Montas wins 12th as Fort Wayne wins division title

Hunter Renfroe has 4 hits in Triple-A El Paso loss

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

Right-hander Ernesto Montas allowed one run over seven innings Friday night as low Single-A Fort Wayne notched a 4-1 win at West Michigan to clinch the second-half Eastern Division title in the Midwest League.

However, Triple-A El Paso suffered a 6-5 loss to Reno, despite four hits by right fielder Hunter Renfroe, to fall a half-game behind Las Vegas in the race for the Pacific Coast League's Pacific South title.

Montas and two relievers combined to hold West Michigan to six hits.

Montas gave up five hits with three strikeouts as he improved to 12-7 with a 3.50 ERA. The 12 wins are the most by a pitcher in the Padres system.

Left-hander Kyle McGrath (1.70 ERA) allowed a hit with a strikeout in a scoreless eighth. Right-hander Colby Blueberg (1.09 ERA) struck out two in a perfect ninth to pick up his Padres' Minor League-leading 21st save.

Third baseman Luis Tejada (.285) was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Catcher Jose Ruiz (.217) was 1-for-3, scored two runs and was hit by a pitch. Shortstop Luis Urias (.291) was 1-for-3 with an RBI and was hit by a pitch as well. DH Franmil Reyes (.247) was 1-for-4 with an RBI. LF Franchy Cordero (.241) was 1-for-4 with a run scored.

The TinCaps are 75-60 overall and 43-24 in the second half. They will return to Comstock Park, Mich., next Wednesday to start the best-of-three first round of the Midwest League playoffs.

At Reno, Renfroe was 4-for-5 with a triple, two RBIs and a run scored to raise his average to .347 with the Chihuahuas. Third baseman Casey McElroy (.270) was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored. Center fielder Rymer Liriano (.292) was 2-for-4 with a triple, a steal and two runs scored. Catcher Jason Hagerty (.294) was 1-for-4 with two RBIs.

But right-handed starter Casey Kelly (1-2, 6.32 ERA) allowed five runs on nine hits and two walks with six strikeouts in five innings.

Right-handed reliever Jerry Sullivan (4.60 ERA) allowed a run on three hits and two walks with a strikeout in two innings. Right-hander Tayron Guerrero (4.20 ERA) struck out the side in the eighth.

El Paso is 72-65 entering a doubleheader tonight in Reno. The Chihuahuas have four games to play, while Las Vegas has three.

Around the farm:

DOUBLE-A SAN ANTONIO (59-78): MISSIONS 2, Midland 1 -- Starting RHP Bryce Morrow (5-3, 4.01 ERA) allowed one run on five hits and a walk with three strikeouts in six innings. RHP Eric Yardley (5.40 ERA) struck out one in two perfect innings. LHP Chris Rearick (0.00 ERA) allowed a hit with two strikeouts in a perfect ninth to pick up his first save for the Missions. 3B Gabriel Quintana (.346) was 1-for-2 and was hit by a pitch for a run scored.

HIGH SINGLE-A LAKE ELSINORE (48-89): VISALIA 8, Storm 4 -- RHP Josh Johnson threw four pitches and allowed a hit to the only hitter he faced in his first rehab appearance. RHP Michael Kelly (0-6, 8.70 ERA) allowed six runs (four earned) on eight hits and two walks with four strikeouts in six innings. RHP Corey Kimber allowed two runs on three hits and two walks with a strikeout in two innings in his first outing since being promoted to the Storm from short-season Class A Tri-City. DH Marcus Davis (.254) was 3-for-5 with a double and two RBIs. 3B River Stevens (.299) was 2-for-5 with two stolen bases and a run scored.

SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A TRI-CITY (40-34): DUST DEVILS 8, Spokane 0 -- Starting RHP Adrian De Horta (2-1, 3.26 ERA) and two relievers combined on a three-hit shutout. De Horta allowed two hits and three walks over six innings. LHP Nathan Foriest (0.00 ERA) struck out two in two perfect innings. RHP Phil Maton (1.38 ERA) allowed a hit with four strikeouts in two innings. SS Peter Van Gansen (.270) was 3-for-4 with a double, two RBIs and three runs scored. CF Rod Boykin (.253) was 3-for-5 with a double, his 19th steal and three runs scored. 1B Ty France (.285) was 2-for-4 with a double, three RBIs and a run scored.