Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.
Right-hander Walker Lockett allowed one run in 6 1/3 innings and infielder Diego Goris drove in three runs with a pair of doubles Thursday night in El Paso as the Triple-A Chihuahuas defeated Tacoma, 7-1, to even the best-of-5 Pacific Coast League Pacific Conference Championship playoff series at 1-1.
The series resumes in Tacoma on Friday night with right-hander Bryan Rodriguez starting for El Paso against former Padre Wade LeBlanc. Rodriguez was 4-8 with a 5.11 ERA in 16 starts during the regular season for El Paso.
Lockett, who pitched for all four of the Padres' full-season farm teams this season, took a shutout into the seventh as El Paso built a 7-0 lead. Lockett gave up seven hits and no walks with four strikeouts.
Lockett, 22, the Padres' fourth-round pick in 2012, had a 2.96 ERA for four teams during the regular season. His ERA was the lowest among all qualifying starters in the Padres' system. He was 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA in three starts after his late-season promotion to El Paso.
Left-handed reliever Daniel Moskos followed Lockett and allowed a hit in 1 1/3 innings. The hit drove in Tacoma's lone run. Right-hander Derek Eitel allowed two hits with two strikeouts in 1 1/3 scoreless innings to close out the win.
Goris, who played first and second, was 2-for-4. Designated hitter Franchy Cordero was 2-for-4 with a triple for a RBI and a run scored. Center fielder Manuel Margot was 2-for-4 with a RBI and is 6-for-10 in the first two games of the series.
Third baseman Nick Noonan was 1-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored. Left fielder-first baseman Patrick Kivlehan was 1-for-3 with a walk, a steal and a run scored. Right fielder Hunter Renfroe was 0-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored. Shortstop Jose Rondon had a double in four at-bats with a run scored.