Rolando Meriño leads with 9 homers

HAVANA TIMES, Jan. 5 – Villa Clara swept a double header from Camaguey on Sunday (7-4 and 6-5) to reach 20 wins against only 4 losses and take a 3.5 game lead over Holguin in the highly competitive Eastern Division of the Cuban Baseball League.

Holguin (18-9) remains in second place in the east and has two league leading pitchers with five wins each, southpaw Aroldis Chapman and sidearm pitcher Luis M. Rodriguez. Holguin is showing signs of its surprise league 2002 championship team, but there are still 63 more games to play.

Competition is stiff in the east with Ciego de Avila also 18-9 and Camaguey 4.5 back at 17-10. Santiago de Cuba (13-13) is still in fifth place, eight games back, after winning two out of three against Granma. The defending champion’s catcher Rolando Meriño now leads the league with nine home runs.

In the West, second place Industriales (14-12) salvaged one win against La Habana (16-8) but fell three games back. Pinar del Rio (13-14) won one of three games against Metropolitanos (11-16) and is in third place 4.5 games out. Isla de la Juventud and Sancti Spiritus are both 11-14 and 5.5 games out followed by Metropolitanos (11-16), Matanzas (9-18) and Cienfuegos 7-18).

A full schedule of play resumes on Tuesday with Industriales hosting Granma; Villa Clara at home against Isla de la Juventud; Ciego de Avila hosts Pinar del Rio; Camaguey plays Metropolitanos at home; Las Tunas hosts Matanzas; Santiago de Cuba hosts Cienfuegos and Guantanamo hosts Sancti Spiritus.


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