Pirela advances; Padres trio thriving in Australia

Greene, Stevens, Lemond have big weeks in ABL

Pirela advances; Padres trio thriving in Australia

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

Jose Pirela will be playing in the finals of the Venezuelan Winter League playoffs while three Padres prospects continue to play well in Australia.

Pirela was 4-for-19 with a homer, three RBIs and three runs scored as Zulia swept Aragua in four games in the best-of-seven first round of the Venezuela playoffs. Pirela started all four games in left field for Zulia. Meanwhile, Jose Rondon's winter league season ended with Aragua's elimination.

Two other Padres prospects are still in Caribbean Leagues playoffs. Right-handed pitcher Rafael De Paula is pitching in Venezuela and infielder Fernando Perez is playing for Hermosillo in Mexico.

Three Padres prospects continue to play well in Australia.

Catcher Marcus Greene Jr. was 5-for-9 with an RBI last week for Adelaide. Greene is hitting .455 (15-for-33) over his last 10 games and is batting .327 on the season. Greene is tied for the Australian Baseball League lead with six homers and leads the league with 23 RBIs. He ranks ninth in batting average.

Second baseman River Stevens is also 15-for-33 during a nine-game hitting streak that has raised his batting average with Canberra to .355. Stevens was 7-for-13 last week with three RBIs.

And right-handed pitcher Zech Lemond picked up his second save last week. Lemond has worked 13 innings in 10 games for Adelaide and has allowed six hits and six walks against 14 strikeouts without allowing a run.