The Monterrey Sultanes received a homer and two doubles from designated hitter Mendy Lopez (pictured) and seven innings of two-hit scoreless pitching from starter Sergio Mora in a 5-1 win over Chihuahua Saturday night as 8,974 fans watched in Estadio Monterrey. The Sultanes victory came hours after the Dorados finished a 6-4 triumph in a game that had been suspended by rain Friday night, so Monterrey now owns a 3 to 1 lead in the best-of-7 Mexican League Zona Madero semifinal playoff series.
The 36-year-old Lopez went 3-for-3 and scored twice for the Sultanes, and is now hitting an even .500 for the series against the Dorados. Mora had a perfect game going until walking Jacob Cruz in the top of the fifth inning, sailed through his seven innings of work. Ramon Orantes broke the shutout bid in the ninth for Chihuahua by doubling off reliever Julio Manon and scoring later on a Benji Gil groundout. Claudio Moreno took the loss for the Dorados by giving up four runs in 5.1 frames.
The Sultanes will try to wrap up the series and a berth in the LMB North Finals with a win Sunday.
DIABLOS ONE WIN AWAY FROM LMB NORTH FINALS
The Mexico City Diablos Rojos banged out 16 hits Saturday night in an 8-6 win at Saltillo in front of 6,948 fans at Parque Francisco I. Madero. Ivan Terrazas was 5-for-5 with a seventh-inning solo homer for the Diablos, who now lead their LMB North semifinal series with the Saraperos 3 games to 1 heading into Sunday’s Game Five in Saltillo.
Mexico City broke open a scoreless tie in the top of the third inning with three runs as Roberto Saucedo’s double drove in Eduardo Arredondo with the game’s first tally. Saltillo actually took a 4-3 lead by scoring once in the fourth inning and going ahead on Gabriel Martinez’ three-run homer to center field in the fifth, but the visitors went ahead for good with two scores in the sixth and three in the seventh.
The Saraperos did manage a pair of runs in the seventh, but they ended up being academic. Reliever Salvador Robles took the win for the Diablos while Saltillo’s Travis Minix was pinned with the loss.
PUEBLA TAKES SERIES LEAD WITH 3-1 WIN IN YUCATAN
The Puebla Pericos broke a 1-1 tie with two runs in the top of the ninth and held on to beat Yucatan, 3-1, Saturday at Parque Kukulkan in Merida before 4,401 fans who braved 106-degree heat to attend the match. The win gives Puebla a 2-1 advantage in their Zona Hidalgo series with the Leones.
Puebla starting pitcher Lorenzo Barcelo let in one run while scattering six hits for the win. Likewise, Yucatan starter Oswaldo Verdugo was sharp, tossing 5.2 shutout innings and allowing four hits.
Yucatan scored in the bottom of the first inning when Luis Matos led off with a double and came in on a Sandy Madera single. The Leones’ 1-0 lead held until the seventh, when Ricardo Serrano doubled and scored on Luis Suarez single. In the ninth, Serrano singled, Suarez walked, and both came in when Omar De La Torre singled to left and drew a throwing error by Yucatan’s Gonzalo Meza. LMB saves champ Luis Ramirez held the Leones scoreless in the ninth to seal the win for Puebla.
Game Four of the series is scheduled for Sunday in Merida.
FRANCO’S 3-RUN HOMER PUTS TIGRES ON PATH TO 8-3 WIN OVER OAXACA
Iker Franco blasted a first inning three-run homer over the right field wall as the Quintana Roo Tigres went on to defeat Oaxaca, 8-3, Saturday as 3,432 onlookers witnessed the contest at Cancun’s Estadio Beto Avila. Depite the win, the Tigres still trail the Guerreros in the series, 2 games to 1.
The Tigres made it a 4-0 game in the fourth on a Jaime Trejo homer off Oaxaca starter Rudy Gonzalez, but Jolbert Cabrera’s three-run double for the Guerreros one inning later closed the gap considerably. However, Quintana Roo scored twice in the seventh (including a Carlos Sievers solo homer) and two more in the eighth on an Alex Sanchez triple to put the game away for good.
Game Four in the series is slated for Sunday in Cancun.