SALTILLO – Jesus Cota whacked his second homer in as many games and Rafael Diaz pitched 6.2 solid innings as the Saltillo Saraperos doubled up on the Quintana Roo Tigres, 6-3, Sunday night before 15,949 fans at Parque Francisco I. Madero. The victory gives Saltillo a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 Mexican League Championship Series as the Saraperos won their ninth straight playoff contest.
Noe Munoz stroked an RBI double in a two-run first inning for Saltillo, but the Tigres came back in the second to tie the game at 2-2 on Albino Contreras’ two-run homer to left. Saltillo went up 3-2 in the bottom of the second on Hernando Arredondo’s run-scoring single, but Quintana Roo knotted the contest back up at 3-3 in the third when Carlos Sievers scored on a Nelson Teilon error at shortstop. The Tigres had the bases loaded with one out, but Abel Martinez hit into a double play to end the threat.
Saltillo went ahead for good with two counters in the bottom of the third when Cota poked his two-run blast to make the score 5-3. The Saraperos added an insurance run in the eighth when Cota scored from third on a Scott Chiasson wild pitch.
Cota went 2-for-4 for Saltillo, as did Christian Presichi. Alex Sanchez led the Tigres with a double and two singles as Quintana Roo outhit the Saraperos by a 10-8 margin. Diaz settled down after letting in three runs in the first three innings, and finished with those three tallies allowed on nine hits and five strikeouts before being replaced by Rafael Martin with two out in the seventh. Arturo Barradas took the loss for the Tigres, letting in five runs on six hits in 2.2 innings. Five relievers actually did alright for Quintana Roo (Chiasson’s wild pitch notwithstanding), giving up just two hits after the fourth inning, but the damage had already been done.
The two teams will take Monday off to travel to Cancun for Game 3 of the series Tuesday night.
SALTILLO SARAPEROS 6-8-1, QUINTANA ROO TIGRES 3-10-2
W-Rafael Diaz (2-1). L-Arturo Barradas (2-2).
HR-Albino Contreras, QR (2); Jesus Cota, SAL (4).