Monday, August 16, 2010



The Saltillo Saraperos strung together 17 runs between the third and fifth innings and went on to blast the Puebla Pericos, 21-2, Monday night to win the Mexican League Bicentennial Series, 4 games to 1, and clinch the LMB pennant for a second year in a row. A crowd of 15,421 on hand for Game Five at Saltillo’s Parque Francisco I. Madero erupted when Puebla’s Alberto Carreon lined out to Christian Presichi in right field for the final out of the season in the top of the ninth.

Refugio “Cuco” Cervantes (pictured) swung the biggest bat for the Saraperos, bashing a pair of homers, scoring four runs and driving in five with three hits in four trips to the plates. Cervantes’ two-homer night gave him a total of nine roundtrippers over 18 playoff contests. Shortstop Carlos Eduardo Gonzalez, Saltillo’s number nine batter, ended the night 4-for-5 with three doubles and three ribbies as the Saraperos rang up 20 hits to Puebla’s eleven.

Believe it or not, Puebla actually held a 1-0 lead after scoring in the top of the first when Ricardo Serrano led off the game with a double against Saltillo starter Jose Mercedes, then coming in to score two batter later on Luis Suarez’ fielder’s choice grounder to third base. After that, it was all Saltillo.

The Saraperos immediately took the lead with three counters in the bottom of the first, two of them on Cervantes’ first homer. After neither team scored in the second, Saltillo scored five runs in the third as both Cervantes and Jesus Cota went deep, four more in the fourth (including a two-run single by Presichi) and exploded for eight tallies in the fifth as twelve Saraperos came to the dish with Gabriel Martinez contributing a three-run shot to center field. By then the score was 20-1 and it became a matter of “when,” not “if,” the pennant celebration would begin Monday night in Saltillo.

Former Milwaukee and Baltimore pitcher Jose Mercedes was the recipient of all 21 Saltillo runs, but he only needed three of them. The 39-year-old Dominican righty went the distance in a masterful performance, throwing strikes on 90 of his 120 pitches and walking no Puebla batters.

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