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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Major League in Mexico Brews Up Success


MONTERREY, Mexico -- Geraldo Hernandez judges success by the case. And by the upper-deck beer man's standards, major-league baseball's first regular-season series in Mexico truly has been historic.

At the end of the third and final game between the San Diego Padres and the New York Mets on Sunday evening, the third-generation beer man at Estadio Monterrey beamed at his final accounting of the series: 118 cases sold -- 20 bottles of Carta Blanca per case. At $1.40 a beer, the Padres' experiment south of the border grossed Hernandez $3,304 for three days of hard work. And he was only one of 30 beer vendors here.

"Hey, for baseball, it's fantastic -- best I've ever seen,'' the beefy, tattooed Hernandez concluded of a series that produced 43 runs, including nine home runs.

"But, of course, we'd do double the business at a soccer match.''

Baseball's backseat to soccer as Mexico's king of sports showed not merely in beer sales but in attendance Sunday afternoon. The Padres reported 22,810 had paid to sear in 38-degree Celsius heat and watch their newly adopted team shut out the Mets, 8-0, in the last of what Padre and major-league marketers billed as "The First Series.''

For perspective, Monterrey's 22,461 three-day average attendance beat the Mets' home average of 19,811 through 62 games in Shea Stadium this year. And, in winning the series two games to one, the Padres gave their new "home-team'' fans plenty to cheer about.

Standing ovations greeted Ken Caminiti when he blasted a pair of home runs in the second and third innings. They roared after Padre starter and winning pitcher Joey Hamilton hit his first career home run. And Rickey Henderson, who conceded he probably has more fans in Monterrey than anywhere in the National League, was drenched with praise for his two singles and two runs.

But Hernandez's upper-deck beer stats helped explain one of the many other things Mexican baseball fans do during the game. No fewer than 70,000 beers were consumed during the three-day experiment.

Monterrey's fans also like to laugh -- two clowns masked and dressed as President Clinton and Mexico's President Ernesto Zedillo brought the house down Sunday when they merengued in the stands, where fans swayed to a five-member salsa band. It was a day of family fun.

Not all the fans were local. Elaine and Angus Semple spent 18 hours on a bus from San Francisco to spend their honeymoon at Estadio Monterrey. Her take on the series: "I think Mexico should have a major-league baseball team -- they deserve it."

Mets Manager Dallas Green wasn't sure just what to make of Estadio Monterrey's fans. "I don't speak Spanish, so I don't know what the hell they're calling us,'' he said. "But they're fine. They like their baseball, and they know this game.''

Mariners 13, Yankees 12. Jay Buhner hit a sacrifice fly in the 12th inning and Paul Sorrento followed with his second homer of the game as the Seattle Mariners beat the New York Yankees after wasting an eight-run lead.

Seattle beat up on Dwight Gooden and took an 8-0 lead Sunday, but the Yankees closed the gap with a seven-run fourth.

Alex Rodriguez doubled off Jim Mecir (1-1), the Yankees' seventh pitcher, leading off the 12th, Griffey was intentionally walked and Seattle pulled off a double steal as Edgar Martinez struck out. Rodriguez scored his fourth run on Buhner's fly ball, and Sorrento then connected for his 20th homer.

Bobby Ayala (4-3) escaped a bases-loaded jam in the 11th when Joe Girardi bounced into an inning-ending forceout. Ayala gave up RBI singles to Wade Boggs and Tino Martinez in the 12th.

Mike Jackson got the last out, retiring Darryl Strawberry on a grounder with a runner on first, for his sixth save.

Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 38th homer, getting three hits, driving in three runs and scoring four. Edgar Martinez went 4-for-5 for the Mariners, who have won three straight against the Yankees. ()

(For other results, see Scorecard.)