The Mazatlan Venados opened a three-game series at home against Hermosillo Tuesday night with a 5-3 win over the Naranjeros to come one step closer to clinching the sixth and final Mexican Pacific League playoff berth.
The Venados ran their second half record to 14-17 to remain two games ahead of the 12-19 Mexicali Aguilas, who took a 6-5 victory over the Guasave Algodoneros Tuesday in a series opener at the border city. Any combination of a Mazatlan win or a Mexicali loss over the final two nights of the regular season would hand the Venados a postseason slot.
Venados pitcher Walter Silva (pictured) did his part, allowing no Hermosillo runs over seven innings of three-hit ball to lift his record to a deceptive 4-7 on the season. Despite losing 7 of his 11 decisions, Silva has a 2.87 ERA. Erubiel Durazo’s three-run homer off a reliever in the eighth accounted for Hermosillo’s scoring.
Meanwhile, Mexicali took a 6-5 win at home against Guasave. The Algodoneros took an early 3-0 lead off Aguilas ace Andy Sisco as Leo Heras rocked a homer in his third consecutive game for the Cottoneers in the first inning and added a two-run single in the third. However, Mexicali scored two runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings with Reggie Abercrombie and Raul Gonzalez both homering for the Eagles.