Pablo Ortega combined with two relievers to outpitch Marco Quevedo and three others as the Quintana Roo Tigres squeaked past the Mexico City Diablos Rojos, 1-0, Monday night before a sellout crowd of 7,607 at Cancun’s Estadio Beto Avila. With the win, the Tigres took a 2 games to 0 lead over their ancient rivals in the Mexican League championship series.
Iker Franco’s single in the bottom of the second inning drove in Willie Romero with the game’s only run for Quintana Roo as Ortega turned in yet another strong outing on the mound, giving manager Matias Carrillo seven innings of scoreless pitching while scattering six hits and one walk while striking out five Diablos before giving way to Juan Sandoval. Liga saves leader Sandy Nin came on in the ninth and held Mexico City scoreless in picking up his fifth save of the playoffs.
For his part, Quevedo was able to keep pace with Ortega in his 5.1 innings of work, letting in the one run on four hits, although control problems led to four walks and a pitch count of 97 before being pulled in the sixth. Although Orlando Lara walked the one batter he faced before Diablos skipper Mako Oliveras yanked him, Federico Castaneda and Jean Machi limited the Tigres to two hits the rest of the way, so pitching wasn’t the problem for Mexico City…Ortega was as the 34-year-old righty took his third postseason win in four decisions while lowering his playoff ERA to 1.13. Of his 96 pitches, 71 went for strikes. If the Tigres go on to win the pennant, Ortega should be a prime contender for Playoff MVP.
The two teams will take Tuesday off to travel to Mexico City, where Game 3 is slated for Foro Sol on Wednesday.