Saturday, January 9, 2010


After shutting out the potent Culiacan Tomateros the first two games at home, the Mazatlan Venados stumbled and lost two of three road games with their bitter rivals to the north.

Pablo Ortega went all the way in Mazatlan’s opening1-0 win January 2 as shortstop Heber Gomez scored the game’s only run. Esteban Loaiza then turned in seven innings of scoreless ball as the Venados whitewashed Culiacan, 3-0, the next evening.

The Tomateros rebounded to win twice in three tries in Culiacan. Arnold Leon took a no-hitter into the seventh inning as Culiacan held on for an 8-6 Game 3 win. Mazaltan came back to crunch the hosts, 10-2, last Wednesday as Christian Quintero collected four hits and three RBIs for the defending champs, but Culiacan closed the series gap Thursday night with a 4-1 victory as starter Hector Rodriguez (pictured) let in one run in seven innings while Mike Cervenak was 2-for-4 with a homer and two runs after signing a 2010 contract with the New York Mets last week.

Games 6 and 7 (if needed) are scheduled this weekend in Mazatlan.

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