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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Toros & Scorpions throw down

This reported from the Yuma Sun newspaper.  Last night in Yuma, the Tucson Toros and the Scorpions exploded into a brawl that resulted in injuries, six ejections, and what's sure to be suspensions to come.  

Reading the article, the Toros appeared to have a relief pitcher make the start just to throw at Yuma leadoff man Deivis Rivadeniera before the actual starter came in once the reliever was ejected for throwing at a guy.  

And please don't say that it's because these are two teams from Arizona that play each other "all the time" so they have some bad blood.  Counting tonight's game scheduled between the Toros and Scorpions, the two teams play nine times this season.  Long Beach has played Yuma 16 times this year without incident.

Here's the Yuma Sun article:

After a near-brawl Tuesday night, the Toros and Scorpions got into a full-fledged brawl including plenty of fist fights and kicking Wednesday night, but Yuma couldn't muster much offense in a 6-3 loss at Desert Sun Stadium.

The loss pushes the Scorpions (15-17 second half, 25-44 overall) four games back of the South Division leading Toros (15-9, 32-30) with just seven games left for Yuma.

Despite the scuffle that resulted in six player ejections - four Scorpions - and the poor offensive showing, there was one bright spot for Yuma. Tucson started the sixth with three singles when Ryan Priddy, with runners at first and second, lined the ball to Carlos Villalobos at third on a hit and run. Villalobos ended up starting a triple play, doubling off the two runners by a mile as Yuma escaped the inning down 6-1.

Tucson managed just three hits through the first four innings, but started the fifth with five straight singles that lead to three runs, giving the Toros a 5-1 lead off Yuma starter Julio Santiago (1-6).

The top of the first was uneventful, with Santiago retiring the side on nine pitches. There would be no such calmness in the bottom of the first.

Brian Daly got the start for Tucson, his first since 2007 with Laredo of the United League. In 102 professional games, it was his 27th start. The first pitch to Deivis Rivadeneira was inside. Even though both teams were warned before the game - extra security was on-hand as well - Daly wasn't tossed. The second pitch went behind Rivadeneira, who then charged the mound.

There was little action as both teams stood around for the first 90 seconds, but eventually punches were thrown and the melee was on.

Both managers were tossed, although for the second straight game Tucson was under an acting manager in the absence of Tim Johnson. Pete LaCock was the interim manager Tuesday, but Ed Vosberg was listed as interim manager Wednesday and was the one ejected. Johnson arrived in the second inning and took over managing.

Jackie Gutierrez, who took over for manager Boris Villa after his ejection, left immediately after the game and was not available for comment.

Johnson got to stay and watch reliever - but usual starter - Vince Davis (3-2) stymie the Scorpions' bats. Rivadeneira and pitchers Wilton Noel, Cristian Mendoza and Javier Ortiz were tossed, along with Villa. Former Major League all-star Junior Spivey was the only Toro player ejected other than Daly.

The win puts the Toros at 3-5 against the Scorps this year, with two wins coming with Davis pitching.

"These guys are playing good against us all the time, and we needed this win," Johnson said, "Vince pitched well and threw a great game, and pitching is the key."

Yuma made things close in the eighth with a two-run double by Villalobos, who drove in all three Yuma runs and had two of the four Scorpion hits. Before the eighth, Davis had given up just one hit but gave up three in the two-run eighth.

Dorian Castro came on to pitch in the sixth for the Scorps and gave up an RBI single to the first batter, but induced the double play and retired 12 straight, lasting the final four innings.

Reid Price pitched the ninth for Tucson to pick up his eighth save.

The teams wrap up the three-game series at 7:05 tonight.

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