Pair of Padres affiliates hot out of the gate
Wallace helps El Paso in comeback effort; Schulz brings offense for Lake Elsinore
Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.
Two players off to fast starts in the Padres' Minor League system led their respective teams to victory Sunday.
Third baseman Brett Wallace went 2-for-4 with two RBIs as Triple-A El Paso rallied to defeat Tacoma, 7-6. And left fielder Nick Schulz was 3-for-4 with two doubles and four RBIs as Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore defeated Modesto, 6-4.
Wallace, 28, was signed as a Minor League free agent last December and was one of San Diego's last cuts at the end of Spring Training. Wallace is off to a 7-for-12 start with the Chihuahuas, with a home run and six RBIs.
Schulz, 23, is a San Jose State University product who signed with the Padres a year ago as a non-drafted free agent. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Schulz is 6-for-12 in his first three starts for the Storm, with two doubles, a homer and seven RBIs.
Catcher Austin Hedges backed Wallace, going 2-for-4 with three RBIs as El Paso evened its record at 2-2. Designated hitter Cody Decker was 2-for-5 with a double, and center fielder Abraham Almonte (.438) was 1-for-2 with three walks and two runs. Almonte has a .526 on-base percentage in four games as the Chihuahuas' leadoff hitter.
Santana High grad James Needy allowed five runs on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings. The 24-year-old right-hander struck out two and didn't issue a walk. Right-hander Cory Mazzoni struck out one in 2 1/3 perfect innings. Right-hander Marcos Mateo allowed a run on two hits with four strikeouts in two innings and picked up the win. Right-hander Kevin Quackenbush picked up his first save, allowing one hit with a strikeout in a scoreless inning.
Double-A San Antonio (1-3) suffered a 4-2 loss at Springfield. Outfielder Hunter Renfroe, San Diego's first-round pick (13th overall) in 2013, hit his first homer of the season for the Missions. First baseman Luis Domoromo was 2-for-4. San Antonio is hitting .150 as a team after four Texas League games.
Right-handed Missions starter Elliot Morris allowed one hit with three walks and three strikeouts over six scoreless innings. Morris, who was acquired by the Padres last July as part of the trade that sent closer Huston Street to the Angels, departed with a 2-0 lead. But right-hander Casey Kelly walked the bases loaded before serving up a grand slam in the seventh to take the loss.
At Lake Elsinore, shortstop Jose Rondon, who was also acquired in the Street transaction, backed Schulz by going 2-for-4 with two runs. Right fielder Jeremy Baltz was 1-for-1 with a double and two runs. He drew a walk and was twice hit by pitches.
Right-hander Rafael De Paula allowed two runs on six hits and a walk with five strikeouts over five innings, and he picked up the win as the Storm improved to 3-1.
After three straight postponements in Midland, Mich., Class A Fort Wayne returned home to open their Midwest League season before a packed house of 7,090 at Parkview Field. But the TinCaps dropped a 4-3 decision to Lansing in 10 innings.
Left fielder Nick Torres was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Third baseman Duanel Jones and second baseman Josh Van Meter each had two hits.
Right-hander Danielson Lamet had an interesting debut in his first game on American soil. After working a perfect first, the 22-year-old from the Dominican Republic gave up two runs in the second without allowing a hit. He walked two hitters, hit a batter, committed a balk and threw two wild pitches. Lamet struck out three.
Left-hander Taylor Aikenhead followed Lamet and allowed two hits and two walks with two strikeouts in four scoreless innings. Right-hander T.J. Weir allowed a hit with four strikeouts in two innings.