Monday, June 7, 2010

MARQUEZ PITCHES IN LMB-RECORD 812TH GAME

Minatitan Petroleros reliever Isidro Marquez pitched in the 812th game of his Mexican League career, breaking Salon de la Fama member Ramon Arano’s old record of 811.

The 45-year-old Marquez came on with one out and nobody on base in the top of the ninth hoping to hold a 9-5 Petros lead over the Yucatan Leones. The righty got Raul Sanchez to fly out to Dennys Abreu in left field before striking out Fernando Valenzuela, Jr. swinging for the final out.

Marquez made his Mexican League debut with Tampico in 1985 and spent three years with San Luis Potosi before being picked up in 1988 by the Dodgers organization, where he pitched for five seasons. He also spent two years with the White Sox’ AAA farm club in Nashville, but the Navojoa-born Marquez has played the vast majority of his career in Mexico, almost entirely as a reliever.

Marquez has a career 95-81 record with 268 saves in 20 LMB seasons. This season, he is 3-1 with a team-high six saves and a 3.22 ERA in 43 trips to the mound from the Minatitlan bullpen.

HALL OF FAMER SOTO FIRED AS TECOS MANAGER

Salon de la Fama member Carlos Soto, who was a player for the Nuevo Laredo Tecolotes in the 1970’s and 1980’s, was fired as Tecos manager Friday to become the eighth Mexican League skipper to be canned this season. Soto was let go after Nuevo Laredo got off to a 3-12 start to the second half of the current season after finishing 19-34 in the first half.

A catcher/first baseman as a player, Soto was enshrined in Monterrey in 2007 after a Liga career that netted him a .301 lifetime batting average with 264 homers and 1,043 RBIs between 1973 and 1991. Twelve of those seasons were with the Tecos, where he formed a power-hitting triumvirate with Andres Mora and Alejandro Ortiz called Los Tres Mosqueteros (or “The Three Musketeers”) in the 1980’s. All three have had their numbers retired in Nuevo Laredo.

Soto was replaced on an interim basis by Tecos coach Oscar Romero.

LEONES STAR ROMERO SUSPENDED FOR SHOVING UMPIRE

Yucatan’s All-Star right fielder, Willie Romero, was suspended by the Mexican League for two games after shoving home plate umpire Marco Antonio Nava during a June 3 game in Veracruz. Romero shoved Nava after being called out on strikes in the bottom of the first inning. He was batting an even .300 over 55 games for the Leones at the time of the altercation.

The 35-year-old Venezuelan began his pro career in the Dodgers system in 1993 and eventually spent nine summers in that organization. Romero signed with Saltillo in 2000 and (minus two short stints in the Diamondbacks and Orioles chains) has played summer ball in Mexico ever since. In five years with Yucatan heading into this season, he has never failed to hit at least .331 for the Leones. The 5’9” right-handed batter was named MVP of the 2008 Mexican League All-Star Game.

Romero served his suspension during Yucatan’s weekend series in Minatitlan.

SORIA FIRST MEXICAN TO EARN 100TH MLB SAVES

Monclova native Joakim “The Mexicutioner” Soria became the first Mexican major league pitcher to 100 saves mark in his career when he closed out the Kansas City Royals’ 5-2 win over the Detroit Tigers May 26 at Kauffman Stadium.

Soria came on in relief of Kansas City starter Luke Hochevar, who held the Tigers to two runs on six hits over eight innings, and induced consecutive groundouts by All-Stars Vladimir Guerrero, Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz to register his eleventh save in 13 opportunities in 2010. After the game, Soria said about his 100th save, “It means a lot because it’s a good number to get, but I want more.”The 27-year-old right-hander leads all Mexican pitchers in career MLB saves.


The old record of 93 saves by a Mexican MLB pitcher was held by the late Detroit closer Aurelio “Senor Smoke” Lopez.