Monday, May 17, 2010


Although Monterrey won only two games last week, that was enough to give the Sultanes a 32-21 record and a two-game lead over the 30-23 Saltillo Saraperos at the end of first half play in the Mexican League’s Zona Madero, good for eight points in the season-long battle for a playoff berth in August.

The Sultanes have been led offensively by outfielder Luis Alfonso Garcia, who’s batting .366 and leads the Liga with 15 homers, 60 RBIs and a .710 slugging percentage. Monterrey’s 4.16 ERA is tops among teams in the LMB North. Veteran right-hander Jonathan Castellanos tossed six shutout innings in a 3-0 win at Monclova Saturday to raise his record to 5-1 while lowering his league-leading ERA to 2.37. Castellanos has not lost a game since mid-March.

Saltillo won seven of their last ten games to pull past Mexico City into second place in the LMB North to earn seven first-half points in the bargain. First baseman Sandy Madera is fourth in the Liga with a .392 batting average to lead a balanced attack, and reliever Esteban Hernandez has gone 6-0 in 26 appearances out of the bullpen to lead the team in wins.

Elsewhere in the Zona Madero, Mexico City faded into a third-place tie with streaking Reynosa, who has won five of their past six games. Both teams ended the first half a game behind Saltillo at 29-24. Surprising Chihuahua scored 38 runs in two consecutive games last week en route to finishing the first half in fifth place in the LMB North at 28-25, two games out of second place. Laguna (25-28), Nuevo Laredo (20-33) and Monclova (19-34) all finished below .500. Nuevo Laredo has hit just 14 homers in their first 53 games.

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