Monday, October 8, 2018

OAXACA TOPS SULTANES, STAY ALIVE IN SERIE DEL REY


Oaxaca's Samar Leyva stroked a bases-loaded pitch from Monterrey closer Wirfin Obispo into the left field corner to bring in Yuniesky Betancourt with the winning run as the Guerreros topped the Sultanes, 6-5, in ten innings Sunday night at Oaxaca's Parque Eduardo Vasconcelos.  The win ended Monterrey's three-game Serie del Rey win streak and brought the Warriors to within a game of the Sultanes, who lead the Mexican League championship series, 3 games to 2.

Game Six is set for Tuesday night in Monterrey.


GAME 1 - Tuesday, October 2
Oaxaca 4-11-0, MONTERREY 1-3-1
W-A. Delgado. L-E. Gonzalez.
Oaxaca pitcher Alex Delgado
Alex Delgado mastered the Sultanes in the opener at Estadio Monterrey, blanking the hosts on two singles before exiting after 93 pitches with two out in the bottom of the seventh inning.  Ex-Yankee Ramiro Pena did double off Samuel Zazueta in the eighth to score Ramon Rios and put the Sultanes on the board, but Oaxaca had been protecting a 4-0 lead since the second inning and a 1-2-3 ninth sealed the opening win on the road for manager Sergio Gastelum's club.

Yuniesky Betancourt doubled twice, drove in three runs and scored another to have a hand in every Oaxaca score but the story was Delgado, who battled out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the third when he induced Pena to pop out to Leyva at short and struck out Agustin Murillo to end the threat.  The 23-year-old Mexicali-born lefty struck out nine and walked two. Former Arizona starter Edgar Gonzalez took the loss for Monterrey in front of 21,909 at home.


GAME 2 - Wednesday, October 3
MONTERREY 7-9-0, Oaxaca 6-12-1.  
W-W. Obispo. L-C. Felix.
Monterrey third baseman Agustin Murillo
Murillo got revenge for his inning-ending whiff the night before in a huge way by drilling a two-run, two-out homer to left off Carlos Felix in the bottom of the ninth to erase a 6-4 Oaxaca lead and what looked like a sure Guerreros win. Two-time 2018 homer champion Felix Perez then launched a Felix pitch into the seats in right center to cap the stunning walkoff win and give the Sultanes a 1-1 split of the first leg of the Serie del Rey before another sellout crowd of 21,909 at Estadio Monterrey.

Perez ended the night with three hits and three runs for the winners, who touched Oaxaca starter Irwin Delgado (Alex' cousin) for four runs on six hits and three walks over the first six frames.  The Guerreros chased Monterrey starter Anthony Vasquez after 2.2 frames by plating five runs on seven hits as Oaxaca outhit the Sultanes, 12 to 6. Alan Sanchez had three safeties for the visitors, driving in three runs.  Wirfin Obispo pitched a scoreless ninth for the win while Felix was tagged with the loss.

GAME 3 - Friday, October 5
Monterrey 5-10-1, OAXACA 1-6-0  
W-J. DePaula. L-R. Acosta.
Monterrey pitcher Jose De Paula
Murillo's revenge carried past last Thursday's travel day and into Game Three in Oaxaca.  The veteran third sacker went 3-for-4 and homering off Erick Casillas in the top of the eighth to cap a night in which he also drove in Ramiro Pena with a second-inning single.  Pena, Julio Borbon and Felix Perez combined for another six hits, four runs and a ribbie for manager Roberto Kelly's Sultanes, who pulled into a 2-games-to-1 series lead in front of 7,000 onlookers in the Parque Eduardo Vasconcelos stands.

Former Yankees prospect Jose De Paula, who had only pitched winterball in his home Dominican Republic since 2015 before hooking on with Monterrey this year, tossed six shutout innings for the Sultanes.  He scattered five hits and a walk while striking out six. Ruddy Acosta absorbed the loss for Oaxaca, getting roughed up for three runs on four hits and three walks over 1.2 innings. The Guerreros got a single and double from Samar Leyva in the defeat.


GAME 4 - Saturday, October 6
Monterrey 3-9-0, OAXACA 2-8-2
W-D. Martinez. L-J.C. Medina.
Monterrey second baseman Ramon Rios
The Sultanes scored three runs in the top of the second, then had to hang on late for a 3-2 win in Oaxaca with 7,150 in attendance.  Jose Amador led off the second with a double off Guerreros starter Jose Carlos Medina, who then gave up consecutive singles to Chris Roberson, Ramon Rios (scoring Amador from third) and Sebastian Elizalde to bring in Roberson.  After an Ali Solis flyout, Julio Borbon's single plated Rios to give the Sultanes a 3-0 lead they carried into the seventh.

That's when Oaxaca fought back with two runs off reliever Felipe Gonzalez, who gave up an RBI triple to Samar Leyva before his pitch to Alejandro Gonzalez eluded catcher Solis, allowing Leyva to score but that's as close as it got.  Sultanes starter Dallas Martinez, another former Yanks farmhand, earned the win with six shutout innings while Medina was charged with the defeat. Amador had two hits for Monterrey while Julian Ornelas singled twice for the Guerreros.


GAME 5 - Sunday, October 7
OAXACA 6-13-1, Monterrey 5-16-1  
W-S. Zazueta. L-W. Obispo.
Oaxaca shortstop Samar Leyva
The Sultanes broke a 1-1 tie by scoring twice in the top of the fourth on a Ramon Rios double and Ali Solis, both with two out, and plating two more runs in the fifth on Ramiro Pena's leadoff homer against Alex Delgado and a Julian Ornelas RBI double to give Monterrey a 5-1 bulge.  With starter Marco Tovar having retired 10 of the last 11 Guerreros batsmen he'd faced since the first, the Sultanes appeared poised to win Monterrey's tenth LMB pennant before a full house of 7,230 hostile Oaxacan witnesses.

Instead, the Guerreros roared back to chase Tovar and tie the game with four runs in the bottom of the fifth.  Julian Ornelas doubled in one run and later scored the tying tally on Henry Urrutia's groundout. The two teams then traded zeros into the bottom of the tenth, when Monterrey closer Wirfin Obispo allowed a Yuniesky Betancourt single and walked both Dustin Geiger and Alan Sanchez to load the bases, allowing Samar Leyva's liner to left to bring Betancourt in with the walkoff run.  Obispo was handed the defeat while Guerreros middleman Samuel Zazueta got credit for the win.