OBREGON 5, HERMOSILLO 3
The Obregon Yaquis parlayed a three-run sixth inning into a 5-3 win over the Hermosillo Naranjeros Sunday night to clinch the Mexican Pacific League’s second-half title and the eight points that come with it. A crowd of 13,172 gathered at Obregon’s Estadio Tomas Oroz Gaytan.
Dustin Martin lined his fifth homer of the winter over the right field wall in the bottom of the first to stake the Yaquis an early lead, but the Orangemen knotted the score at 2-2 in the top of the sixth when Mario Santana singled with the bases loaded and Carlos Gastelum followed with a sacks-full walk. Obregon broke the game open in the bottom half of the frame, keyed by Max Ramirez’ two-run double off Hermosillo starter Edgar Gonzalez.
Yaquis reliever Angel Ramirez got his first win by retiring the last Naranjeros batter in the sixth before the winning runs came along while ex-Indians hurler Josh Judy (pictured) tossed a scoreless ninth for his eighth save. Gonzalez fell to 3-5 with the loss. Hermosillo actually outhit Obregon 12-6 for the night as Jose Amador went 3-for-5, but the Naranjeros left 11 runners stranded on base and batted just 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
Obregon is now 20-11 with two games left in the half, three games up on both Navojoa and fast-rising Mazatlan. Hermosillo fell to 15-15 and hold fourth place.
NAVOJOA 9, LOS MOCHIS 1
The Navojoa Mayos plated seven runs over the first two innings and cruised to a 9-1 win over Los Mochis Sunday as 6,834 attendees watched at Estadio Manuel “Ciclon” Chavarria in Navojoa.
Quincy Latimore poled his tenth homer of the season for the Mayos, a three-run blast in the second that gave the hosts their 7-0 lead. Starter Eddie Gamboa continued his strong winter for Navajoa by allowing one run and scattering three hits over six innings of work, striking out six, to go to 5-2 while lowering his ERA to 3.12. Caneros hurler Derrick Miramontes (5-6) was chased early after allowing five runs on as many hits in just over one inning. Antonio Lamas had two of Mochis’ four hits.
Navojoa is now 17-14 while Mochis falls to 14-17.
CULIACAN 8, MEXICALI 1
Hector Daniel Rodriguez pitched seven innings of one-hit shutout ball as the Culiacan Tomeratero posted an 8-1 win over Mexicali as 19,851 spectators looked on in the Sinaloa city Sunday night. C.J. Retherford was the only Mexicali batsman to reach base off Rodriguez by slicing a leadoff single to center in the second, but Retherford was cut down in an inning-ending double play as Rodriguez (7-3/3.00) faced the minimum 21 batters over his seven frames, whiffing five Mexicali batters.
Jose Manuel Orozco whacked a two-run homer for Culiacan while leadoff batter Rico Noel singled three times and scored twice. With the win, Culiacan raised their record to 15-16 while Mexicali dropped to 14-16.
MAZATLAN 8, JALISCO 1
Esteban Quiroz had three singles, drove in three runs and scored two more to lead Mazatlan to an 8-1 win over Jalisco Sunday in a contest of two teams heading in opposite directions before 13,101 onlookers at Estadio Teodoro Mariscal in Mazatlan. The win was the Venados’ ninth straight (starting December 16) while the Charros have lost 12 of their last 14 contests.
Alejandro Soto went six strong innings, allowing one run on three hits in combining with three Mazatlan reliever on a five-hitter. Soto evened his record at 4-4 while his ERA dropped to a sparkling 2.63. Jeremias Pinedas stole two bases to take sole league leadership in that category with 28 and scored three times for the Venados.
Mazatlan was sitting in last place when Juan Jose Pacho took over as manager from Miguel Ojeda on December 9, but have gone 12-3 under Pacho to move into a tie for second with Navojoa at 17-14. Jalisco has plummeted to 11-20 and have clinched last place in the second half.