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02/04/2006 Archived Entry: "VIVA BEISBOL: Caribbean Series Day 1"


Leones score 13 in final 3 innings as Deer lose CS opener

VALENCIA, VENEZUELA– After staying within striking distance of Caracas after six innings, the wheels fell off the wagon for the Mazatlan Venados Thursday night as the Leones went on to pound the Mexican Pacific League champions 17-1 in the Caribbean Series opener for both teams. Caracas racked up 13 runs over the final six frames en route to a 21-hit night against Venados starter Pablo Ortega and a succession of relievers.
After three scoreless innings, Caracas scored three runs in the fourth inning and another tally in the fifth as the Venezuelan titlists took a 4-0 lead. Mazatlan came back with a run in the bottom of the sixth when Oscar Robles doubled and was later driven in by Mario Valenzuela’s single as the Venados only scraped together four hits for the game.
Ortega allowed two more runs before being pulled with two outs by manager Juan Jose Pacho, who brought in Jose Cobos from the bullpen. After that, the floodgates truly opened as the Mazatlan mound became a revolving door of relievers as the Leones went on to plate four runs in the seventh, two in the eighth, and a mind-numbing seven in the ninth. Walter Silva, in particular, was rocked as the young prospect was touched for five runs in just two-thirds of an inning. Ortega, who gave up six runs and nine hits, was tagged with the loss for the Deer.
Ramon Hernandez was 4-for-6 with a homer and five RBI’s for Caracas, while Alex Gonzalez went 4-for-4 and Alex Cabrera and Luis Rodriguez each had three hits. Nobody for the Venados had more than one hit as Leones starter Jeremi Gonzalez tossed seven strong innings for the win.
The Venados will play Licey Friday at 4:30 in Valencia. The Tigres outlasted Puerto Rico’s Carolina Gigantes 5-4 in eleven innings at Maracaibo in the CS opener. Alex Gomez scored the game-winning run on an Anderson Hernandez single in the top of the eleventh. Hernandez was 4-for-6 for the Dominicans, as was Alex Cora for Carolina (who got a three-run homer from Pedro Valdez in the third). The Gigantes take on Caracas in the nightcap in Maracaibo.

Licey Tigres 5-11-1, Carolina Gigantes 4-12-1
WP-Eddie Ramos, LP-Federico Baez.

Caracas Leones 17-21-1, Mazatlan Venados 1-4-1
WP-Jeremi Gonzalez, LP-Pablo Ortega.

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