Gutierrez and McGowin leading Mesa toward AFL title game

Despite playing only 10 games, third baseman Kelvin Gutierrez is leading his Arizona Fall League team in batting with a .414 average. His club, the Mesa Solar Sox, are 15-10-1 and have a 2 1/2-game lead atop the East Division with only a handful of games remaining.

Gutierrez-Bats-Potomac-Sidebar.jpgGutierrez has 12 hits, a triple, a homer, six runs and eight RBIs. All 12 of those hits have come in his last eight games, where he has gone 12-for-25 (.480). He missed several games in the middle of the AFL season after getting his hand spiked sliding into a base.

Outfielder Victor Robles has hit .257 in 11 games with a double, three homers, seven stolen bases and seven RBIs. Catcher Taylor Gushue is hitting only .143, but has caught in 13 games for the Solar Sox.

Right-hander Kyle McGowin is pitching very well through 19 innings, which ranks in the top three on the team. He is 3-0 with a 2.84 ERA with 25 strikeouts. AFL pitchers usually work four innings per start. McGowin has done that four out of his five starts.

Right-hander Austen Williams is 1-0 with a 4.97 ERA. He has pitched in seven games for 12 2/3 innings with 11 strikeouts, three walks and three homers allowed.

Right-hander Jimmy Cordero finally allowed his first run of the AFL season on Nov. 6. He has gone 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA with 13 strikeouts in eight games.

Right-hander Dakota Bacus has a 6.48 ERA and is 0-1, but got through a scoreless outing on Nov. 9. In that game versus Peoria, he tossed one inning without allowing a hit, striking out one and walking none.

Mesa is at Glendale today for an afternoon matchup. Thursday’s slate is the last games of the season. The championship game will be played Saturday.

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