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.