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Toros batter Yuma for 20 runs

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Tucson Toros baseball

Toros batter Yuma for 20 runs

Santana sets new team record as Toros score 10 in the third

  • Cristobal Santana set a new Toros record, hitting safely in 18 straight games. Tucson defeated Yuma 20-2 on Thursday after a 10-run third inning. The Toros swept an opponent for the first time this season since the season opening series against the Victoria Seals.
    Ash Friederich/TucsonSentinel.comCristobal Santana set a new Toros record, hitting safely in 18 straight games. Tucson defeated Yuma 20-2 on Thursday after a 10-run third inning. The Toros swept an opponent for the first time this season since the season opening series against the Victoria Seals.

Cristobal Santana extended his streak of hitting safely to 18 games as the Toros swept the Yuma Scorpions in grand fashion in a 20-2 rout Thursday night.

Wally Backman Jr. hit his second grand slam of the season and the Toros had a 10-run third inning in the victory over their GBL South division rivals.

It was the Toros' first series sweep since their June 1-3 series against the Victoria Seals.

Santana, a native of the Dominican Republic, is more focused on helping his team than his accomplishment.

“I’m not going to lie – I knew that I had set the record tonight,” Santana said. “But I don’t think it really matters. I just went out and hit, just like any other day. Every night, I try to hit to the middle. When I do that, good things happen. I don’t think about hit streaks.”

One thing the Toros' first baseman does think about is his aggressiveness in the batter’s box.

“I don’t have much patience at the plate,” Santana said. “I try to hit the ball as much as possible. I mean, I have 150 ABs on the season, and I only have three walks. I don’t have any patience.”

The Toros joined Santana in his aggressiveness at the plate in the three-game sweep over Yuma.

Tucson scored 14 runs in the first three innings –10 coming in the third – and compiled 19 hits in Thursday's game.

The team set a franchise record for most runs in a game.

In the 20-run offensive explosion, Francisco Plasencia and Wally Backman Jr. tied the single-game record for RBIs with five a piece, combining for half of the Toros’ runs on the night.

Following a four-run first inning, the Toros scored 10 runs in the third.

The high-powered offense came off a collection of seven singles, including a two-run RBI single by Toros starting pitcher Albie Lopez, and a double by Plasencia.

In his five-RBI day at the plate, Plasencia has now reached safely in 11 straight games for the Toros.

“Honestly, I didn’t even know I was on a hit streak,” he said. “I just tried to stay relaxed at the plate and follow through on my swing. I had pretty good counts to work with, so I was able to hit well.”

After leading 14-2 going into the fourth, Backman hit a grand slam, as the Toros continued to pour on the runs.

“It was a long at-bat,” Backman said of the grand slam. “I kept fouling balls off my foot, and I really wanted to get a pitch that I could handle. I kept fighting off inside breaking balls – three of them actually – and then he left a fastball up in the zone, and I took advantage of it.”

Backman had a stellar day at the plate, going 3 for 6 with four runs and five RBIs.

After the slam, the Toros put across two more runs in the fifth inning, putting them up 20-2.

Yuma’s bullpen then quieted the Toros' bats, not allowing a run over the final three innings.

Starting pitcher Daryl Arreola (5-1) was dealt his first loss of the season and lasted just 2 2/3 innings on 12 runs (8 earned) and 10 hits.

After scoring two in the third, the Scorpions could not post another run the rest of the game. They mustered up just five hits in nine innings.

Lopez (3-3) got his first win in four starts, after taking the loss on his last three outings.

The Toros had combined for just three runs total in his prior three starts, but broke out their bats for the veteran pitcher on Thursday. He went five innings on two runs (one earned) and four hits.

Pulling out the brooms

The sweep of the Scorpions marks Tucson’s second of the season.

Their first sweep was against the Victoria Seals from June 1-3.

After starting the season out at 3-0, the Toros were unable to complete the four-game sweep of the Edmonton Capitals.

“We weren’t playing real consistently there for awhile,” Backman said. “You know, we’d win a game, lose a game –we couldn’t get three in a row. But we’re clicking really well right now. This team has great chemistry, and that’s a big part of us winning some games.”

With the win, the Toros improve to 18-19 on the season, while the Scorpions drop to 21-15.

The three game sweep has brought the Toros within one game of .500 – the first time since June 17 when they were 12-13.

With four games between the two teams coming up over the holiday weekend, the Toros are entering Friday's matchup 5 ½ game behind division leading Maui.

Yuma is currently two games back of the Na Koa Ikaika in the division.

The Toros travel to Yuma for a quick two-game stint against the Scorpions, beginning Friday before returning to Tucson to finish the seven straight games the two clubs will be playing.

When they complete this series, the two teams won’t see each other until the last series of the season, September 3rd and 4th at Hi Corbett.

Up next

The Toros will continue their seven-game matchup against the same opponent – the Yuma Scorpions – over the holiday weekend. So far, Tucson is 3-0 against the Scorpions and have climbed back into South division contention.

Seven Games, One opponent

  • Game 1: Tuesday, June 29: Tucson Toros 6, Yuma Scorpions 5
  • Game 2: Wednesday, June 30: Toros 6, Scorpions 5
  • Game 3: Thursday, July 1: Toros 20, Scorpions 2
  • Game 4: Friday, July 2: Toros @ Scorpions, 7 p.m.
  • Game 5: Saturday, July 3: Toros @ Scorpions, 7 p.m.
  • Game 6: Sunday, July 4: Scorpions @ Toros, 7 p.m.
  • Game 7: Monday, July 5: Scorpions @ Toros, 7 p.m.

South division standings

Golden Baseball League through July 1

TeamWinsLossesGames Back
Maui Na Koa Ikaika2212
Yuma Scorpions21152
Tucson Toros18195.5
Orange County Flyers14197.5
Tijuana Cimarrones62917.5

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