Sunday, August 15, 2010

MEXICAN LEAGUE PLAYOFFS: August 15, 2010

RODRIGUEZ, SARAPEROS BLANK PUEBLA, 5-0, AS SALTILLO NEARS PENNANT REPEAT

Hector Daniel Rodriguez (pictured) continued his dominant postseason pitching to lead the Saltillo Saraperos to a 5-0 shutout of the Puebla Pericos Sunday in Game Four of the Mexican League’s Bicentennial Series. Rodriguez tossed eight shutout innings for the Saraperos in front of 15,111 witnesses at Saltillo’s Parque Francisco I. Madero. The defending champs now lead Puebla, 3 games to 1.

The Saraperos drew first blood in the bottom of the third inning when Gabriel Martinez stroked a two-out single to left to score Carlos Eduardo Gonzalez and Willie Romero. Saltillo then plated a run in the fifth on a Jose Rodriguez RBI single, once in the sixth when Noe Munoz chased Puebla starter Omar Espinoza with a leadoff line drive homer to left, and one more time in the seventh when Rodriguez came in from third on a Martinez sacrifice fly to left. Romero finished 3-for-4 for Saltillo with two runs scored while Martinez, Jose Rodriguez and Munoz each gathered two hits. Valentin Gamez and Miguel Torrero had two hits apiece for the Pericos.

After a regular season in which he finished 4-4 with a 3-97 ERA in 12 starts for Saltillo, Rodriguez saw his playoff record rise to 5-0 by scattering seven hits and a pair of walks through his eight frames of work, striking out nine Pericos batsmen. The 25-year-old lefty’s earned-run average in the Liga postseason was 0.66 going into Sunday’s contest. According to the Vanguardia.com website, four major league organizations are said to be interested in signing Rodriguez, who was 4-2 with a 2.39 ERA for Culiacan last winter in the Mexican Pacific League.

The Saraperos will try to end the 2010 LMB season at home Monday when they take on Puebla in Game Five of the title series. If the Pericos win, Game Six will be played Wednesday at Estadio Hermanos Serdan in Puebla.