Saturday, October 31, 2009


The Mazatlan Venados won five straight games last week to pass Hermosillo on the Mexican Pacific League leaderboard. The Venados came into the weekend with an 11-6-0 record, a half-game up on the 10-6-1 Naranjeros, who went 2-4 last week.
Los Mochis is in third place at 9-7-1, Mexicali and Navojoa are tied for fourth with 9-8-0 marks, followed by 8-9-1 Obregon, 6-9-1 Culiacan and 3-12-1 Guasave. It was a rough week for the Algodoneros, who were swept in consecutive road series in Mazatlan and Navojoa.
Mochis first baseman Sandy Madera (pictured) has taken the MexPac batting lead with a .413 average over 17 games. Madera’s Caneros teammate Sebastian Valle and Culiacan’s Refugio Cervantes are tied for the lead in homers at five apiece, while Cervantes and Hermosillo’s Darnell McDonald are knotted up at the top of the RBI list with 19 each.
Several pitchers have fared well early, perhaps none more so than Mazatlan’s Oscar Bustillos, who is 2-0 with a 1.06 ERA and seven hits allowed 17 innings over three starts.


While the Mexican Pacific League is entering the third week of winterball action, two of the other three Caribbean Series circuits have also begun regular season play.
The Caracas Leones and Magallenes Navegantes are battling for the early lead in the Venezuelan League standings. Caracas is 13-4 for a one-game lead over Magallenes. Well-travelled minor league veteran Selwyn Langainge leads batters with a .424 average. Among pitchers, Margarita’s Carlos Monasterios is 3-0 with an 0.64 ERA.
In the Dominican League, the Escogido Leones are 7-3 and hold a one-game lead over the Licey Tigres and Este Toros, who are both 6-4. Victor Mercedes of Este leads Dominican batters with a .412 average, while pitcher Tobi Stoner of Escogido is 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA.
The Puerto Rico Baseball League has not begun play. Opening day in the six-team league is scheduled for November 12.


The season may be over for the Mexican League’s Mexico City Diablos Rojos, but the 123 homers belted by the team in 2009 are still producing results. A program bankrolled by the Banamex national bank and administered by the Diablos and the Alfredo Harp Helu Foundation has donated MX$6,150,000 (or about US$473,000) to 123 different public and private institutions, with MX$25,000 earmarked for a different organization every time a Mexico City batter cranked out a longball.
The Homeruns Banamex effort began in 1996, with over 900 grants being awarded since, including four consecutive seasons of 100 or more grants to various social, educational, health, cultural and sports associations in Mexico.
Diablos designated hitter Roberto Saucedo (pictured) accounted for MX$600,000 in donations alone by whacking out 24 homers this summer, while Miguel Ojeda and Carlos Valencia each belted 17 homers to total MX$850,000 in grant money between them.
A list of grant recipients was posted on the Mexican League website October 29.


Mazatlan won five of six games last week, including a three-game sweep of Guasave. Heber Gomez hit a game-winning 13th-inning single in a 2-1 Venados triumph October 23 as Mazatlan went on to hold the Algodoneros to three runs over the weekend series.
Pablo Ortega hurled seven frames in a 3-0 blanking of Hermosillo last Tuesday, followed by a 2-1 win over the Naranjeros Wednesday as Christian Quintero’s walkoff single in the 9th ended it.


Hermosillo lost two of three home games against Los Mochis last weekend, avoiding a sweep with a 10-4 win last Sunday as Trent Oeltgen hit two doubles and a single, scoring three runs with an RBI.
The Naranjeros then lost the first two games of a midweek series in Mazatlan before topping the Venados, 4-2, Thursday night. Oeltgen had another strong night with a single and triple, scoring once and driving in two to back up Juan Delgadillo’s six innings of two-hit shutout pitching.


Los Mochis went 3-3 last week to hang onto third place. The Caneros won two of three in Hermosillo last weekend. Sebastian Valle homered and drove in three in an 8-6 win over the Orangemen October 23, and last year’s ERA champ, Ismael Castillo, went six innings in Mochis’ 3-1 win a day later.
The Caneros then lost two home games against Obregon after winning Tuesday’s opener, 9-4, as Saul Soto went 2-for-3 with a homer and three RBIs while Ivan Terrazas doubled twice with three RBIs.


Mexicali took two of three home games against Navojoa last weekend, thanks to the bat of Brad Snyder. The Cubs farmhand had four hits and two RBIs in the Aguilas’ 9-8, ten-inning win over the Mayos on October 23, and went 2-for-3 with three ribbies in last Sunday’s 9-4 victory over Navojoa.
The Aguilas then lost two home contests with Culiacan before a 6-4 win Thursday night as Snyder doubled and stroked a two-run homer while Adam Rosales scored three runs for Mexicali.


Navojoa won four of six games to pull into a fourth-place tie with Mexicali. The Mayos lost two of three against Mexicali last weekend, winning a 9-7 Saturday match behind Abel Martinez’ three-hit work.
The Mayos went on to sweep Guasave in a midweek set. Raul Lopez had a homer and three RBIs in a 9-6 win Tuesday, Javier Robles’ two homers paced a 6-4 Wednesday victory, and Navojoa broke out the brooms Thursday when Adan Munoz’ three-run homer helped the Mayos to a 12-4 triumph.


Obregon went 2-1 against both Culiacan and Los Mochis to end last week three games out of first. The Yaquis clobbered the Tomateros 20-6 October 23 as John Mayberry Jr. went 5-for-6 with a homer, scoring five runs and driving in three. Obregon beat Culiacan one night later, 12-3.
After losing 9-4 in Mochis on Tuesday the Yaquis won the next two. Neil Sellers was 5-for-5 and homered in Wednesday’s 7-4 win, and Carlos Valencia hit a three-run homer in a 5-4 victory Thursday.


Culiacan won three of four games after losing their first two against Obregon. The Tomateros broke through Sunday with an 8-2 triumph behind Mike Cervenak’s homer and three RBIs.
The Tomato Growers then won two straight in Mexicali. Refugio Cervantes hit a grand slam en route to a six-RBI night as Culiacan beat the Aguilas, 12-5, Tuesday. Dee Brown was 2-for-4 with a homer in Wednesday’s 3-1 win over Mexicali as starter Chris Waters let in one run in 6.2 innings.


Guasave had a week they’d rather forget, losing all six games they played. The Algodoneros wasted 8.1 shutout innings by starter Jim McGrane October 23 in a 1-0, 13-inning loss to Mazatlan, and David Welch’s five innings of one-run ball went for naught in Sunday’s 1-0 loss to the Venados.
Guasave then lost three straight in Navojoa. Leonardo Heras hit a two-run homer in the opener, Japhet Amador doubled and homered in Wednesday’s loss and Marshall McDougall homered Thursday.

MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE Results (10-23-09 through 10-29-09)

FRIDAY, October 23

Obregon 20, Culiacan 6
O-John Mayberry 5-6/HR/5R/3RBI, C-Refugio Cervantes 2HRs

Los Mochis 8, Hermosillo 6
LM-Sebastian Valle HR/2B/3RBI, H-Darnell McDonald 3RHR

Mazatlan 2, Guasave 1 (13)
MZ-Heber Gomez GW1B, Ehren Wasserman 5IP/0R/2H), G-Jim McGrane 8.1IP/0R/9K

Mexicali 9, Navojoa 8 (10)
MX-Brad Snyder 4-5/2RBI, Matt Camp 3H/3R/2RBI, N-Francisco Arias 3-4/2B/4RBI

SATURDAY, October 24

Obregon 12, Culiacan 3
O-Jesus Rodriguez 4IP/2H/0R, Hernando Arredondo HR/3RBI, C-Mike Cervenak 2H/R/RBI

Los Mochis 3, Hermsillo 1
LM-Ismael Castillo 6IP/1R/4H, Ivan Terrazas 2-4/RBI, H-Luis Alfonso Garcia HR

Mazatlan 4, Guasave 2
MZ-John Lindsey 3-4/2B/2RBI, G-RP Sergio Mora 3.2IP/0R/2H

Navojoa 9, Mexicali 7 (12)
N-Abel Martinez 3H/2R/RBI, MX-Matt Camp 3-4/2R/2RBI

SUNDAY, October 25

Culiacan 8, Obregon 2
C-Mike Cervenak 3H/HR/3RBI, Sergio Gastelum 2H/3BB/3R, O-Flavio Romero 2H/HR/2RBI

Hermosillo 10, Los Mochis 4
H-Trent Oeltgen 3H/2 2B/3R/RBI, Geronimo Gil HR/3RBI, LM-Sandy Madera 3-3/2B/R/RBI
Mazatlan 1, Guasave 0
MZ-Oscar Bustillos 6IP/1H/0R, Miguel Ojeda 2B/R, G-David Welch 5IP/1R/6K
Mexicali 9, Navojoa 4
MX-Brad Snyder 2-4/R/3BI, Jeff Samardzija 5IP/4R, Oscar Rivera 2IP/0R/W, N-Matt Young 2B/R

TUESDAY, October 27
Culiacan 12, Mexicali 5
C-Refugio Cervantes GS/6RBI, Mike McCoy 3H/2R/RBI, MXI-Noe Munoz 2-3/2B/RBI

Los Mochis 9, Obregon 4
LM-Saul Soto 2-3/HR/3RBI, Ivan Terrazas 2-2Bs/2R/3RBI, O-Carlos Valencia 2RHR

Navojoa 9, Guasave 6
N-Raul Lopez 2B/HR/3RBI, G-Leonardo Heras 2RHR

Mazatlan 3, Hermosillo 0
MZ-Pablo Ortega 7IP/0R/5H, John Lindsey 2B/RBI, H-Humberto Cota 2-2Bs

WEDNESDAY, October 28

Culiacan 3, Mexicali 1
C-Dee Brown 2-4/HR, Chris Waters 6.2IP/1R/4H/5K, MX-Adam Rosales HR

Obregon 7, Los Mochis 4
O-Neil Sellers 5-5/HR/3RBI, Hernando Arredondo 2HRs, LM-Saul Soto and Sandy Madera HRs

Navojoa 6, Guasave 4
N-Javier Robles2-4/2HR, Brian Adams 6.2IP/3R/8K, G-Japhet Amador 3-4/2B/HR

Mazatlan 2, Hermosillo 1
MZ-Christian Quintero GWRBI B9, Esteban Loaiza 5IP/1R, H-Juan Pablo Oramas 5IP/0R/2H


Mexicali 6, Culiacan 4
MX-Brad Snyder 2B/2RHR. Adam Rosales 3R, C-Mike McCoy 2-4/HR, Refugio Cervantes HR

Obregon 5, Los Mochis 4
O-Carlos Valencia 3RHR, Scott Van Slyke 2H/2R, LM-Sebastian Valle 3RHR

Navojoa 12, Guasave 4
N-Adan Munoz 4-4/2B/3RHR, Matt Young HR/2R, G-Marshall McDougall 2-4/HR

Hermosillo 4, Mazatlan 2
H-Trent Oeltgen 2H/3B/R/2RBI, Juan Delgadillo 6IP/0R/2H, MZ-John Lindsey 3-4/2B/R


O30—N1 Mazatlan at Culiacan, Navojoa at Obregon, Los Mochis at Guasave, Mexicali at Hermosillo

NOV. 3-5 Mexicali at Mazatlan, Hermosillo at Culiacan, Guasave at Obregon, Navojoa at Los Mochis

NOV. 6-8 Culiacan at Guasave, Hermosillo at Navojoa, Obregon at Mexicali, Los Mochis at Mazatlan

MEXICAN BASEBALL ROAD TRIP (Stop #5): Navojoa, Sonora

From Los Mochis, Sinaloa, we’ll head north on Highway 15 for 124 miles and come to the fifth stop on our Road Trip: Navojoa, Sonora, home of the Mexican Pacific League Mayos.

The word “navojoa” comes from the Mayo Indian dialect root “navo” (or “prickly pear cactus”) and “jova” (or “house”), therefore meaning “the house of prickly pear cactus.” Even before the Spaniards arrived, the Mayo tribe had possession of the land including the Rio Mayo and the Mayo Valley, where the present-day city of Navojoa (pop. 103,312) now stands.
Although Spanish explorer Diego de Guzman arrived in the area in 1536 and Jesuit missionaries began settling locally in the 17th Century, Navojoa dates back to 1825, when it was part of the old State of the West formed after the Mexican Independence War starting in 1810. Later in 1831, it was separated and became part of the municipality of Alamos. As a result of political reform in 1869, it became a municipality.

Due to its geographical location, Navojoa has been considered from the start as the center of productivity of this region, combining with Ciudad Obregon and the Yaqui Valley to form the Mayo Valley, one of Mexico’s most productive agricultural regions. The most important businesses are concentrated in Navojoa, with the main northbound and southbound state highways and railroads come through this city as well as highways going to Alamos and Yavaros. Progress and modernization have been the result of Navojoa’s strategic location, along with the development of productive activities common to this area. The city has gained in importance over the years due to its relatively close proximity to the coast, desert and mountains, as well as being just 360 miles south of the Arizona border on Highway 16.

Known as “The Pearl of the Mayo”, Navojoa is a city of contrasts. In spite of its modern features, the city has preserved an array of important historical monuments in the area well worth visiting, among them the Municipal Palace, the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, sculpted monuments such as one erected in memory of General Alvaro Obregon, a plaza with obelisks in honor of the Talamante brothers. When visiting the restaurants in Navojoa, visitors delight their palates with the most exquisite regional Sonoran dishes, as well as international cuisine.

The Navojoa Mayos started in the Mexican Pacific League in the 1959-60 season and, after a two-year absence between 1960 and 1962, are playing their 46th consecutive year of winter ball. The Mayos won the Mex Pac pennant in 1978-79 under manager Chuck Goggin, a former big league infielder, and with future Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson on the roster. Navojoa repeated in 1999-20 for skipper Lorenzo Bundy, a two-time LMP Manager of the Year who spent the 2009 season as a coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

“The Tribe” plays their home games at Estadio Manuel “Ciclon” Echevarria, an 11,500-seat ballpark named after a Salon de la Fama pitcher born in Navojoa.

NEXT WEEK (Stop #6): Ciudad Obregon, Sonora