MAZATLAN, Mexico -- Fernando Valenzuela is back in the playoffs eight years after retiring from the major leagues.
The 44-year-old Valenzuela gave up two runs on five hits in 5 1/3 innings for Mexicali in a 10-inning 3-2 loss to Mazatlan on Tuesday night.
"We were mixing up the pitches. We went out to use the whole repertory and the control was pretty good," Valenzuela said. "This game could have gone either way."
He held Mazatlan to two singles before a single by Miguel Flores, a home run by Heber Gomez and a double by John Gall knocked him out of the game.
Valenzuela also struck out two batters and walked one before leaving with no decision.
The victory gave Mazatlan a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series for the Triple-A league championship.
Valenzuela was once one of the game's most popular players, becoming the first pitcher to win both the Rookie of the Year and the Cy Young Award in the same season -- 1981. A native of Mexico, the left-hander created "Fernandomania" with his immediate success and affable personality.
Valenzuela made earlier comebacks in Mexico, but for the past two years he's been a Spanish-language broadcaster for the Dodgers.
Late this season, he joined Mexicali, where he was 2-2 with a 6.75 ERA in 28 innings during the regular season.