Hagerty homers to give Triple-A El Paso important win

Chihuahuas 1/2-game behind in PCL division with 5 to play

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

Jason Hagerty, who became Triple-A El Paso's regular catcher earlier in the day when Rocky Gale was promoted to the Padres, homered in the top of the 11th Wednesday night to lead the Chihuahuas to a 2-1 victory at Las Vegas.

The win moved El Paso to within a half-game of Pacific Coast League Pacific Southern Division-leading Las Vegas going into Thursday's finale of a four-game series. Another win would put the Chihuahuas in first place with four games to go in the regular season.

Hagerty (.292) was 3-for-5 with his fourth homer. Shortstop Hector Gomez (.375) was 4-for-5 with a RBI double. Center fielder Rymer Liriano (.287) was 2-for-4 with a walk.

Starting right-hander Chris Smith (3.50 earned run average) allowed one run on three hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.

Right-hander Michael Dimock (1.06 ERA) struck out all four hitters he faced. Right-hander Dale Thayer (2-0, 1.17) walked one with three strikeouts in two otherwise perfect innings. Right-hander Jay Jackson (2.34) pitched a perfect bottom of the 11th for his 13th save.

Meanwhile, low Single-A Fort Wayne suffered a 1-0 loss to Western Michigan at Comstock, Mich., in the opener of a three-game series. The loss reduced Fort Wayne's lead over Western Michigan in the Midwest League's second-half Eastern Division race to three games with five to play.

If the TinCaps win either of the next two games over Western Michigan, they will clinch the second-half division title.
Right-handed TinCaps starter Pete Kelich (2.88 ERA) allowed no runs on four hits and two walks with three strikeouts over six innings. Left-handed reliever Griffin Russell (1-1, 3.38) allowed an unearned run on four hits with two strikeouts in two innings to suffer the loss.First baseman Trae Santos (.266) had two doubles in four at-bats, giving him 33 doubles on the season.

The Padres promotion of Gale, left fielder Alex Dickerson and right-handed reliever Jon Edwards from El Paso Wednesday to replenish their injury-struck ranks created a ripple effect in the farm system.Right-handed pitcher Aaron Northcraft and catcher Robert Kral were promoted to El Paso from Double-A San Antonio and catcher Ryan Miller was promoted to San Antonio from high Single-A Lake Elsinore.

At Fort Wayne, right-handed reliever Nick Monroe was placed on the seven-day disabled list and right-handed reliever Bryan Verbitsky was transferred from Lake Elsinore to Fort Wayne to keep the playoffs-bound TinCaps at full strength.

AROUND THE FARM:

DOUBLE-A SAN ANTONIO (58-77): MISSIONS 11, Midland 1 - 3B Gabriel Quintana (.350) was 2-for-4 with his fourth homer in five games since being promoted to Double-A. Quintana had three RBIs and two runs scored but also committed the error that led to Midland's lone run. 2B Diego Goris (.258) hit a grand slam in five at-bats for his fifth homer of the season. RF Yeison Asencio (.303) was 3-for-5 with a run scored. SS Benji Gonzalez (.240) was 2-for-5 with a RBI and a run scored. 1B Duanel Jones (.233) was 2-for-3 with two walks, a RBI and two runs scored. CF Auston Bousfield (.212) was 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs. Starting RHP Stephen Kohlscheen (2.74 ERA) allowed an unearned run on two hits and a walk with five strikeouts in four innings. RHP Elliot Morris (5-9, 4.97) pitched a perfect fifth. RHPs Genison Reyes (0.00) and Adam Cimber (3.11) each allowed two hits with two strikeouts in two scoreless innings.

HIGH SINGLE-A LAKE ELSINORE (47-88): Rancho Cucamonga 7, STORM 4 - Wil Myers (.167) started at first base and went 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored in his second rahab start with Lake Elsinore. SS Chase Jensen (.281) was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. RF Nick Torres (.286) was 1-for-3 with two walks. Starting RHP Matthew Shepherd (4-11, 5.84 ERA) allowed five runs (four earned) on six hits and four walks with six strikeouts in six innings. LHP Kyle Bartsch (4.02) allowed two runs (pone earned) on two hits with two strikeouts in two innings.

SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A TRI-CITY (38-34): DUST DEVILS 1, Vancouver 0 - Five pitchers combined on a six-hit, 11-strikeout shutout. Starting RHP Brett Kennedy (2.70 ERA) allowed a hit and a walk with two strikeouts in three innings. LHP Will Headean (1-0) allowed two hits with five strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings. RHP Trey Wingenter (15.43) allowed a hit with three strikeouts in 1 1/3 innings. RHP Louis Distasio (3.86) allowed two hits with a strikeout in an inning. RHP Wilson Santos (2.73) pitched a perfect ninth for his second save. 1B Nick Vitter (.230) had a double in two at-bats with a walk and scored the game's lone run. 2B Mitch Morales (.258) was 1-for-3 with a RBI.