Los Mochis and Navojoa have bolted out the gate in the Mexican Pacific League’s second half. The Caneros and Mayos are both 6-2 with the final month of the LMP regular season looming ahead. First-half champion Mexicali is in third with a 4-3 mark and Culiacan holds fourth at 4-4, followed by 3-4 Hermosillo. Jalisco and Obregon are tied for sixth at 3-5, a game up on 2-6 tailender Mazatlan. Four weeks remain until the playoffs begin after Christmas.
Mexicali OF Welington “Duke” Dotel continues to pace league batters with a .379 average, 21 points ahead of Obregon 3B Christian Villanueva’s .358. Jalisco teammates 3B Alex Liddi and OF Jesus Valdez are tied for fourth at .333. Another Charros swinger, 1B Japhet Amador, tops the loop with 12 homers and 39 RBIs in 44 contests. He’s batting .281. Culiacan OF Rico Noel has 20 stolen bases in just 27 games to top the MexPac, but also reportedly became embroiled in a heated dugout argument with Tomateros manager Benji Gil that nearly ended in blows.
Mexicali P Javier Solano (above) was touched up for 6 runs in 7 innings against Mazatlan November 27, but still managed to win in a 9-6 triumph over the Venados. It’s been that kind of winter for Solano, whose LMP-best 7-1 record has been built on a 4.08 ERA, solid offensive support and luck. Mazatlan’s Alejandro Soto has pitched better than his 3-2 record shows, topping the MexPac with a 2.17 ERA. 2009 Mexican League Rookie of the Year Juan Pablo Oramos is wintering in Hermosillo, where his 55 strikeouts are most in the league. Oakland farmhand RHP Andres Avila has 18 saves in 24 outings for Los Mochis.