by Circles Robinson
HAVANA TIMES — Matanzas won a tough pitcher’s duel over Industriales on Sunday to even their best-of-seven Occidental League series at two games each.
The score 4-2 was an exact reverse of Industriales win on Saturday.
In the Oriente League, Ciego de Avila battered five Granma pitchers including starter Ciro Silvino Licea, the losing pitcher, who only lasted one inning, to win 13-2 and take a two games to one series lead.
Industriales had a 1-0 lead through six innings on a fielder’s choice roller to second by Alexander Matteta after two singles by Juan C. Torriente, who scored, and Rudy Reyes.
Darwin Beltran pitched 5.1 stellar innings for Industriales but the Lions second reliever, Antonio Armando Romero, the loser, was battered for five hits and four runs, three in the seventh on a homer from Yadiel Hernandez and one insurance run on a solo homer by Lázaro Herrera in the eighth.
With the score 4-1, Industriales wasn’t giving up and loaded the bases in both the eighth (with nobody out) and ninth innings but only managed a run in the ninth on a grounder to third by Carlos Tabares, scoring Malleta who had doubled to lead off the inning.
Following Jorge Martinez seven innings of five-hit, one-run ball, Matanzas manager Victor Mesa used six relievers in the tense final two innings with Yohan Hernández getting the save by notching the final out on a long drive to right that looked like it had home run potential, caught by Yadiel Hernández.
Ciego Perforates Granma Pitching
Granma’s pitching and fielding proved its Achilles heel again on Sunday. Three errors in the field and five pitchers allowing 16 hits, including a 7-run ninth inning embarrassed Granma before its home crowd.
The first game of the seven game series was an even more lopsided 20-0 mercy rule win for Ciego de Avila. Granma did manage to play much better in game two winning that contest by a score of 4-2.
Ciego de Avila was led on Sunday by Mario Jorge Vega who had three hits including a double and drove in four runs. Rusney Castillo had two hits, including a double, and drove in three more for his team.
The winning pitcher was Omar Caldero Valdes who went 6.1 innings allowing two runs on six hits. Reliever Lazaro Santana got into trouble with two walks in 0.1 innings of relief, but Yadir Rabi put out the fire going the final 2.2 innings without allowing a hit.
In the games on Monday, Ciego de Avila plays in Granma at 5:00 p.m. and Matanzas at Industriales (Havana) at 8:30 p.m.