Almonte posts franchise-record 5 hits in El Paso opener
Wallace, Decker go yard as Chihuahuas open season with a win
Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.
Center fielder Abraham Almonte had a franchise-record five hits and third baseman Brett Wallace and designated hitter Cody Decker homered Thursday night, as Triple-A El Paso opened the Pacific Coast League season with an 11-4 win over Tacoma.
At Lake Elsinore, left fielder Nick Schulz homered and drove in three runs, as the Class A Advanced Storm opened the California League season with a 10-3 win over Modesto.
Double-A San Antonio lost, 10-4, to Tulsa, despite two-run homers by left fielder Yeison Asencio and third baseman Casey McElroy.
Class A Fort Wayne's Midwest League opener at Great Lakes was rained out and was scheduled to be made up as part of a doubleheader on Friday.
Almonte, 25, was 5-for-5 with a double, four runs scored and an RBI as the Chihuahuas fell one hit short of the franchise record with 18. Wallace was 3-for-5 with four RBIs and hit his first homer in the Padres' organization.
Decker's first homer of the season extended his Padres career record for Minor League homers to 134. Now in his seventh season in the Padres' system, Decker led El Paso with 27 homers and 79 RBIs last season. He was 2-for-4 Thursday.
Chihuahuas left fielder Jake Goebbert was also 2-for-4 with an RBI. Catcher Rocky Gale was 2-for-3 with two runs scored. First baseman Tommy Medica was 1-for-4 with a two-run double.
Left-hander Jason Lane allowed four runs on 10 hits and a walk in five innings to pick up the win for El Paso. Right-hander Cory Mazzoni allowed a hit with three strikeouts in two scoreless innings. Right-hander Casey Kelly made his season debut out of the bullpen and walked one in one scoreless inning. Kelly will open the season in the Chihuahuas' 'pen as he continues his trip back from 2013 Tommy John surgery.
AROUND THE FARM
Double-A San Antonio: Asencio was 3-for-4 with his two-run homer. McElroy was 2-for-3. Right-handed starter Justin Hancock allowed four runs on three hits and six walks with four strikeouts in three innings. Before the season opener, the Missions released infielder Jake Lemmerman, sent catcher Robert Kral to extended spring camp, activated right-handed reliever Dennis O'Grady and sent left-handed reliever Chris Nunn to Lake Elsinore.
Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore: Schulz was 2-for-4 with three RBIs and his homer. Center fielder Auston Bousfield was 2-for-3 with a walk, a double, an RBI and two runs scored. Catcher Ryan Miller was 2-for-4. Right-handed starter Ryan Butler allowed one run on five hits and one walk with one strikeout over five innings to get the win.