by Bruce Baskin
April 12, 2010 - Mexican League (ML)
PUEBLA, OTANEZ SEE STREAKS END SUNDAY AGAINST CAMPECHE
Both the Puebla Pericos and first baseman Willis Otanez saw a pair of impressive streaks come to an end Sunday afternoon in an 11-1 drubbing at home against the Campeche Piratas.
With the loss, the Pericos\' 13-game winning streak was snapped. Puebla had defeated the Pirates, 6-0, Saturday night as starter Omar Espinoza tossed six shutout innings to run his record to 4-0 while Otanez stretched his hitting streak to 37 games (dating back to last season) by slapping a grounder past Campeche third baseman Cesar Osuna in the fourth inning.
However, both streaks were stopped Sunday with the Piratas\' resounding road win. Raul Gonzalez socked two homers and Jose Macias blasted a grand slam for Campeche as pitcher Ozzie Mendez turned in six shutout innings. Puebla scored their lone run in the eighth inning, but Macias\' four-run bomb in the top of the ninth served as an exclamation point for the Piratas. Even with the loss, Puebla\'s 19-4 season record is best in the LMB. They\'re three games ahead of the 16-7 Oaxaca Guerreros in the Zona Hidalgo standings.
Otanez was held hitless in the game, but his 37-game hitting streak is still the longest in modern Mexican League history, topping the old record of 36 set by Luis de los Santos (year unknown). However, the Liga has not yet officially recognized Otanez\' streak because it began with 13 games remaining in the 2009 schedule.
GARCIA GOES 7-FOR-7 TO SET KOREAN LEAGUE RECORD
If Karim Garcia starts his Korean Baseball Organization season slowly because he\'s "tired," wait\'ll he catches his breath. The Obregon native has reportedly endured some criticism among Korean fans and media for playing winter ball in the Mexican Pacific League because he\'s worn out by the time he joins the Lotte Giants for the start of the KBO season, but judging by a 7-for-7 night at the plate in a 15-12, 12-inning loss to the Hanwha Eagles on April 9, he\'ll be in good shape once he gets some rest.
Garcia had a homer, scored three runs, drove in six and mustered up enough energy to steal a pair of bases in the game, in which he broke the KBO record for hits in a game. He also threw out a baserunner at home plate from his outfield position for good measure.
The former major leaguer is in his third season of Korean ball, but got off to a slow start last year, drawing complaints that he was tired from playing in the MexPac. Garcia told the Puro Beisbol website, "In my career, I\'ve always played winter ball after completing the summer league. It\'s like giving back to the Mexican fans who can see me play," adding that he was tired after playing for Mexico in the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
Garcia hit .361 in 15 regular games for Hermosillo last winter before batting .239 in 14 LMP playoff games and .231 for the Naranjeros in three Caribbean Series contests.
Import Bobby Cramer went all nine innings for Quintana Roo (striking out 11 batters) in a 1-0 loss to Minatitlan on April 4 to become the first Tigres pitcher to toss a complete game in 16 years...Former major league infielder Jolbert Cabrera has signed a contract with Oaxaca. Cabrera played eight years in MLB, hitting .257. The 37-year-old brother of Cincinnati shortstop Orlando Cabrera can play all four infield positions plus left and right field...Outfielder Luis Carlos Garcia was traded by Campeche to Chihuahua for pitcher Juan Cerros. The 34-year-old Garcia is a career .320 batter in Mexican League play (including a .368 average for the Tigres in his rookie year of 1999), but was only hitting .176 in 14 games for the Piratas...Ex-Twins outfielder Lew Ford is getting his groove back with Oaxaca. After 18 games, Ford in third in the Liga with a .426 batting average while leading the LMB in on-base percentage (.530) and slugging percentage (.794). In five years with Minnesota, Ford hit .272 with 32 homers and 172 RBIs in 494 games.