CANCUN – Hernando Arredondo and Jonathan Aceves blasted grand slam homers two innings apart as the Saltillo Saraperos pounded the Quintana Roo Tigres 10-5 Thursday night Estadio Beto Avila in Cancun. The win put the Saraperos back in the lead of the Mexican League Championship Series, 3 games to 2.
Arredondo’s one-out bomb to left field came off Tigres starter Pablo Ortega in the second inning, giving Saltillo a 4-0 lead. After Kevin Flores ripped a line drive homer off Saraperos starter Mario Mendoza, Jr. in the bottom of the third, Ortega was victimized again in the top of the fourth as Aceves sent the gopher deep to left-center to make it an 8-1 game. Tigres manager Matias Carrillo mercifully replaced Ortega with Eder Llamas at that point, but it was essentially the point of no return for Quintana Roo by then.
The Tigres did score three in the bottom of the fifth. Flavio Romero led off the inning with a double and scored one out later on Alex Sanchez’ single. Following a Carlos Gastelum groundout, Carlos Sievers belted a two-run homer to left off Mendoza to close the gap to 8-4. Saltillo answered back in the seventh when Jose Munoz scored from second on a Nelson Teilon single, and Teilon came in on a Christian Presichi double as five pitchers took the mound for the Tigres in the frame. Sanchez cranked a solo homer in the bottom of the seventh for Quintana Roo to bring the score to 10-5.
Mendoza went six innings for the win, letting in four runs on seven hits. Ortega took the loss the for Tigres by allowing eight runs on 3.1 innings of work. Sanchez turned in his second straight three-hit game for the Tigres to bring his playoff batting average up to .420. Jesus Cota and Noe Munoz each singled twice for Saltillo. Cota’s postseason average is now .404.
The teams will take Friday off to travel back to Saltillo, where the Saraperos won the first two games of the series. Game 6 is slated for Saturday night at 7:30 Central. If a Game 7 is needed, it’ll be played Sunday night at 7:30 in Parque Francisco I. Madero.
SALTILLO SARAPEROS 10-10-0, QUINTANA ROO TIGRES 5-9-0
W-Mario Mendoza, Jr. (2-0). L-Pablo Ortega (2-3).
HR-Hernando Arredondo (SAL), Jonathan Aceves (SAL), Kevin Flores (QR), Carlos Sievers (QR), Alex Sanchez (QR).