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08/21/2006 Archived Entry: "VIVA BEISBOL Extra (Mexican Pro Baseball News)"

Leones dethrone champs, face dominant Sultanes next

MERIDA, YUCATAN – Said Gutierrez went 2-for-3 with two runs batted in and Luis Arredondo broke out of an 0-for-20 slump with an RBI single to help the Yucatan Leones bop the Angelopolis Tigres 6-2 Friday at Merida’s jampacked Kukulkan Stadium in their Mexican League Southern Division finals matchup. With the win, the Leones eliminated the defending LMB champions from the playoffs en route to reaching the Liga finals for the first time since 1989.

Four Yucatan pitchers combined to limit the potent Tigres lineup to just six hits, two of them solo homers by Angelopolis’ Jorge Vazquez. Vazquez went deep in the fourth and sixth innings, but didn’t get nearly enough help from his teammates to overcome Yucatan’s three-run outbursts in both the second and seventh innings. Pablo Ortega, who was 3-0 during the postseason going into the game, took the loss for Angelopolis. Reliever David Dominguez, who came into the game when starter Fernando Villalobos was injured in the top of the second inning, tossed three innings to collect the win for the Leones, who won the series 4 games to 1. They’ll be seeking their first LMB title since 1984.

But it won’t be easy. Monterrey has been making mincemeat of Mexican League opponents all season long, and finished up a five-game LMB North finals win over Saltillo last Thursday with a 15-5 pounding of the Saraperos in Saltillo. Edgar Quintero cracked a three-run homer and Ramon Orantes went 3-for-4 with a homer and four RBIs to back up Walter Silva’s second postseason win. The Sultanes gave Silva some early breathing room by scoring four runs in the top of the first inning and took an 11-2 lead into the bottom of the third in a game that featured a lot of hitting but little drama as the two teams combined for 20 runs and 29 hits. Saraperos starter Mario Mendoza didn’t make it out of the opening inning before being replaced by fellow starter Steve Bourgeois, who ended the frame but ran into more trouble in Monterrey’s six-run third inning. In all, Saltillo went through eight pitchers in a game which saw five Saraperos errors interspersed among 17 Sultanes hits. It was not pretty.

The LMB finals will begin Tuesday night in Monterrey as the Sultanes host Yucatan in Game One of the best-of-seven series. The finals will be broadcast on 25 radio stations throughout Mexico.

Saturday, 8/12
Monterrey 6, Saltillo 5 (W-M Rubio, L-M Garcia)

Sunday, 8/13
Monterrey 6, Saltillo 2 (W-F Campos, L-M Mendoza)
Angelopolis 7, Yucatan 1 (W-P Ortega, L-F Villalobos)

Monday, 8/14
Yucatan 9, Angelopolis 3 (W-J Vargas, L-B Zambrano)

Tuesday, 8/15
Monterrey 10, Saltillo 7 (W-A Aceves, L-R Beltran)

Wednesday, 8/16
Saltillo 9, Monterrey 5 (W-M Gonzalez, L-A Garcia)
Yucatan 3, Angelopolis 0 (W-O Rivera, L-O Bustillos)

Thursday, 8/17
Yucatan 7, Angelopolis 5 (W-J Vargas, L-A Manzano)
Monterrey 15, Saltillo 5 (W-W Silva, L-M Mendoza)

Friday, 8/18
Yucatan 6, Angelopolis 2 (W-D Dominguez, L-P Ortega)

Tuesday, 8/22
Yucatan at Monterrey

Wednesday, 8/23
Yucatan at Monterrey

Friday, 8/25
Monterrey at Yucatan

Saturday, 8/26
Monterrey at Yucatan

Sunday, 8/27
Monterrey at Yucatan*

Tuesday, 8/29
Yucatan at Monterrey*

Wednesday, 8/30
Yucatan at Monterrey*

*-if necessary

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