Monday, January 11, 2016

MexPac Playoff Scoreboard: MON, Jan. 11, 2016

Precious little drama involved in the Mexican Pacific League semifinals Tuesday night as the Mazatlan Venados rang up an 8-4 win in Obregon, thanks in part to two-run homers by Agustin Murillo and Cyle Hankerd, while Mexicali pummeled Navojoa, 10-1, behind a superb performance by lefty Hector Rodriguez (pictured), who took a no-hitter into the fifth inning.  Rodriguez spent last summer as a middle reliever in Saltillo after spending two years as a starter in the Braves and Orioles system.

With their win, Mazatlan evened up their series with the Yaquis at a game apiece while Mexicali opened up a 2-0 series lead over the Mayos.  Tuesday will be an off day before play resumes Wednesday night with games in Mazatlan and Navojoa.

Mazatlan 8-14-0, OBREGON 4-7-0
W-Meza (1-1).  L-R. Valdez (1-1).  T-3:20.  A-10,381.
Things started well enough for the Yaquis, who scored twice in the bottom of the first when Max Ramirez doubled in Justin Greene and then scored on Dustin Martin's Texas League single to left to stake Obregon a 2-0 lead.  Mazatlan got one run back in the second when Olmo Rosario's single brought in Yunesky Sanchez, then went ahead in the third as Agustin Murillo scored on a single by Cyle Hankerd, who came around to score two batters later when Mike Jacobs whacked a two-out double. The Venados went up 7-2 in the fourth thanks to a pair of two-run homers by Murillo and Hankerd, and while Justin Greene scored on Alex Liddi's ground-out in the sixth for the Yaquis,  Esteban Quiroz' leadoff homer in the seventh padded the Venados lead and it was just a matter of time from that point, although Carlos Valencia did sock a two-out RBI double in the bottom of the ninth for Obregon.
Andres Meza got the win despite a mediocre start for the Venados, letting in three Obregon runs in 5.2 innings, but Mazatlan's 14-hit outburst might've meant a "W" for a batting tee as Mazatlan devoured servings from the Yaquis' Rolando Valdez for six runs on eight hits in 3.2 frames.

MEXICALI 10-11-0, Navojoa 1-5-2
W-H. Rodriguez (2-0).  L-Jo. Castillo (0-1).  T-2:49.  A-16,465.
With two out and nobody on in the bottom of the first, Mexicali put four on the board as C.J. Retherford stroked a two-run double and Ricky Alvarez and Xorge Carrillo added RBI singles.  The Aguilas batted around and pushed four more runs across in the fourth, keyed by Welington Dotel's two-run, bases-loaded single with two gone to make it an 8-0 Mexicali lead.  Navojoa's Jose Amador broke up Hector Rodriguez' no-hit bid by belting a leadoff homer in the top of the fifth, but the Ags scored one run in the bottom of the frame on Walter Ibarra's RBI single and another in the sixth when Yuniesky Betancourt slammed Miguel Ruiz' first pitch of the inning over the wall in left-center for a homer.
Rodriguez ended up going six innings and that Amador roundtripper was the only safety he gave up while striking out seven Mayos for his second playoff win.   Jorge Castillo started for the Mayos but got first dibs on the showers after lasting only two-thirds of an inning and giving up four runs.  The series now shifts to Navojoa after the two tilts in Mexicali drew 33,465 fans to Estadio B-Air.