LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. - Qualifying for the postseason for the first time since 2014, the San Diego Padres' affiliate on Wednesday earned their first playoff win since 2012 with a 2-0 victory at The Diamond over the Los Angeles Dodgers' affiliate, the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes.
RHP Garrett Richards, on a rehab assignment, started for the Storm and set the tone by striking out the side in the first inning. Richards, coming back from Tommy John surgery last year, started three games with Lake Elsinore in the regular season before taking the hill in Game One of the best-of-five South Division Finals. The former Quake and LA Angels' standout went four innings, throwing 53 pitches, walking one and striking out five.
LHP Osvaldo Hernandez, the eventual winner, pitched two scoreless innings before the home team got on the board against Quakes starter Gerardo Carrillo, who matched his season-best with seven innings of work. Carrillo allowed a lead off single to 2B Xavier Edwards in the bottom of the first and then back-to-back two-out singles in the second inning to RF Tirso Ornelas and 1B Olivier Basabe before the home team went 0-11 as the game remained tied 0-0 until the sixth.
Edwards led off the home half of the sixth with an infield single, stole second, and after a walk to CF Jeisson Rosario, scored on what turned out to be the game winning hit on C Luis Campusano's RBI double off the left field wall. Rosario then scored from third on 3B Eguy Rosario's sac-fly to right field for a 2-0 Storm advantage.
Newcomer RHP Henry Henry, in his Storm debut, pitched two shutout innings, striking out four and allowing zero hits. Closer RHP Mason Fox then struck out the side in the ninth as the Storm earned their league-leading 13th shutout of the season. Four Storm pitchers combined to strike out 14 batters and allowed only three hits.
Lake Elsinore will host Rancho Cucamonga in Game Two on Thursday at 7:00pm before the series shifts to LoanMart Field for Game Three on Friday night at 7:05pm.
Both the Storm and the Quakes are seeking their fourth California League title. The Quakes are the defending champions while Lake Elsinore's most recent championship was in 2011.
RHP Garrett Richards: Four innings, zero runs, two hits, one walk, five strikeouts
LHP Osvaldo Hernandez: Two innings, zero runs, one hit, one walk, two strikeouts
RHP Henry Henry: Two innings, zero runs, zero hits, two walks, four strikeouts
RHP Mason Fox: One inning, zero runs, zero hits, zero walks, three strikeouts
2B Xavier Edwards: 2-3, one run, one walk, two stolen bases
C Luis Campusano: 1-4, one double, one RBI, game-winning hit
3B Eguy Rosario: 0-2, one RBI
WP: Osvaldo Hernandez (1-0)
LP: Gerardo Carrillo (0-1)
Save: Mason Fox (1)
HR: LE: None | RC: None
On Thursday, September 5 at 7:00pm in Lake Elsinore, Storm RHP Reiss Knehr is opposed by Quakes LHP John Rooney. Storm playoff tickets can be purchased for $5 per ticket. For the best available seats buy online at stormbaseball.com or call 951-245-4487.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.