Winning PCL title was team effort for El Paso

CF Margot named MVP of PCL championships

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

Right fielder Hunter Renfroe was the Most Valuable Player of the Pacific Coast League.

Second baseman Carlos Asuaje was the league's Rookie of the Year.

Renfroe, Asuaje, catcher Austin Hedges and center fielder Manuel Margot were all named to the PCL's postseason All-Star team.

And Margot on Saturday night was named the Most Valuable Player of the PCL Playoffs, after the Padres' Triple-A El Paso affiliate defeated the Oklahoma City Dodgers, 4-3, in 11 innings to win the PCL title.

But El Paso's first Pacific Coast League title was a team effort, with contributions throughout the roster.

El Paso won the best-of-five championship series, 3-1. The Chihuahuas had won the Pacific Conference title by the same count over Tacoma. During the two rounds of the playoffs, El Paso -- which had won a second straight PCL Pacific Southern Division title -- posted a 6-2 record that included a five-game winning streak.

The Chihuahuas' season is not over, however. El Paso will play International League champion Scranton-Wilkes Barre on Tuesday in the Triple-A National Championship Game in Memphis, Tenn.

Before that, though, a look back at the PCL playoffs. El Paso hitters batted .276, with 17 doubles, three triples and eight homers in eight games. Chihuahuas' pitchers had a 2.96 earned run average.

It's almost impossible to pick a Most Valuable Player when it comes to El Paso's title run.

But Margot led the El Paso hitters, batting .361 (13-for-36), with three doubles, two triples, a home run, two steals, seven runs scored and four RBIs. He also drew five walks for a .439 on-base percentage. With a .639 slugging percentage, Margot had a 1.078 OPS for the two rounds.

Hedges also had a great pair of series, batting .324 (11-for-34) with five doubles, two homers, six runs scored and four RBIs. He had a .361 on-base percentage and a .625 slugging percentage for a .987 OPS.

Neither, however, led the Chihuahuas in runs scored or RBIs for the two series.

And the bullpen might have trumped the hitters, allowing only eight runs over 34 innings for a 2.12 earned run average.

A look at El Paso's playoff contributors:

Renfroe hit .273 (9-for-33) with two doubles, a homer (to win the finale of the Tacoma semifinal series), three walks, nine runs scored and four RBIs. Renfroe led El Paso in runs scored during the playoffs and had a .333 on-base percentage and a .424 slugging percentage for a .757 OPS.

Asuaje hit .258 (8-for-31) in the playoffs with a double, a homer, five walks, three runs scored and eight RBIs. He tied for the team lead in RBIs and had a .361 on-base percentage.

Infielder Diego Goris was 9-for-32 (.281) with two doubles, a team co-leading eight RBIs and two runs scored.

Third baseman Nick Noonan hit .250 (7-for-28) with three doubles, a homer, two RBIs, seven runs scored and four walks.

Shortstop Jose Rondon hit only .212 (7-for-33), but had a double and a homer for four runs scored and six RBIs -- including the series-winning RBI in the 11th inning on Saturday night on a bunt single.

Left fielder-first baseman Patrick Kivlehan scored the series-winning run on Rondon's bunt. For the eight games of the PCL playoffs, Kivlehan hit .229 (8-for-32) with a double, a triple, a homer, three walks, two RBIs and four runs scored.

The bench also contributed. Outfielder Franchy Cordero was 4-for-10 with a walk, a run scored and an RBI. Outfielder Nick Torres was 3-for-11 with a double, two walks and two runs scored. Backup catcher Rocky Gale singled in his lone at-bat.

Right-hander Bryan Rodriguez (0.90 ERA) allowed one run on eight hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in two starts and had one of the three wins earned by the starting pitchers.

Right-hander Walker Lockett (1-0, 4.63 ERA) allowed six runs on 14 hits and a walk with seven strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings over two starts. Left-hander Frank Garces (1-0, 5.23 ERA) allowed six runs on 17 hits and a walk with 13 strikeouts in 10 1/3 innings in his two starts.

Right-hander Seth Simmons made his only start in Saturday's title-clinching game and allowed two runs on eight hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in six innings. Right-hander Dinelson Lamet allowed three runs on five hits and two walks with two strikeouts over four innings in his one start.

Three of the relievers employed in the two playoff series finished with 0.00 ERAs. Each worked 4 1/3 innings in five appearances.

Right-hander Derek Eitel won two games, including the title clincher, and allowed two hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Hard-throwing right-hander Phil Maton, who was promoted at the end of the season from Class A Lake Elsinore, allowed three hits with five strikeouts and had three saves. Left-hander Buddy Baumann allowed four hits with five strikeouts and was credited with a win.

Left-hander Kyle McGrath (1.17 ERA), another late-season promotion from Double-A San Antonio, worked the most innings out of the bullpen. He pitched 7 2/3 innings in the eight games and gave up a run on five hits and five walks with 10 strikeouts. Left-hander Jose Torres (1.80 ERA) allowed a run on six hits with four strikeouts over five innings. Right-hander Jason Jester (3.00 ERA) allowed two runs on six hits and a walk with seven strikeouts over six innings.