Three homers power Mexico to win
Defeat Puerto Rico 7-5 for second straight
MAZATLAN, Mexico - Regardless of what happens during the remainder of the Caribbean Series, the Mexican fans are likely never to forget what is already deemed as memorable efforts from their hometown Mazatlan Venados, now known as Team Mexico.
The Mexican team is undefeated after two games following Wednesday night's 7-5 victory against Puerto Rico (0-1) and is looking to complete the trifecta Thursday night when it squares off against the Dominican Republic (0-1) in the nightcap. Mexico (2-0) defeated Venezuela (1-1), 4-0, on Tuesday.
But it is not an easy proposition for the hometown team. The stars of the Dominican Republic are coming off a 7-5 loss to Venezuela and seeking their first victory of the series. Moreover, Cardinals pitcher Julian Tavarez is slated to throw for the Dominican team.
By contrast, former big leaguer Bill Pulsipher, who started for Puerto Rico on Wednesday, would probably like to forget the night altogether. The veteran was charged with nine hits and seven runs in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out five and walked one batter but was tagged with the loss in the first game for Puerto Rico in the series.
Mexico starter Elmer Dessens was strong through five innings, allowing only two runs and four hits. He struck out one batter, allowed two walks but got by with a little help from his friends, specifically, Vinny Castilla (Washington), Jonny Gomez (Tampa Bay) and Derrick White (Mexican League star) -- who each hit home runs to pace Mexico's offense.
"It feels great to be here and represent my country," Castilla said. "This is not a Dream Team, but it's close and I think we have a chance to win for Mexico."
Puerto Rico scored first with two runs in the third inning, one via a home run by Julius Matos (San Diego and Kansas City), but the lead did not last. Mexico responded with five runs, including a two-run home run by White, in the third. Solo home runs by Gomes and Castilla in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively, increased Mexico's lead to 7-2.
"It's real honor to play here and represent Mexico," White said. "I have a great respect and appreciation for guys like Vinny and Erubiel Durazo who come back to play. They don't have to do that."
"Every win is important," Castilla said. "No game is more important than the other."
Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.