Saturday, August 19, 2017

Yucatan holds off Leon to reach South finals; TJ up 3 to 2

Diego Madero's two-run homer highlighted Yucatan's three-run eighth inning as the Leones outlasted the Leon Bravos, 5-4, Friday night in Leon to complete a four-game sweep in their Mexican League South Division semifinal playoff series.  Yucatan advances to play defending champion Puebla in the LMB South championship series.  The Pericos needed just four games to eliminte Quintana Roo in the first round.

In the LMB North semifinals, the Tijuana Toros pulled away from the Aguascalientes Rieleros, 11-4, Friday in Aguascalientes to take a 3-games-to-2 lead in that set.  The visitors kept the basepaths busy with eleven hits while drawing eight walks from Rieleros pitchers as leadoff batter Jose Guadalupe Chavez reached base four times, scored twice and drove in three runs.  The winner of this series will meet Monterrey in the LMB North finals.  The Sultanes swept Monclova earlier this week.

There'll be no action Saturday as the Toros and Rieleros travel to Tijuana for Sunday's Game Six.

Yucatan 5-7-0, LEON 4-14-3
W-Barraza (1-0).  L-W. Silva (0-1).  Sv-Belisario (2).  A-6,894.  T-3:15.
A pitcher's duel between veteran hurlers Jonathan Castellanos of Yucatan and Leon's Walter Silva through seven innings ended with both teams combining for seven runs over the final two entradas as Yucatan held off Leon, 5-4, in front of a season-high crowd of 6,894 in Leon.  Leon took a 1-0 lead in the third when Junior Lake doubled in Eduardo Arredondo from second, but Yucatan tied it up in the fifth after leadoff hitter Jose Aguilar reached base on a fielding error by Bravos third baseman Miguel Terrero and eventually scored on a bloop single by Leo Heras.  The score remained knotted at 1-1 until the top of the eighth, when Ivan Araujo singled one out before Madero took Silva deep with a line-drive homer to left for Yucatan.  Ricky Alvarez later doubled in Juan Francisco off reliever Fredy Quintero to give the visitors a 4-1 lead.  Leon scored twice in the eighth on RBI singles by Torrero and Brandon Macias, but Yucatan went up 5-3 in the ninth when Sebastian Valle scored on a Gerardo Sanchez wild pitch to Heras.  Niko Vasquez doubled in Dan Johnson in the bottom of the ninth to bring Leon to within a run, but Yucatan closer Ronald Belisario got the final two outs for the save and win.  The Bravos actually outhit the Leones, 14-to-7, but only hit 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left 12 men stranded on base.

Tijuana 11-11-0, AGUASCALIENTES 4-9-1
W-Mitre (1-0).  L-L. Castro (0-2).  A-6,645.  T-3:43.
The top four batters in the Tijuana order combined for eight hits, four runs and nine RBIs as the visiting Toros broke a 4-4 tie with a single run in the top of the fourth and pulled away from Aguascalientes, 11-4, Friday in Aguascalientes.  Leadoff hitter Jose Guadalupe Chavez was the primary pest for TJ, going 2-for-4 with a pair of walks, scoring twice and driving in three more runs.  Roberto Lopez scored the eventual game-winning run for Tijuana in the top of the fourth when he reached base on a fielder's choice grounder to Rieleros pitcher Linder Castro, advanced to second on a passed ball by catcher Carlos Rodriguez and came in when Corey Brown's grounder found its way to left field.  The Toros then scored twice in the sixth and four times in the seventh (with Lopez punching a two-run double) to put the game away.  Former Yankees pitcher Sergio Mitre replaced starter Carlos Hernandez in the third inning and tossed four innings of one-hit shutout ball for the TJ win.  Castro, who relieved Rieleros starter Francisco del Rosario in the third, gave up a pair of runs in 2.2 innings to take the loss.