Sunday, August 30, 2009

SALTILLO CLOBBERS TIGRES, 14-1, TO COP LMB FLAG

SALTILLO –Saltillo scored at least one run every inning except the seventh as the Saraperos drubbed the Quintana Roo Tigres, 14-1, Saturday night to clinch the Mexican League pennant for 2009. The victory, in front of 14,002 fans in Saltillo’s Parque Francisco I. Madero, brought the Saraperos their second Liga title in the team’s 40-year history. Their only other championship came in 1980.

Nelson Teilon hit a homer in the bottom of the first inning to give Saltillo a 2-0 lead, but it was a six-run Saraperos downpour in the second that sent the Tigres running for cover (or some such metaphor). In that frame, Jonathan Aceves and Jose Munoz hit back-to-back RBI doubles to chase Quintana Roo starter Francisco Cordova (who had been very effective in the playoffs), but relievers Esteban Haro and Edgar Huerta fared no better. Jose Rodriguez greeted Haro with a third consecutive RBI double and, after Teilon singled to move Rodriguez to third, Tigres manager Matias Carrillo brought his hook to the mound with him and called in Huerta from the bullpen. That move proved disastrous, as the first batter Huerta faced, Refugio Cervantes, drilled an 0-1 pitch over the right-field wall for a three-run homer to give the Saraperos an 8-0 lead. Huerta was able to get the final two outs of the inning, but the die was cast for the rest of the game.

The Saraperos then scored one run in the third, two in the fourth and one apiece in the fifth and sixth innings to stretch their lead to 13-0 before the Tigres plated their only run of the night in the top of the seventh on Alex Sanchez’ run-scoring single that brought in Sergio Contreras from second base. Not that Saltillo needed any more offense, but designated hitter Noe Munoz put an exclamation point on the game and season with a solo homer to left for the final score of the 2009 LMB season.

Saltillo starter Rafael Diaz let in one run and scattered eight hits over nine innings, striking out six Tigres while walking just one batsman to go to 3-1 in the postseason. Cordova (3-1) took the loss for QR.

Hernando Arredondo batted 4-for-5 with three RBIs for Saltillo, while Noe Munoz finished with three hits on the night. Cervantes drove in four runs with his two hits. For the Tigres, Sanchez had two hits to finish the playoffs with a .434 batting average, while Abel Martinez went 1-for-4 to end his injury-interrupted postseason at .472.

SALTILLO SARAPEROS 14-18-1, QUINTANA ROO TIGRES 1-9-0
W-Rafael Diaz (3-1). L-Francisco Cordova (3-1).
HR-Nelson Teilon (SAL), Refugio Cervantes (SAL), Noe Munoz (SAL).
T-3:24. A-14,002.