The Mexicali Aguilas drew first blood in the Mexican Pacific League championship series by clobbering the Mazatlan Venados, 8-1, Wednesday to win Game One as 17,000 fans looked on at Mexicali's Estadio B-Air.
The Venados led early when reinforcement outfielder Justin Greene singled up the middle, then roared around the bases to score on Esteban Quiroz' double past Mexicali left fielder Ricky Alvarez in the top of the first inning. Alvarez (pictured) struck back when the former Angels minor leaguer walloped a three-run homer over the left field wall off Mazatlan starter Amilcar Gaxiola in the bottom of the second, plating Yuniesky Betancourt and Alex Liddi to give the Eagles a 3-1 lead. Mexicali added a run in the fourth on Luis Juarez' leadoff homer, then put the game away with another four counters in the sixth, keyed by Xorge Carrillo's RBI double and run-scoring singles by Walter Ibarra and C.J. Retherford, to go up by an 8-1 count.
Javier Solano pitched 5.1 innings for Mexicali, letting in two runs on four hits with seven strikeouts in getting the win. Gaxiola was tagged for the loss after getting cuffed around for five runs in five-plus innings. Retherford, Juarez and Ibarra finished with two hits each for the Aguilas while Greene singled twice for the Deer, who only picked up four more safeties over their final eight scoreless innings off Solano and four relievers.
Game Two will be Thursday night at 7:30 in Mexicali.
MEXICALI 8-11-0, Mexicali 1-6-3
W-Solano (1-0). L-Gaxiola (0-1). T-3:10 (20 min. delay). A-17,000.