|Astros' Alex Bregman hit 3 HRs in Monterrey|
In Friday's opener, Alex Bregman launched a pair of homers and contributed four RBIs while Michael Brantley smacked a longball and doubled to push four more runs across the plate as Houston built a 6-0 lead before the Angels woke the scorer in the bottom of the fourth when Kole Calhoun singled off Astros starter Wade Miley to bring in Brian Goodwin. There was little else the Angels could do against Miley and nothing the Los Angeles pitching staff could do to stem the onslaught as Houston racked up 14 runs on as many hits (ten for extra bases, including five homers). Albert Pujols cracked a solo homer in the fifth but that would be the final blemish on the ledger for Miley, who got the win with six innings of work, allowing two runs on six hits. A crowd of 18,177 looked on at Estadio Monterrey.
|LA Angels' Albert Pujols went deep, too|
A total of 35,791 fans attended the two-game series, with 18,177 at Saturday night's contest while another 17,614 clicked the turnstiles Sunday. The set marked the third time in 2019 that MLB teams have played a pair of games in Monterrey. The Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies split a pair of Cactus League exhibition games March 9-10 while the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals each copped a win in a National League twofer April 13-14. Last weekend's set brought out the most people to watch games at the 22,061-seat ballpark.
MONCLOVA WINS 8 STRAIGHT, OVERTAKES TJ FOR 1ST IN LMB NORTH
|Monclova Acereros' OF Francisco Peguero|
Monclova's 7-6 win over the Piratas Sunday was their eight in a row as the Acereros moved to 20-7 on the season, good enough for a one-game lead over 19-8 Tijuana. Sunday's victory for the Steelers came in dramatic fashion. Chris Carter's solo homer in the bottom of the ninth (his second of the night and 15th of the season) pulled Monclova into a 6-6 tie and Francisco Peguero's walkoff circuit clout off Francisco Haro in the eleventh sent most of the 6,548 fans at Estadio Monclova home happy.
Things weren't as rosy for the Toros at home in Tijuana as visiting Union Laguna pounded their way to a 12-6 triumph Sunday in front of 11,956 onlookers at Estadio Chevron. Dustin Geiger went deep on a Jesus Pirela pitch with the bases loaded for a sixth-inning grand slam to give the 11-16 Algodoneros a comfortable 8-3 lead. Last place Laguna won two of their three games in the border city to cop the series as the host Toros dropped into second, three games ahead of Monterrey and Dos Laredos (both at 16-11).
In the LMB South, Oaxaca has cooled down a little but even so, six wins in their last ten games was still enough to keep the 17-10 Guerreros in the division lead, one game up on Mexico City and Pueblo (both of whom are 16-11 and also 6-4 over their last ten outings). Oaxaca dropped a 9-7 decision to Quintana Roo Sunday at home as 2,979 watchers sprinkled the Parque Eduardo Vasconcelos stands. First baseman Eric Meza went 3-for-5 with two runs for the hosts but a Brian Hernandez two-run homer in the fifth pulled the Tigres into a 7-7 tie and a bases-loaded wild pitch to Frank Diaz by reliever Juan Carlos Medina in the sixth brought in Ruben Sosa with the go-ahead run and a subsequent sacrifice fly by Diaz plated Justin Greene with an insurance run.
Mexico City closed the gap on Oaxaca by outlasting Yucatan, 8-6, in ten innings Sunday on Jorge Cantu's walkoff two-run homer off Norman Elenes; Puebla held off Aguascalientes, 6-4, at home Sunday as Pericos DH Antonio Lamas was 3-for-5 with five RBIs, thanks in part to a three-run homer in the first off Rieleros starter Ariel Pena.
|P Yasutomo Kubo has made a difference in Leon|
Monclova's Josh Lowey was touched by Tabasco for four runs on five hits and three walks in 6.2 innings last Wednesday, but he left the game with a 6-5 lead as the Acereros went on to a 7-5 win, giving Lowey an LMB-best 5-0 record, one win more than four other pitchers (including 4-0 Edgar Gonzalez of Monterrey). Lowey is tied for fifth with 33 strikeouts, well behind the 49 of Leon's Yasutomo Kubo, a former Pacific League Rookie of the Year in Japan's NPB. Yucatan's Joe Samayoa has pitched far better than his 1-1 record would infer, with a Liga-topping 0.66 ERA after five starts and 27.1 innings. Monclova's Carlos Bustamante and Rafael Martin of Saltillo are tied for the lead with nine saves apiece while Tijuana's Jesus Pirela (who ran into hard luck Sunday) is tops with eight holds.
CUARTO BAT WRITER'S TOP 6 MEXICAN BALLPARKS (PART 1)
5. Estadio Teodoro Mariscal, Mazatlan
|Estadio Teodoro Mariscal, Mazatlan|