- Associated Press - Friday, April 1, 2016

EP PASO, Texas (AP) - Jabari Blash hit two of San Diego’s six homers, and the Padres beat Triple-A El Paso 13-9 in an exhibition on Thursday night.

Blash belted a three-run shot in the second that tucked just inside of the foul pole in left. He connected for a two-run shot in the fourth that lifted San Diego to a 6-5 lead against its top minor league affiliate.

“It’s always good to put the ball in play hard, it was a fun day,” said Blash, who homered three times in Southwestern University Park two years ago when he was with Tacoma. “This ballpark has always done right by me. The ball flies through the air. I feel like I’m close to getting where I need to be. I’m looking forward to 2016.”

Blash, a Rule 5 pick from Seattle, also doubled twice and scored three times.

“I hope I did enough to make the squad and be part of the next chapter with these guys,” Blash said.

Adam Rosales, Travis Jankowski, Trae Santos and Austin Hedges also homered for the Padres, who finished with 20 hits.

Luis Perdomo gave up one run in two innings to get the victory.

Hunter Renfroe was 3 for 4 with two home runs, a sacrifice fly and six RBIs for El Paso.


Padres starter Robbie Erlin, in a fight for San Diego’s final rotation spot, didn’t help himself with a rocky outing. He allowed seven runs on 12 hits in four innings, and it would have been worse if the Chihuahuas hadn’t handed him two outs on the base paths during a three-run first. The highlight there was a 460-foot two-run homer from Renfroe.

“He’s got to make adjustments a little quicker, go to the curve ball a little quicker,” manager Andy Green said. “But he’s had a great spring and he’s right in the mix.”


Depending on how San Diego uses the disabled list, Green is looking at trimming about 10 players off the current roster before Monday’s opener, many of whom will start the season in El Paso.

“These are some hard decisions, some aren’t as clear cut as you’d like them to be,” Green said. “But a lot of guys we send down are going to be back up midway through the season. This is pretty close to the opening day lineup, but we’re not all the way there now.”

The big decisions will involve the final two spots in the rotation and in the bullpen, left field and backup catcher.


Green played for the Double-A El Paso Diablos in 2003 when they were an affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. He remembers living in a two-bedroom apartment.

“My mother came to visit, I had a roommate so we didn’t have a room for her,” he said. “She had to sleep in the closet.”


The trip to El Paso was a welcome one for new Padres hitting coach Alan Zinter, a native of the city who went to high school there in the 1980s. He was given the honor of catching the first pitch Thursday from Padres adviser Trevor Hoffman.

“I remember growing up, going to Dudley Field (the original home of the Diablos) and sticking dollar bills through the fence,” he said. “Then I was a bullpen catcher for the Diablos. There’s a lot of history here. … When I found out we were going to have an exhibition game here, I was excited.”


Padres: Host the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday afternoon.

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