Monday, January 23, 2012

MURILLO BLASTS CLUTCH HOMER AS OBREGON TAKES 2-0 SERIES LEAD

One night after stroking a single to keep a game-winning rally going in Obregon’s 3-2 win over Guasave in Game One of the Mexican Pacific League championship series, Agustin Murillo swatted a two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning Sunday night to lead the Yaquis past the Algodoneros in a 6-5 thriller Sunday before another sellout crowd of 13,984 at Obregon’s Estadio Tomas Oroz Gaytan.

The Algodoneros had built a 5-1 lead after Jose Rodriguez sliced a two-run single in the third and run-plating singles by Jesus Lopez and Jose Felix in the sixth. Obregon got two back in the sixth by scoring on a groundout by Doug Clark and a Carlos Valencia single, then came to within a run in the seventh on Barbaro Canizares’ RBI groundout.

Valencia was standing on first with two out when Murillo strode to the plate in the eighth and blasted a homer over the centerfield wall off Cottoneers closer Alan Guerrero to give the Yaquis their first lead since the top of the third. Luis Ayala then came out of the bullpen to replace Rafael Rodriguez on the mound in the top of the ninth and retired Guasave 1-2-3 on seven pitches for his sixth playoff save this winter (and second in both title series tilts).

Valencia went 3-for-4 for the Yaquis while Saturday hero Karim Garcia had two doubles as Obregon outhit the Algodoneros by an 8-to-4 margin. Yaquis starter Randy Keisler gave up just two hits in five innings, but struggled with five walks to the 22 batters he faced and ended up allowing four runs before Hugo Castellano replaced him in the sixth. Rodriguez benefitted from Murillo’s homer with the win despite only facing two batsmen. Guerrero took the loss with his second blown save of the postseason on a clear 75-degree Obregon night.

The two sides will travel to Guasave for Game Three on Tuesday night. Obregon now has a 2-0 series lead.