An unlikely hero emerged from the bullpen and Carlos Gastelum’s grand slam in the seventh inning busted open a tied game as the Quintana Roo Tigres polished off the Mexico City Diablos, 13-9, Friday at Foro Sol to complete a four-game sweep of their rivals and win the franchise’s tenth Mexican League pennant since 1955.
Both teams were putting runs on the board in the early going as Gastelum homered in the first inning and Doug Clark went deep in the third and the two most storied teams in Mexican baseball battled to a 5-5 tie heading into the fourth inning. Enter Jorge Campillo (pictured) in relief of Tigres starter Enrique Lechuga.
Campillo, a former MLB pitcher with Seattle and Atlanta who has fought with injuries over the years, turned in four superlative relief innings for manager Matias Carrillo’s side, blanking the potent Diablos on one hit in four innings of work, just long enough for Gastelum to swat his second homer of the night in Quintana Roo’s five-run seventh, breaking the tie and sending the Tigres to a win and a pennant. Mexico City’s Luis Terrero scored on a Ivan Terrazas double off Eder Llamas to close the gap to 8-6 in the eighth, but Albino Contreras bashed a three-run homer in the top of the ninth to stretch the Tigres’ lead to 11-6. The Red Devils put another three scores on the board in the bottom of the ninth, but they went for naught.
Gastelum ended up with five RBIs and Sergio Contreras batted 5-for-5 for Quintana Roo. Alexis Gomez and Leo Heras both had three hits for Mexico City with Gomez driving in three runs. Campillo won his first playoff game while Salvador Robles took the loss for the Diablos. The pennant is the first for the Tigres in Cancun and for Carrillo as a skipper.