Sunday, August 8, 2010

MEXICAN LEAGUE PLAYOFFS: August 8, 2010

PUEBLA BESTS OAXACA, TO FACE SALTILLO IN BICENTENNIAL SERIES

The Puebla Pericos scored three runs in the second inning and went on to defeat the Oaxaca Guerreros, 8-3, Sunday to win their Mexican League Zona Hidalgo final series by a 4-games-to-2 margin. 2009 LMB Pitcher of the Year, Andres Meza (pictured), allowed one earned run in seven innings for the Parrots to cop his third playoff win this year as 11,799 fans watched on in Puebla’s Parque Hermanos Serdan.

After Rene Reyes lined out to Oaxaca’s Christian Quintero to open the bottom of the second, Omar De La Torre and Cesar Tapia were walked by Heriberto Rodriguez (who replaced expected Guerreros starter Francisco Rosario), who then allowed RBI singles by Miguel Terrero and Valentin Gamez. That was all for Rodriguez, who was pulled for Sergio Valenzuela. Valenzuela get the final two outs, although Terrero scored on Ivan Cervantes’ sacrifice fly to bring the score to 3-0.

That was pretty much the ballgame right there, as the Pericos added single runs in the third and fourth frames, two more in the sixth and another tally in the seventh to go up 8-0. Through the first seven entradas, Meza kept up his end of the bargain by blanking Oaxaca while scattering seven hits while his infield turned three double plays behind him to quash any Guerreros offensive threats.

Oaxaca finally reached Meza for three hits, including a two-run single by Game Five hero Jolbert Cabrera, and Meza was replaced by Jose Cobos. One more Oaxaca run crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly, but that would end the scoring for the visitors as Luis Ramirez came in for Cobos and struck out Erick Rodriguez to end the inning. After a scoreless turn at the plate by Puebla, Ramirez notched his fourth postseason save by setting down the Guerreros in order in the ninth, battling Eloy Gutierrez for eight pitches before Gutierrez lifted a fly ball to center field that Reyes hauled in for the final out of the series.

Serafin Rodriguez led the Puebla offense by going 3-for-5 with two RBIs and Torrero added two hits and two ribbies. Gutierrez was 3-for-5 with a run scored for Oaxaca to finish the playoffs with a .429 average, while Cabrera and Jaime Brena each had two hits.

With the win, the Pericos move on to the Bicentennial Series against Saltillo for the Liga championship, beginning Tuesday in Puebla.