Pinar Stops Matanzas 12-5, Series Tied

Rookie Vladimir Gutierrez put the brakes on Matanzas during 6 spectacular innings. (Foto: R. López Hevia)

by Circles Robinson

HAVANA TIMES — Game two between Pinar del Rio and Matanzas ended very different than it started.

In the bottom of the first inning Matanzas came out swinging, knocked out Pinar starter Julio A. Martínez and scored five times. The home town fans went wild, sensing a 2-0 series lead.

However Urquiola’s team then did in one game what they did in the series against Industriales when down three games to one.

In the top of the second William Saavedra, a hero against Industriales, hit his fifth playoff homer to start off the inning. Nine batters later he belted a liner that was caught, ending the frame.

In between the other eight players in the Pinar lineup battered Matanzas starter Cionel Pérez, and relievers Alexander Bustamante and Lazaro Blanco for six more runs including a grand-slam by Giorvis Duvergel to put the game at 7-5 Pinar.

The atmosphere in the stadium was totally different. Pinar fans had come to life and while still breathing, the Matanzas home crowd was shocked after seeing what looked like a walk turn into a question mark.

The final score of 12-5 tells you what happened during the rest of the contest.

Pinar reliever and winning pitcher Vladimir Gutierrez, a rookie, pitched a fabulous six scoreless innings allowing only three hits and three walks while striking out four and getting out of a couple big-time jams unscathed. Isbel Hernandez finished the job going the final two innings allowing only one hit.


The visitors got four more insurance runs in the top of the fifth, led by a three-run double from Andres Quiala and a final tally in the eighth.

Thursday is a travel day as the final series of the 2013-2014 Cuban baseball season now moves to Pinar del Rio for games 3,4 and 5.  Game three is set for 7:15 p.m. on Friday.