Saturday, February 4, 2012

KEISLER, YAQUIS SHUT OUT MAYAGUEZ, 2-0; OBREGON NOW 1-1 IN CS

Randy Keisler (pictured) combined with relievers Dan Serafini and Luis Ayala on a four-hitter as the Obregon Yaquis shut out Puerto Rico’s Mayaguez Indios, 2-0, Friday afternoon in Santo Domingo to even their Caribbean Series record at 1-1. The Yaquis fell to Dominican hosts Escogido, 2-1, in Thursday’s CS opener for both teams.

Keisler cruised through seven innings of work for Obregon, allowing just an Irving Falu double plus three singles and a walk while striking out five Indios batsmen. Serafini came on in the top of the eighth and walked Jesus Feliciano and struck out Ruben Gotay on four pitches before giving way to Ayala, who retired all five batters he faced, throwing 14 strikes in 17 pitches to earn the save.

Obregon scored the only two runs they’d need in the bottom of the fourth when Barbaro Canizares drew a one-out walk off Mayaguez starter Johnny Monell, who then threw the ball into right field on a pickoff attempt to allow Canizares to scoot all the way from first to third base. Doug Clark drew a walk from Monell before Jose Rodriguez lifted a sacrifice fly into center field to score Canizares. With Iker Franco at the plate, Clark stole second. Franco proceeded to stroke a single to center to plate Clark with what ended up being an insurance run. Franco, Lopez and Sergio Contreras each had base hits for the Yaquis while Karim Garcia collected two.

The Obregon win came the day after Thursday’s disappointing 2-1 loss to the Dominican champs. The Yaquis drew first blood in the top of the second when Canizares hit a leadoff single, moved to third on Doug Clark’s bunt single that drew a throwing error by Escogido third baseman Fernando Tatis, and then came in to score on a wild pitch by Leones starter Kris Johnson.

The Dominicans came back with a run in the bottom of the second when Wilkin Castillo and Tatis singled off Obregon starter Luis Mendoza to start the frame. Julio Borbon moved both baserunners up 90 feet on a sacrifice bunt, then Castillo tied the contest by scoring from third on Pedro Florimon’s groundout to second.

In the fateful third entrada, Mendoza loaded the sacks to start the inning by letting up singles to Pablo Ozuna and Andy Dirks and walking Mauro Gomez. After a coaching visit to the mound, Mendoza got Julio Lugo to hit into a 6-4-3 double play, but Ozuna was able to score from third on the play to give Escogido a 2-1 lead they were never to relinquish. Obregon was only able to muster singles from Canizares, Clark and Agustin Murillo off Johnson and three relievers while Escogido spread out eight singles against Mendoza and two relievers.

In other CS contests, Venezuela’s Aragua Tigres topped Mayaguez, 3-2, on opening day while Escogido topped Aragua, 5-2, Friday night. On Saturday, Obregon takes on Aragua and Escogido meets Mayaguez to complete the first run-through of the double round robin format.

Escogido leads the standings with a 2-0 record, followed by Obregon and Aragua with 1-1 marks and Mayaguez trailing at 0-2.