Dickerson paces homer barrage on Padres' farm

Poway High grad stretches hitting streak to 24 games

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

Homers, strong starts and late-game rallies were the dominant themes in the Padres' farm system Thursday.

Left fielder Alex Dickerson celebrated his 26th birthday with a homer to extend his hitting streak to 24 straight games for Triple-A El Paso. Dickerson's homer was his eighth of the season. His hitting streak is not only the longest in Chihuahuas franchise history, it is the longest in all of Minor League baseball this season. Dickerson leads the Pacific Coast League with a .411 batting average.

Dickerson's was far from the only homer in the Padres' system. Dickerson and center-field prospect Manuel Margot homered for El Paso; shortstop prospect Jose Rondon homered for Double-A San Antonio, and catcher Austin Allen, center fielder prospect Michael Gettys and right fielder Jhonatan Pena all homered for Class A Fort Wayne.

Three teams in the system -- El Paso, Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore and Fort Wayne -- all scored three runs in the final inning Thursday to pull out wins. Double-A San Antonio also won, making it a sweep for the Padres' four full-season affiliates.

Three starting pitchers had strong outings.

Right-hander Walker Lockett, 22, the Padres fourth-round pick in the 2012 Draft, allowed an unearned run on six hits with five strikeouts over seven innings for Lake Elsinore. Lockett has a 3.65 earned run average in two starts since being promoted from Fort Wayne.

Right-hander Bryce Morrow (1-6, 6.39 ERA) allowed a run on three hits and a walk with three strikeouts for San Antonio.

There was more movement in the Padres' system Thursday.

Right-handed reliever Rafael De Paula was transferred from El Paso to San Antonio and right-handed reliever Louis Distasio went from San Antonio to extended Spring Training in Arizona. At Fort Wayne, infielder Peter Van Gansen (.245) and outfielder Rod Boykin (.220) were placed on the TinCaps' seven-day disabled list. Infielder Nick Vitter and infielder-outfielder Tyler Moore were promoted to Fort Wayne from extended spring training.

Around the farm

TRIPLE-A EL PASO (25-21) -- El Paso 6, Iowa 3 (12 innings): Poway High grad Dickerson was 1-for-5 with his homer and two runs scored and is 21-for-41 since returning to El Paso from the Padres on May 14. The Chihuahuas scored three runs in the top of the 12th to win. The tie-breaking hit was a two-run double by SS Ryan Schimpf (.312). Margot (.280), like Dickerson, had a home run in five at-bats. LF Jabari Blash (.200) had an RBI double in four at-bats with two walks. RF Hunter Renfroe (.313) was 1-for-6 with an RBI and a run scored. Starting RHP Jeremy Guthrie (7.00 ERA) allowed two runs on five hits with four strikeouts in six innings. RHP Derek Eitel (3.22) allowed an unearned run on a hit and a walk with three strikeouts in two innings. RHP Aaron Northcraft (5.01) allowed two hits and a walk with two strikeouts in two scoreless innings. LHP Daniel Moskos (4-0, 2.49) struck out three in 1 2/3 perfect innings. RHP Jose Dominguez (3.75) allowed a hit and a walk in one-third of an inning but got his third save.

DOUBLE-A SAN ANTONIO (15-31) -- MISSIONS 3, Northwest Arkansas 1: Rondon (.272) homered in three at-bats. RF Nick Schulz (.269) was 2-for-3 with two RBIs. 2B Nelson Ward (.230) was 1-for-1 with three walks and a run scored. De Paula (3.98 ERA) allowed a hit and two walks with three strikeouts in a scoreless inning. LHP Kyle McGrath (2.45) had a strikeout in a perfect inning. RHP Jason Jester (2.35) allowed a hit with a strikeout in a scoreless inning to get his seventh save.

CLASS A ADVANCED LAKE ELSINORE (22-26) -- Storm 3, INLAND EMPIRE 1: Lake Elsinore scored all three of its runs in the top of the ninth. CF Franchy Cordero (.283) was 2-for-5 with a two-run triple, a run scored and a steal. 3B Josh VanMeter (.291) was 3-for-5 with two doubles, a run scored and a steal. RF Franmil Reyes (.195) was 2-for-4. RHP Martires Arias (1-3, 4.76 ERA) picked up the win, striking out the only two hitters he faced with two on in the eighth. RHP Colby Blueberg (1.23) finished what Lockett started, striking out one in a scoreless inning for his eighth save.

CLASS A FORT WAYNE (24-23) -- TinCaps 5, LANSING 3: Allen (.336) was 3-for-4 with a double in addition to his second homer for two runs scored. Gettys (.309) hit his second homer in three at-bats with a walk and his 20th stolen base. Pena (.188) was 2-for-3 with three RBIs on his first homer. 1B Ty France (.239) was 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored. Starting LHP Thomas Dorminy (3.27 ERA) allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits and a walk with a strikeout in five innings. RHP Emmanuel Ramirez (5.09) allowed a hit in two scoreless innings. RHP Phil Maton (1-1, 2.00) allowed a hit with two strikeouts in two scoreless innings to get the win.