El Paso opens PCL championship series Tuesday night

Lockett starts opener against Oklahoma City Dodgers

El Paso opens PCL championship series Tuesday night

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

It will be the Padres vs. the Dodgers Tuesday night as the best-of-five Pacific Coast League championship series opens at Southwest University Park in El Paso.

The El Paso Chihuahuas, of course, are the Padres' Triple-A affiliate.

The Chihuahuas will be opposed by Oklahoma City, the Dodgers' Triple-A affiliate in the PCL title series.

The Oklahoma City Dodgers had the second best record (81-60) during the PCL's regular season and upset favored Nashville 10-9 Sunday night in the decisive fifth game to win the American Conference title. After losing their series opener, El Paso (73-70) won three straight games to defeat Tacoma for the Pacific Conference title.

Right-hander Walker Lockett, 22, will start Tuesday night's opener for the Chihuahuas.

Lockett allowed one run on seven hits and no walks with four strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings last Thursday to get credit for the win in El Paso's first of three straight wins over Tacoma. Lockett played at all four, full-season levels in the Padres system this season and had the lowest overall earned run average (2.96) of any Padres' starter.

The 6-foot-5, 225-pound Lockett was the Padres' fourth-round pick in the 2012 draft.

Lockett will be opposed by right-hander Logan Bawcom, who was 6-5 with a 1.92 earned run average in 31 appearances (12 starts) for the Dodgers. Bawcom, 27, was the Dodgers seventh-round pick in the 2010 draft.

Left-hander Frank Garces will start Wednesday's second game of the series for the Chihuahuas in El Paso. After a day off Thursdsay, the series moves and finishes in Oklahoma City. The PCL champion will play the International League champion Sept. 20 in Memphis, Tenn. in the Triple-A Championship Game.

Offensively, El Paso will be led by their four members of the PCL All-Star team - right fielder Hunter Renfroe, center fielder Manuel Margot, catcher Austin Hedges and second baseman Carlos Asuaje. Renfroe was the PCL's Most Valuable Player. Asuaje was the PCL Rookie of the Year.

Renfroe hit the decisive home run in El Paso's 5-4, series-clinching win against Tacoma. He was tied for the PCL lead in homers (30) during the regular season and finished second in RBIs (105).

Margot was 9-for-18 during the four games against Tacoma. Third baseman Nick Noonan hit .375 against Tacoma while outfielder Franchy Cordero hit .333 and infielder Diego Goris his .313 with five RBIs.