Two San Diego Padres minor league affiliates began their playoff runs on Wednesday night with neither team coming away victorious.
The parent ballclub may not have had a successful 2018 season, however, two minor league affiliates of the San Diego Padres clinched the playoffs in their respected leagues, giving fans at least a few more days of good ole’ minor league baseball.
The El Paso Chihuahuas (AAA) drew the Fresno Grizzlies (AAA affiliate of the Houston Astros) in the first round of the Pacific Coast League playoffs while the San Antonio Missions (AA) also drew a Houston Astros affiliate, the Corpus Christi Hooks. It was a tough first night for both Padres affiliates, as both the Chihuahuas and the Missions dropped their respective game ones.
Walker Lockett roughed up early in El Paso.
There has been no shortage of success in El Paso over the last few seasons, with many veterans, like Walker Lockett, having guided the Chihuahuas to Pacific Coast League success last year. Wednesday night proved to be more difficult of a task for the 24-year-old RHP who made his San Diego Padres debut in 2018.
Lockett struggled from the start, giving up four runs after two walks and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases with just one out in the first. His offense tried to give him some support in the second inning as veterans Allen Craig and Dusty Coleman both homered to pull the Chihuahuas to within one.
The only Chihuahua starter to not record a hit was the number nine hitter, shortstop Javy Guerra (0-5, two strikeouts). Raffy Lopez and Brett Nicholas recorded two hits each, while third baseman Ty France continued his highly successful 2018 campaign (.287/5 HR/8 2B/13 BB in 25 AAA games) with a 2-4 day, including one RBI, one run scored, and one walk.
Missions shutout in Corpus Christi.
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Unlike the El Paso Chihuahuas, San Antonio still features a lot of prospect star power in their lineup, unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to secure a game one victory. Owen Miller, the 2018 third-round pick of the Padres, made his AA debut last night with Michel Baez on the mound for the Missions, who struggled to get through the Hooks’ lineup.
Baez needed 99 pitches to get through five innings, allowing four earned runs on six hits and two walks. Baez hit 97 mph with his fastball but struggled with his command throughout the evening. The lack of run support from his offense didn’t help his case much.
The Missions eventually fell to the Hooks by a score of 7-0, managing just four hits on the night. Buddy Reed, Hudson Potts, and Kyle Overstreet each recorded singles, as did Owen Miller, the first of his Double-A career. That’s not surprising, considering he’s been a prospect to watch since the moment he was drafted.
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