Kelich, Herrera turn in strong starts on the farm

20-year-old right-hander leads Double-A San Antonio to 8-1 win

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

Right-handed starter Pete Kelich and three relievers combined for a four-hit shutout for Class A Fort Wayne on Wednesday night, and 20-year-old right-hander Ronald Herrera allowed one run on four hits over eight innings for Double-A San Antonio.

Herrera, a native of Venezuela, is 2-0 with a 5.32 ERA in four starts with the Missions since being promoted from Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore. He issued two walks and struck out eight in the Missions (51-65) 8-1 win at Northwest Arkansas.

Right-hander Cody Hebner (2.08 ERA) allowed a walk with a strikeout in a hitless ninth to close out the win.

Left fielder Yeison Asencio (.306), the hottest hitter in the Padres' farm system, was 3-for-5 for San Antonio with two RBIs and a run scored. Asencio is hitting .500 (22-for-44) over the last 10 games with 12 RBIs.

At Fort Wayne, Kelich, who was transferred to the TinCaps earlier this week from a rehab assignment with the Arizona Rookie Padres, allowed three hits and a walk with two strikeouts in five innings in his first start of the season in Fort Wayne.

Left-hander Taylor Cox (4.01) followed Kelich and allowed a hit and a walk in 1 2/3 scoreless innings. Right-hander T.J. Weir (3.55) struck out one in a perfect 1 1/3 innings. Right-hander Yimmi Brasoban (2.40) struck out one in a perfect ninth for his eighth save.

Second baseman Josh Van Meter (.250) was 1-for-3 with walk and a run scored. Designated hitter Ruddy Giron (.298) was 1-for-4 with a RBI. Luis Urias (.336) was 0-for-4 at shortstop instead of second. It appears the TinCaps are going to rotate 18-year-olds Giron and Urias and Van Meter -- who has returned less than four months after suffering a broken leg -- between short, second and the designated-hitter slots.

The win was Fort Wayne's fourth straight overall and ninth straight at home.

There were three moves in the Padres' system Wednesday. Infielder Casey McElroy was transferred from Triple-A El Paso to San Antonio. And the Chihuahuas signed infielder Hector Gomez as a free agent and added catcher Tim Federowicz to their roster after he was outrighted by the Padres.

Around the farm

TRIPLE-A EL PASO (60-57): Las Vegas 7, CHIHAUHUAS 1. Pinch-hitter Jake Goebbert homered in the ninth to break up a shutout. Starting LHP Jason Lane (8-8, 5.80 ERA) allowed four runs on four hits and a walk with four strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings.

CLASS A ADVANCED LAKE ELSINORE (43-72): Bakersfield 8, STORM 3. DH Marcus Davis (.249) was 2-for-3 with two RBIs. RF Nick Torres (.303) had a double and triple in four at-bats with a RBI and two runs scored. RHP Rafael De Paula (4.85) allowed a walk with three strikeouts in two innings.

SHORT-SEASON CLASS A TRI-CITY (29-23): DUST DEVILS 4, Boise 3 (10 innings). CF Justin Pacchioli (.254) drove in the decisive run in the walk-off win and finished 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, a stolen base, a RBI and a run scored. Starting LHP Jose Castillo (3.18 ERA) allowed an unearned run on five hits and two walks with four strikeouts in four innings.

ARIZONA ROOKIE PADRES (16-25): 1B Brad Zunica (.284) hit his fifth homer, a two-run shot, in three at-bats. RHP Joel Linares (3-3, 4.03) allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits and a walk with four strikeouts in five innings.

DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE PADRES (28-35): PADRES 4, Orioles 1. 1B Leudy Molina (.242) was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. RF Jose Sotillo (.296) was 2-for-2 with two walks and a run scored. 3B Felix Suarez (.233) was 2-for-4 with a run scored. Starting RHP Dari Lopez (2.76 ERA) gave up a hit and a walk with six strikeouts in three scoreless innings. RHP Juan Arias (3.22) issued a walk with two strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings for his fifth save.