Tuesday, December 7, 2010

NARANJEROS TIED FOR LEAD AS GARCIA GUNS FOR MVP REPEAT

The defending Mexican Pacific League champion Hermosillo Naranjeros have an 8-4 record and are in a three-way tie for the second half standings lead with Los Mochis and Mazatlan as Orangemen star Luis Alfonso Garcia (pictured) is making a strong bid for his second straight Most Valuable Player award. Culiacan is two games out of first at 6-6, Navojoa and Obregon are tied for fifth with 5-7 marks, while Mexicali and first half champion Guasave bring up the rear at 4-8.

While the Naranjeros have benefitted from the pitching of Travis Blackley and recent import add-on Mike Burns, Garcia has been the biggest factor as the 6’4” slugger has bashed a league-best 19 homers and 50 RBIs in 47 games with a .292 average. He belted 21 homers in 93 games for Monterrey last summer. Justin Christian of Los Mochis leads the Mex Pac in hitting (.383), runs (44) and stolen bases (22).

Blackley has been a standout on the mound for Hermosillo, posting a league-leading 2.09 ERA to go with his 5-1 record, while Burns has won his last four games to go to 4-0 with a 2.05 ERA. Mochis’ Alberto Castillo has the LMP’s best record at 7-1, Mexicali’s Andy Sisco tops the strikeouts list with 61 and Mazatlan closer Leo Rosales is best in the circuit with 11 saves, one more than Culiacan’s Jose Silva.