SARAPEROS THUMP DIABLOS, 11-1, IN FORO SOL OPENER
An eight-run seventh inning blew open what had been a pitcher’s battle as the Saltillo Saraperos went on to clobber the Mexico City Diablos Rojos, 11-1, Tuesday night in front of 4,401 fans at Mexico City’s Foro Sol.
Saltillo starter Hector Daniel Rodriguez (pictured) went seven shutout innings for the win as the left-hander from Culiacan scattered four hits and struck out seven Diablos batters. The defending champs pounded four homers off three Mexico City relievers in the seventh, the key blast being a three-run bomb by Jose Rodriguez. Refugio Cervantes added a two-run shot while Cristian Presichi and Jose Amador clubbed back-to-back homers as Saltillo sent ten men to the plate in the frame.
Oscar Robles broke up the shutout bid in the bottom of the eighth by driving in Eduardo Arredondo with a single, but by that point any Diablos runs were academic. Noe Munoz went 4-for-5 for Saltillo with three doubles and three RBIs, while veteran Jose Luis Sandoval collected two of Mexico City’s six hits. The final score obscures what had been a solid pitching performance by Diablos starter Roberto Ramirez, who gave up one run over six innings of work on the mound.
Saltillo takes a 1-0 lead in the best-of seven first round series into Wednesday night’s game in Mexico City.
SULTANES DOUBLE UP ON CHIHUAHUA, 6-3, TO TAKE FIRST GAME
Luis Alfonso Garcia whacked a two-run homer to straightaway center field in the top of the first inning and the Monterrey Sultanes never trailed en route to a 6-3 win over the Chihuahua Dorados in a first round playoff game in front of 8,257 fanaticos in Chihuahua.
Chihuahua came to within 2-1 in the fourth when Omar Mendoza scored from third on Benji Gil’s one-out groundout, but the Sultanes responded by adding one run on Agustin Murillo’s RBI single in the sixth and two more tallies in the seventh when pinch-hitter Sergio Perez hit a one-out, bases-loaded grounder to Gil at shortstop. Gil conceded the first run by Mendy Lopez coming in from third base by tossing the ball to Mendoza at second to force out Humberto Cota for the front end of a double play. However, an errant throw by Mendoza to first sacker Francisco Mendez brought in Edgar Quintero (who’d began the play at second) with Monterrey’s second run of the inning, giving the Sultanes a 5-1 lead.
Edgar Gonzalez got the pitching win for Monterrey by going six innings and allowing one run on just two hits. 2010 Liga ERA champion Mac Suzuki took the loss for Chihuahua after tossing six innings and letting in three runs on five hits and six walks while striking out eight batsmen.
The Sultanes and Dorados will meet Wednesday night for Game Two in Chihuahua.
BOTH LMB SOUTH PLAYOFF OPENERS WASHED OUT
Both Zona Hidalgo semifinal series games scheduled for Tuesday night were washed out by rain. The Yucatan Leones were on the road in Puebla to take on the Perico, while Cancun’s Quintana Roo Tigres were in Oaxaca to face the host Warriors. Both openers have been rescheduled for 7:00PM local time in Puebla’s Estadio Hermanos Serdan and Estadio Eduardo Vasconcelos in Oaxaca.