Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Sandy Madera might be forgiven if he’s developing a complex. Since becoming one of the more dependable batters south of the border after debuting with Los Mochis of the Mexican Pacific League in 2009, the sweet-swinging Dominican has played baseball year-round in Mexico since then. However, for the second summer in a row, the ex-Red Sox farmhand has changed Mexican League teams in midseason. Last year, Madera was swapped from Saltillo to Yucatan for outfielder Willie Romero. This season, he was released outright by the Leones on June 10 despite hitting .320 with nine homers in Merida.

Now the 30-year-old Madera finds himself with the Monterrey Sultanes, who snapped him up as a free agent June 13 after losing sluggers Luis Alfonso Garcia and Karim Garcia to Asian teams within days of each other earlier in the month. While Madera won’t supply the home run threat either of the Garcias represented, he is expected to give Sultanes manager Che Reyes a higher batting average with gap power. So far, so good: In his first 11 games for Monterrey, Madera went 18-for-49 for a .367 average with two homers. The Sultanes will need that kind of production as they battle for a playoff slot.

Still, Madera must wonder if he needs to change his deodorant after being jettisoned by his summer team two straight years. On top of that, after leading the Mex Pac with a .413 average for Mochis in 2009-10 and still losing out in the MVP vote to Hermosillo’s Luis Alfonso Garcia, last winter Madera’s .362 average for the Caneros should have given him a second batting title, but the LMP gave it to Guasave’s Eduardo Arredondo (.401) although Arredondo lacked enough plate appearances to qualify after missing 25 of the Algodoneros’ 68 games. Maybe Sandy should ask which roll-on Eduardo uses.

Monday, June 27, 2011


Not that the Mexico City Diablos Rojos are in a do-or-die situation, but the Northern Zone-leading Red Devils have headed into the final month of the Mexican League regular season by bringing in shortstop Luis Alfonso Cruz and pitcher Nerio Rodriguez to bulk up for the August playoffs.

Cruz (pictured), the former Brewers infielder who raised a few eyebrows last winter by calling former Milwaukee skipper Ken Macha “a bit of a racist,” was optioned from the Rangers’ AAA farm team in Round Rock (where he was hitting .279) to replace Jose Luis Sandoval at short. Sandoval played in five straight All-Star Games between 2006 and 2010, but turns 42 in August and is only hitting .230 this year. Cruz immediately paid dividends by homering twice in his first game June 25 against Puebla.

The Diablos have been shuffling the deck with their pitching staff as well. First, they brought back closer Francisco Butto as a free agent after the 2009 Caribbean Series MVP had been shipped in the offseason from Mexico City to Oaxaca, where he struggled (4-6/4.47/13 saves) before being let go by the Guerreros. Butto pitched three times for the Diablos, but was released to make room for veteran pitcher Nerio Rodriguez, who was cut by Monclova after going 3-5 with a 9.50 ERA for the Acereros this season. Mexico City is gambling that they can revive the fortunes of Rodriguez, a former MLBer who was the Liga’s Pitcher of the Year in both 2007 and 2008 and a four-time All-Star for Monclova.

Friday, June 24, 2011


Veteran designated hitter Carlos Sievers (pictured) clobbered two homers and drove in five runs to pace the Quintana Roo Tigres to an 8-4 win over the Minatitlan Petroleros Thursday night in Mexican League action at Cancun’s Estadio Beto Avila.

Tigres second baseman Carlos Gastelum went 3-for-5 and scored twice while catcher Iker Franco whacked a solo homer to augment Sievers’ fireworks as Quintana Roo copped their fifth win in a row to lift their Liga-best record to 49-30, pushing the Tigres to a 5.5-game lead over second-place Veracruz in the Southern Zone standings despite having the lowest team batting average in the Liga at .277. QR’s team ERA of 4.30 is the LMB’s best, proving that pitching really does matter (especially when nobody else seems to have it).

Jose Ramirez (6-4) went seven innings and let in four runs for the win while the Petros’ Rafael Cruz (5-5) was rocked for five runs in the first (including homers by Sievers and Franco) before being mercifully yanked by interim manager Shamar Almeida with only one out on the board.

Almeida is the third manager in Minatitlan this season, replacing Francisco “Paquin” Estrada on May 21, a little over a month after Estrada took the reins from Victor Meza on April 19. Minatitlan dropped further into last place in the LMB South by falling to 33-47, including a 12-15 mark under Almeida (a native of Los Mochis).

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Pittsburgh Pirates pitching prospect Luis Heredia made his long-awaited pro baseball debut Tuesday, tossing 2.2 innings for the Pirates’ Gulf Coast League squad in a 10-7 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. The 16-year-old Heredia, who signed a contract with Pittsburgh last August for a reported $2.6 million, did not have the greatest of starts, allowing two runs on one hit while walking three Jays batters without a strikeout.

Heredia fared reasonably well over the first two innings, holding Toronto hitless as the Jays’ Angel Gomez reached base on an error by Pirates shortstop Alen Hanson in the first and Seth Connor got on board with a walk in the second frame.

Things got tougher for Heredia in the third, however. After retiring the first two batters to make it eight outs recorded among the first ten hitters faced, the 6’6” righty from Mazatlan hit Gomez with a pitch. Then, with Dickie Thon, Jr. batting, Gomez stole second and third before Thon was walked. Heredia then issued a free pass to Kevin Patterson to load the bases for Toronto, setting the table for Santiago Nessy’s two-run line-drive single to center. At that point, Pittsburgh skipper Tom Prince replaced Heredia with former Texas Tech hurler Robert Kilcrease.

Still, the Pirates had to be pleased that although Heredia’s control left something to be desired, he only allowed the one Nessy single. Heredia chose to sign with Pittsburgh after reportedly receiving interest from ten MLB organizations. Ironically, Toronto was said to have offered Heredia even more than the Pirates, but the youngster’s long-term friendship with Pirates scout Jesus “Chino” Valdez was enough the seal the deal for the Buccos.

Monday, June 20, 2011


Two months into the season at the end of May, Jorge Vazquez looked like a candidate for a call-up to New York Yankees. Although the Culiacan native had cooled down after a torrid April in which he hit .323 with nine homers and 27 RBIs (including Player of the Week honors April 11-18) in just 23 games for the International League’s Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, Vazquez ended May with a decent .281 batting average and 18 roundtrippers.

Then came June.

During the first 19 days of the month, the right-handed first baseman was hitting just .188 with two homers and seven RBIs. The worst of it has come after June 13, when he singled and doubled in a game at Syracuse. Since then, Vazquez has gone 0-for-18 with nine strikeouts in five games and a call-up to Yankee Stadium seems far away. On the surface his current average of .257 with 20 homers and 52 RBIs in 65 games looks respectable, but the parent club has got to be concerned about Vazquez’ 93 strikeouts in 261 at-bats, a pace that would put him over 200 for the IL season.

Still, it would be foolish to write the season off for the 5’11” 225-pounder. After all, this is a guy who was named the Caribbean Series MVP in February after leading Obregon to the first Mexican CS crown since 2005, then impressed the Yankees with his bat during spring training. “He’s got some thunder,” said Yanks senior director of pro personnel Billy Eppler.

Friday, June 17, 2011


Willis Otanez (pictured) cracked three homers and drove in seven runs to lead the Reynosa Broncos to a 16-6 win over the Mexico City Diablos Thursday night at Foro Sol in the capital city. With the win, the Broncos snapped a four-game losing skid, avoided a three-game sweep at the hands of the Diablos and lifted themselves into a first-place tie with Mexico City in the Mexican League Northern Zone.

Otanez hammered a two-run homer off starter Marco Duarte in the third inning, a two-run bomb off Irwin Delgado in the sixth and a three-run blast in the eighth off Aldo Flores to raise his batting average to .342 to go along with his 16 homers on the season. Marshall McDougall cracked his tenth homer of 2011 off Duarte with two gone in the top of the first as Reynosa racked up 18 hits on the night as Mexico City shot themselves in the feet with four errors in the field.

Oscar Hurtado earned the win for Reynosa by scattering five hits and letting in two runs in six innings on the mound, striking out seven Mexico City batters. Duarte was rocked for eight runs on ten hits and three walks in 5.1 frames to take the loss, but the most luckless Red Devil hurler had to be Flores, who let in six runs without retiring a batter in the eighth.

With the win, Reynosa evened their record with the Diablos at 44-30.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Joel Vargas became the first pitcher in the Mexican League to win ten games Tuesday night as his Veracruz Aguilas defeated the Tabasco Olmecas, 9-4, before just 1,400 onlookers at Parque Centenario del 27 de Febrero in Villahermosa.

The 37-year-old righty had a decent start for the Eagles, allowing two earned runs over six innings to gently nudge his season ERA down to 3.14. Vargas also struck out five Tabasco batters and walked three in raising his record to 10-3. Vargas spent nine seasons pitching for the Olmecas, compiling a 56-47 record before going to Veracruz last year.

Veracruz took a 4-0 lead in the top of the first on Jose Chavez’ two-run homer and Jose Orozco’s two-run double, both off Tabasco starter Roman Rivas, who took the loss to fall to 1-1. The Aguilas are now 40-32 and trail Quintana Roo in the LMB South standings, while Tabasco is 32-40, two games ahead of last-place Minatitlan in the seven-team division.

Elsewhere in Liga action Tuesday night, the Mexico City Diablos Rojos and Reynosa Broncos opened their important three-game series at Foro Sol with a 7-5 Red Devils win. Luis Terrero and Japhet Amador both socked two-run homers for Mexico City to back starter Roberto Ramirez, who took the win to go to 6-3 for the year. The two teams are now tied for the LMB North lead with identical 43-29 records.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Monterrey Sultanes outfielder Karim Garcia has gone to Korea for another tour of duty. The former big leaguer signed a one-year contract last week with the Hanwha Eagles of the Korea Baseball Organization for a reported $180,000.

The product of Sonora was an immediate fan favorite with the Lotte Giants of the KBO in 2008 by hitting .283, blasting 30 homers and driving in 111 runs while making the first of three All-Star Game appearances. However, his performance tailed off in 2010 as he hit .252 with 26 homers and 83 RBIs as his season reached its nadir in September when he was suspended seven games and fined $3,000 for arguing with an umpire during a game.

The incident more or less capped a year in which his father, former Mexican League star Pancho Garcia, died in January 2010, just before Karim got married a week later and took a quick honeymoon break from the Mexican Pacific League playoffs with eventual LMP champion Hermosillo. Last winter, Karim played sparingly for the Naranjeros, hitting .333 with 9 homers and 31 ribbies in just 22 games, but hit a disappointing .211 as Hermosillo got bounced in five opening round games.

The 35-year-old Garcia was a highly-touted Dodgers prospect in the mid-90’s before embarking on an MLB odyssey that saw him hit .241 with 66 homers for ten teams between 1995 and 2004. He also played in Japan before heading to Korea. In 53 games for Monterrey this season, Garcia was hitting .322 with 7 homers and 53 RBIs.

Sunday, June 12, 2011



NORTHERN ZONE: Reynosa 43-27, Mexico City 42-27, Monterrey 37-33, Puebla 32-35, Monclova 32-38, Saltillo 29-41, Laguna 25-45

SOUTHERN ZONE: Quintana Roo 41-28, Veracruz 39-31, Oaxaca 36-31, Campeche 35-34, Yucatan 34-36, Tabasco 32-38, Minatitlan 28-41



Laguna Vaqueros
BATTING: AVG-Jesus Romo .353; HR-Emmanuel Valdez 14; RBI-Emmanuel Valdez 66, SB-Dionys Cesar/Flavio Romero 13
PITCHING: ERA-Jose Oyervidez 3.54; W-S. Mora/J. Oyervides 4; SO-Jose Oyervidez 51; SV-Julio Manon 6

Mexico City Diablos Rojos
BATTING: AVG-Japhet Amador .410; HR-Luis Terrero 25; RBI-Luis Terrero 74; SB-Leo Heras 19
PITCHING: ERA-Roberto Ramirez 3.41; W-Marco Duarte 7; SO-Marco Duarte 65; SV-Jean Machi 7

Monclova Acereros
BATTING: AVG-Amaury Cazana .373; HR-Leo Arauz 11; RBI-Amaury Cazana 50; SB-Three players 4
PITCHING: ERA-Oswaldo Verdugo 5.12; W-Jose Cabrera 7; SO-Jasiel Acosta 51; SV-Jose Cabrera 8

Monterrey Sultanes
BATTING: AVG-Edgar Quintero .361; HR-Edgar Quintero 22; RBI-Edgar Quintero 56, SB-Chris Roberson 15
PITCHING: ERA-Walter Silva 4.11; W-Walter Silva 6; SO-Juan Delgadillo 47; SV-Oscar Villareal 12

Puebla Pericos
BATTING: AVG-Rene Reyes .339; HR-Mendy Lopez 20; RBI-Mendy Lopez 65; SB-Rene Reyes 9
PITCHING: ERA-Andres Meza 2.77; W-Andres Meza 8; SO-A. Meza/M. Lara 58; SV-Luis Ramirez 7

Reynosa Broncos
BATTING: AVG-Jesse Gutierrez .347; HR-Jesse Gutierrez 18; RBI-Marshall McDougall 58; SB-Eduardo Arredondo 30
PITCHING: ERA-Marco Tovar 2.79; W-Marco Tovar 7; SO-Marco Tovar 47; SV-Alan Guerrero 15

Saltillo Saraperos
BATTING: AVG-Jose Amador .372; HR-Refugio Cervantes 16; RBI-Jesus Cota 48; SB-Jovanny Rosario 27
PITCHING: ERA-Danny Rodriguez 4.52; W-Jose Mercedes 4; SO-Danny Rodriguez 56; SV-Rafael Diaz 11


Campeche Piratas
BATTING: AVG-Ruben Rivera .359; HR-Ruben Rivera 24; RBI-Ruben Rivera 66; SB-Luis Matos 14
PITCHING: ERA-Francisco Campos 3.51; W-Three pitchers 7; SO-Carlos Elizalde 66; SV-Jose Silva 12

Minatitlan Petroleros
BATTING: AVG-Sharnol Adriana .319; HR-Rolando Acosta 14; RBI-Rolando Acosta 50, SB-Freddy Guzman 15
PITCHING: ERA-Tomas Solis 4.85; W-Juan Jesus Martinez 5; SO-Tomas Solis 48; SV-Alejandro Rios 3

Oaxaca Guerreros
BATTING: AVG-Barbaro Canizares .374; HR-Barbaro Canizares 9; RBI-Kevin Barker 48; SB-Yancarlo Angulo 10
PITCHING: ERA-Victor Moreno 4.54; W-Victor Moreno 8; SO-Victor Moreno 68; SV-Francisco Butto 13

Quintana Roo Tigres
BATTING: AVG-Sergio Contreras .348; HR-Iker Franco 19; RBI-Iker Franco 57; SB-Willie Romero/Albino Contreras 10
PITCHING: ERA-Pablo Ortega 3.05; W-Sandy Nin 6; SO-Seth Etherton 51; SV-Sandy Nin 13

Tabasco Olmecas
BATTING: AVG-Ramon Orantes .364; HR-Michel Abreu 12; RBI-Michel Abreu 51; SB-Henry Mateo 22
PITCHING: ERA-Leo Gonzalez 4.40; W-Leo Gonzalez 6; SO-Leo Gonzalez 50; SV-Francisco Villegas 9

Veracruz Aguilas
BATTING: AVG-Francisco Mendez .290; HR-Jorge Guzman/Victor Diaz 27; RBI-Jorge Guzman 66; SB-Jose Chavez 13
PITCHING: ERA-Joel Vargas 3.15; W-Joel Vargas 9; SO-Joel Vargas 50; SV-Hector Navarro 15

Yucatan Leones
BATTING: AVG-Fernando Valenzuela Jr .372; HR-Sandy Madera 9; RBI-Sandy Madera 42; SB-Fernando Alejos 6
PITCHING: ERA-Oscar Rivera 3.52; W-Six pitchers 4; SO-Oscar Rivera 44; SV-Jose Vargas 11

NOTE: Players and figures in boldface indicate league leaders

Friday, June 10, 2011


Number nine batter Gabriel Gutierrez (pictured) went 4-for-5 and scored five times as the Mexico City Diablos Rojos pounded the Veracruz Aguilas, 20-9, Thursday as 5,080 fans looked on at Foro Sol. The win gave Mexico City a 2-games-to-1 series win over Veracruz in a battle between two teams that have been at or near the top of their respective divisions all season.

The Aguilas took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first as two runs scored when Diablos center fielder made two errors on the same ball hit by Jose Orozco, who then scored from third on a Manuel Bobadilla single. Mexico City eventually gained a 4-3 lead before Veracruz scored twice in the fourth to go back on top. From that point, however, the Red Devils notched 16 runs between the fourth and eighth frames to essentially salt the game away as the Mexico City offense (which features eight .300 hitters in the lineup) wore down seven Veracruz pitchers. One night earlier, the Eagles snapped a nine-game Diablos win streak with a 13-5 win over the hosts as Jose Guzman belted his Liga-leading 27th homer.

Meanwhile, everyone's wondering what’s wrong with the Saltillo Saraperos. The two-time defending champions got off to a slow enough start to the season, but have been absolutely awful the past month, going 6-23 between May 10 and June 7 before winning home games Wednesday and Thursday against lowly Minatitlan. Heading into the weekend, the Saraperos have a 28-40 record, 14 games behind first-place Reynosa and four games ahead of last-place Laguna. Saltillo pitching (never a strong point even during pennant-winning seasons) is now showing a 6.26 ERA.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


The Mexican Pacific League’s Hermosillo Naranjeros are shaking up their veteran-laden roster, trading catcher Geronimo Gil and outfielder Chris Roberson to Mexicali for 20-year-old Phillies catching prospect Angel Chavarin, Giants pitching farmhand Alex Hinshaw and the first pick in this year’s LMP draft.

Gil (pictured) hit .338 with 3 homers and 36 RBIs in 62 games for Hermosillo in 2010-11 while Roberson batted .243 with 4 homers and 11 stolen bases with the Naranjeros. Chavarin played in just two games last winter for Mexicali, going 0-for-3, while Hinshaw was 1-0 with a 3.32 ERA in 17 relief appearances for the Aguilas. Gil, Roberson and Hinshaw all have previous major league experience: Gil hit .230 in six MLB seasons, five with Baltimore from 2001-05; Roberson batted .232 for the Phillies in 2006 and 2007; Hinshaw was 2-1 with a 4.43 ERA for the Giants between 2008 and 2009. Chavarin hit .192 in 11 games for the Phillies’ Gulf Coast rookie league team last summer and has yet to play in 2011.

To make room for Gil, Mexicali dealt veteran catcher Noe Munoz to Los Mochis for the rights to nfielder Issmael Salas. Munoz, 43, is batting .230 in 38 games for Saltillo this year. Salas spent eight years in the Cubs system and is also playing for Saltillo, hitting .303 in 42 contests.

Monday, June 6, 2011


First baseman Luis Alfonso Garcia, who has led the Mexican Pacific League in homers the past three winters, is going to Japan. The 33-year-old Jalisco native was set to sign a one-year deal Tuesday with the Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Pacific League, with an option for 2012. The Sponichi website in Japan reports that Garcia is getting the nod from among five candidates for the Eagles, including ex-big leaguer Willy Mo Pena.

A former farmhand for six MLB organizations (including a .314/32/95 year in 2004 for Las Vegas of the PCL) who’s played in three Mexican League All-Star Games, Garcia has shone brightest playing winterball for the Hermosillo Naranjeros. The MexPac’s MVP for 2005-06 and 2009-10, he batted .301 last season for the Orangemen and led the LMP with 21 homers, 60 RBIs and a .602 slugging percentage.

The 6’4” Garcia hit .276 with 7 homers and 41 RBIs in 49 games for Monterrey in the Mexican League this year.

Sunday, June 5, 2011



Reynosa Broncos (39-29/.609/0.0GB)
BATTING: AVG-Yurendell de Caster .356; HR-Jesse Gutierrez 17; RBI-Marshall McDougall 56; SB-Eduardo Arredondo 29
PITCHING: ERA-Marco Tovar 3.04; W-Marco Tovar 6; SO-Marco Tovar 42; SV-Alan Guerrero 13

Mexico City Diablos Rojos (38-26/.594/1.0GB)
BATTING: AVG-Japhet Amador .423; HR-Luis Terrero 23; RBI-Luis Terrero 67; SB-Leo Heras 19
PITCHING: ERA-Roberto Ramirez 3.41; W-Marco Duarte 6; SO-M. Duarte 63/R. Ramirez 63; SV-Jean Machi 6

Monterrey Sultanes (35-29/.547/4.0GB)
BATTING: AVG-Edgar Quintero .355; HR-Edgar Quintero 21; RBI-Karim Garcia 53, SB-Chris Roberson 14
PITCHING: ERA-Walter Silva 4.01; W-Walter Silva 6; SO-Juan Delgadillo 44; SV-Oscar Villareal 11

Puebla Pericos (29-32/.475/8.5GB)
BATTING: AVG-Rene Reyes .345; HR-Mendy Lopez 20; RBI-Mendy Lopez 63; SB-Rene Reyes 8
PITCHING: ERA-Andres Meza 2.92; W-Andres Meza 8; SO-Mauricio Lara 54; SV-Luis Ramirez 7

Monclova Acereros (29-35/.453/10.0GB)
BATTING: AVG-Amaury Cazana .355; HR-Leo Arauz 9; RBI-Amaury Cazana; SB-Three players 4
PITCHING: ERA-Jasiel Acosta 5.00; W-Jose Cabrera 7; SO-Jasiel Acosta 51; SV-Jose Cabrera 7

Saltillo Saraperos (26-38/.406/13.0GB)
BATTING: AVG-Jose Amador .380; HR-Refugio Cervantes 14; RBI-Jesus Cota 46; SB-Jovanny Rosario 27
PITCHING: ERA-Hector Daniel Rodriguez 4.35; W-Five pitchers 3; SO-Hector Daniel Rodriguez 51; SV-Rafael Diaz 11

Laguna Vaqueros (22-42/.344/17.0GB)
BATTING: AVG-Jesus Romo .353; HR-Emmanuel Valdez 12; RBI-Emmanuel Valdez 59, SB-Dionys Cesar/Flavio Romero 13
PITCHING: ERA-Jose Oyervidez 3.86; W-Sergio Mora 4; SO-Sergio Mora/Jose Oyervidez 47; SV-Julio Manon 6


Veracruz Aguilas (37-27/.578/0.0GB)
BATTING: AVG-Francisco Mendez .284; HR-Jorge Guzman 26; RBI-Jorge Guzman 61; SB-Jose Chavez 13
PITCHING: ERA-Joel Vargas 3.01; W-Joel Vargas 8; Joel Vargas 49; SV-Hector Navarro 15

Quintana Roo Tigres (37-27/.578/0.0GB)
BATTING: AVG-Sergio Contreras .343; HR-Iker Franco 18; RBI-Iker Franco 54; SB-Willie Romero/Albino Contreras 10
PITCHING: ERA-Pablo Ortega 2.90; W-Sandy Nin 6; SO-Seth Etherton 51; SV-Sandy Nin 13

Oaxaca Guerreros (32-28/.541/2.5GB)
BATTING: AVG-Barbaro Canizares .390; HR-Barbaro Canizares 9; RBI-Kevin Barker 46, SB-Yancarlo Angulo
PITCHING: ERA-Victor Moreno 4.38; W-Victor Moreno 7; SO-Victor Moreno 59; SV-Francisco Butto 13

Yucatan Leones (32-32/.500/5.0GB)
BATTING: AVG-Fernando Valenzuela Jr. .366; HR-Sandy Madera 9; RBI-Sandy Madera 42; SB-Oswaldo Morejon 5
PITCHING: ERA-Oscar Rivera 3.62; W-Six pitchers 4; SO-Oscar Rivera 41; SV-Jose Vargas 11

Tabasco Olmecas (31-33/.484/6.0GB)
BATTING: AVG-Ramon Orantes .364; HR-Michel Abreu 12; RBI-Michel Abreu 49; SB-Henry Mateo 22
PITCHING: ERA-Leo Gonzalez 4.19; W-Leo Gonzalez 6; SO-Leo Gonzalez 43; SV-Francisco Villegas 9

Campeche Piratas (31-33/.484/6.0GB)
BATTING: AVG-Ruben Rivera .350; HR-Ruben Rivera 23; RBI-Ruben Rivera 60; SB-Luis Matos 13
PITCHING: ERA-Alejandro Armenta 3.54; W-A. Armenta/Carlos Elizalde 7; SO-A. Armenta 62; SV-Jose Silva 11

Minatitlan Petroleros (26-38/.406/11.0GB)
BATTING: AVG-Sharnol Adriana .353; HR-Hiram Bocachica/Rolando Acosta 12; RBI-R. Acosta 46, SB-Freddy Guzman 15
PITCHING: ERA-Tomas Solis 5.08; W-Juan Jesus Martinez 5; SO-Tomas Solis 40; SV-Alejandro Rios 3

NOTE: Players and figures in boldface indicate league leaders

Friday, June 3, 2011


Rodrigo Aguirre (pictured) hit an RBI double in the top of the 14th inning to provide the Reynosa Broncos their margin of victory in a 5-4 knucklebiter over the Puebla Pericos Thursday night before 6,435 fans at Puebla’s Estadio Hermanos Serdan. With the win, the 37-25 Broncos maintained their slim one-game lead in the Mexican League Northern Zone over the 36-26 Mexico City Diablos Rojos, who kept pace with a 6-5 squeaker in Saltillo. Puebla, last season’s LMB South champion, fell to 29-30 for the year.

The Pericos jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first, courtesy of two-run homers by All-Star Game Home Run Derby champ Mendy Lopez and Omar de la Torre off Broncos starter Rudy Gonzalez, but Reynosa scored two runs in the fourth when Marshall McDougall doubled in Eduardo Arredondo and came around to score on an Adan Munoz single, then tied the game in the seventh after Munoz scored on a Yurendell de Caster ground out and Jesse Gutierrez came in from third on a Domingo Castro single.

The two teams traded zeros until the top of the 14th, when Gutierrez led off with a single against Puebla reliever Adolfo Delfin, who had allowed one hit in three innings to that point. Gutierrez was replaced by pinch-runner Eduardo Arroyo, who advanced to second on a de Caster sacrifice bunt before scoring the go-ahead run on Aguirre’s double. Francisco Rivera then retired Puebla 1-2-3 with two strikeouts in the bottom of the 14th to preserve the win, whiffing Lopez swinging to end the contest.

The comeback and late-inning heroics were emblematic of a Reynosa team projected to only have an outside shot at making a playoff berth this season, as manager Lorenzo Bundy’s Broncos have won six of their last ten to stay ahead of hard-charging Mexico City, who has won their last five games. The Broncos will be home in Reynosa to open a crossover series with Oaxaca Saturday night. The 33-26 Guerreros are locked in a three-way battle for the LMB South lead, trailing 36-26 Quintana Roo and 35-27 Veracruz, another surprise team this year. The Diablos will be back at Foro Sol tonight for a return series with struggling Saltillo. The defending two-time champ Saraperos are ten games under .500 at 26-36 and have lost six straight.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Ruben Rivera (pictured), Erick Rodriguez and Doug Clark slammed home runs and nine pitchers combined to limit the Northern Zone to one run on six hits as the Southern Zone trounced the North, 11-1, on May 29 at the 79th Mexican League All-Star Game in front of 14,633 fans in Saltillo’s Parque Francisco I. Madero.

Rivera opened the game’s scoring for the LMB South when the Campeche outfielder belted a two-run, line-drive homer to left off North starter Andres Meza of Puebla. Meza had a tough time, letting in three runs on four hits in his one inning of mound work. He was followed by eleven more pitchers for the North as the South offense combined to rack up 17 hits.

Surprisingly, the 3-0 South lead held through five innings, but after North manager Orlando Sanchez of Saltillo made six defensive changes in the top of the sixth, things started getting ugly. With two out, Quintana Roo’s Carlos Gastelum singled in Oaxaca’s Rodriguez and Veracruz shortstop Hector Hernandez tripled in Gastelum to put the South up 5-0.

Things really got out of hand in the seventh when the Tigres’ Clark swatted a three-run blast off Puebla’s Luis Ramirez to make it 8-0, and another Gastelum RBI single put the South further ahead. Rodriguez clubbed a two-run shot off Mexico City’s Jean Machi in the top of the ninth to cap the scoring for the South. Laguna’s Emmanuel Valdez stroked an RBI single in the bottom of the frame to put the North on the scoreboard, but it was purely academic by then.

Rivera ended up going 1-for-3 with two RBIs and was named the game MVP, a somewhat surprising pick since South teammate Clark went 2-for-3 with three ribbies. Veteran Campeche star Francisco Campos earned the win with a 1-2-3 first inning, while Meza was tagged with the loss.

One day earlier, Puebla’s Mendy Lopez outdueled Veracruz slugger Victor Diaz in the final round to win the Home Run Derby. Lopez also won the 2008 Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game in Tijuana while a member of the Monterrey Sultanes.