Friday, December 4, 2015


After a tepid (at best) first half, the Hermosillo Naranjeros have shown much more life since Enrique "Che" Reyes replaced Lorenzo Bundy as manager nearly two weeks ago after Bundy bolted for a similar post in Navojoa.  That Reyes has woken up the somnambulant club was evident when the Orangemen swept a three-game series at home over the Los Mochis Caneros, who'd been sitting atop the Mexican Pacific League standings heading into the set.

The Naranjeros completed the sweep Thursday with a 3-2 win over the Caneros in front of 7,283 onlookers at Estadio Sonora.  The contest was tied 2-2 with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning when Hermosillo's Sebastian Elizalde (above) scored the winning run in a fashion that would make Cool Papa Bell proud: After singling up the middle off Los Mochis reliever Thomas Melgarejo to open the frame and staying put when Pete O'Brien Jr. flew out to right field, Elizalde advanced to second on a wild pitch by Isaac Jimenez (who had relieved Melgarejo) before motoring home on J.C. Linares' pop-up single just beyond the grasp of Los Mochis shortstop Emmanuel Avila.  No word on whether Jimenez was treated for whiplash after the play.

Hermosillo got off to a middling start under Reyes, who took the reins November 24, before the Caneros came to town Tuesday.  While the Naranjeros' 6-5-1 record isn't imposing, their pitching and defense have tightened up by allowing just 19 runs in their past nine game as the Caneros scored just three times in the series.  As a result, the same team that had an entirely forgettable first half is now 1.5 games out of first behind 8-4 Navojoa and a half-game back of 7-5 Los Mochis as only 2.5 games separate the top seven teams in the standings.  The Mazatlan Venados bring up the rear at 3-9 heading into this weekend's schedule.

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