Fort Wayne eliminated as Padres affiliate swept

Renfroe, Middlebrooks homer for Triple-A El Paso

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

Fort Wayne was eliminated from the low Single-A Midwest League playoffs Thursday night while Triple-A El Paso and short-season Single-A Tri-City was pushed to the brink of elimination.

West Michigan scored a 2-1 win over the TinCaps in Fort Wayne to win the best 2-of-3 Midwest League quarterfinal series 2-0.

Despite solo homers from right fielder Hunter Renfroe and third baseman Will Middlebrooks, El Paso lost 5-4 at Fresno. The Chihuahuas are down 0-2 in the best 3-of-5 Pacific Coast League semifinals as the series shifts to Southwest University Park in El Paso for Friday night's third game.

Hillsboro scored in the bottom of the eighth to defeat Tri-City 2-1 in the opener of the best 2-of-3 Northwest League finals in Oregon. The series resumes Saturday night with the first of two possible games in Pasco, Wash.

Right fielder Franmil Reyes (.286) was 2-for-4 and scored Fort Wayne's only run Thursday night on a single by center fielder Michael Gettys (.125). Second baseman Josh Van Meter (.500) was 2-for-4 with a double. Designated hitter Edwin Moreno (.375) was 1-for-4.

Right-handed starter Ernesto Montas allowed two runs on seven hits and a walk with two strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings to take the loss.

Left-hander Kyle McGrath allowed a hit with four strikeouts in 2 1/3 scoreless innings. Right-hander Yimmi Brasoban allowed two hits and a walk with a strikeout in a scoreless inning. Right-hander Colby Blueberg struck out one in a perfect inning.

Fort Wayne had edged West Michigan for the regular-season, second-half Eastern Division title.Renfroe (.250) was 2-for-4 Thursday while Middlebrooks (.250) homered in a second straight game.

Catcher Jason Hagerty (.375) was 2-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored. Left fielder Jake Goebbert (.286) was 2-for-4. Center fielder Rymer Liriano (.600) was 1-for-3 with a double, a walk and a run scored.

Right-hander Chris Smith allowed four runs on seven hits and a walk with three strikeouts in six innings to suffer the loss. Left-hander Caleb thielbar allowed a run on two walks in one-third of an inning. Right-hander Michael Dimock allowed a hit in 1 2/3 scoreless innings.

Left-hander Robbie Erlin, who was 7-6 with a 5.60 earned run average during the regular season, is scheduled to start Friday night's game for El Paso.

At Hillsboro, shortstop Peter Van Gansen was 2-for-3 with a walk and a RBI. Center fielder Rod Boykin was 0-for-2 with a walk and a run scored.

First baseman Ty France (San Diego State) was 2-for-4.

Right-handed starter Adrian De Horta allowed a run on five hits and a walk with four strikeouts in four innings. Left-hander Will Headean followed with a strikeout in two perfect innings.

Left-hander Nathan Foriest allowed a run on two hits and a walk in 1 1/3 innings to suffer the loss. Right-hander Phil Maton allowed a hit and a walk with a strikeout in two-thirds of an inning.