica (.275) was 2-for-3 with a double, a steal and a run. Shortstop Ramiro Pena (.293) was 2-for-4 and also scored a run in the ninth. Pinch-hitter Alex Dickerson (.333) had an RBI single and scored the winning run on an infield grounder by right fielder Rymer Liriano.
Left-hander Jason Lane (4.60 ERA) allowed two runs on six hits and five walks in six innings. Right-hander Nick Vincent (0.87 ERA) struck out the side in a perfect seventh. And right-hander Cory Mazzoni (1-0, 0.63 ERA) allowed a hit and a walk with four strikeouts in two scoreless innings to get the win.
Around the farm
Double-A San Antonio (14-16): Missions 6, Corpus Christi 5. RHP Michael Domock (2-0, 1.35 ERA) allowed his first earned runs of the season but picked the win in relief. He gave up two runs on four hits in 1 1/3 innings. RHP Zack Segovia (5.74 ERA) allowed three runs on five hits with six strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings. RHP Tayron Guerrero (4.76 ERA) got the last out to get his second save. LF Alberth Martinez (.286) was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk with three RBIs. 3B Diego Goris (.278) was 2-for-3 with a walk and a steal.
Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore (15-16): Lancaster 9, Storm 8. SS Jose Rondon (.298) was 3-for-5 with two doubles, an RBI and three runs. 2B Fernando Perez (.252) homered. CF Auston Bousfield (.291) was 2-for-5 with a triple, a steal and two RBIs. RHP Kyle Lloyd (4.74 ERA) allowed five runs on seven hits and a walk in four innings. RHP Eric Yardley (0-1, 3.75 ERA) blew the save and suffered the loss, allowing two runs on four hits in one-third of an inning.
Class A Fort Wayne (10-17): The Midwest League had Mother's Day off.