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Updated: February 4, 2018
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
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Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2018 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photos by Henk Seppen)

Cuba also wins second game of Serie del Caribe

ZAPOPAN, Jalisco (México) - Cuban champion Alazanes de Granma also won its second game of the Serie del Caribe on Saturday-evening (February 3). After winning its first game with a 6-4 score, the Cubans now won 5-4 against Mexican champion Tomateros de Culiacán. Cuba trailed 4-2, but then decided the game in the seventh and eighth inning.

On Saturday-afternoon, Venezuelan champion Caribes de Anzoátegui won its first game of the event. After losing its first game against Cuba, Venezuela now recorded a big 15-4 win against Dominican champion Águilas Cibaeñas.

Puerto Rican champion, which began on Friday with a win against México, had the day off on Saturday.

This year, the Serie del Caribe is played at Estadio Panamericano in the city of Zapopan, which is part of the Guadalajara Metropolitan Area, located in the Mexican state of Jalisco. The stadium is the home of Charros de Jalisco of the Mexican Pacific League, which has a Triple-A Minor League-designation.

(February 3)

Related Articles:
Cuba & Puerto Rico open Serie del Caribe with win. (February 2)
Águilas dethrones Tigres and captures Dominican title. (January 31)
Granma repeats as Cuban champs with small win in Game 7. (January 28)

Venezuela vs. Dominican Republic
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In its second game, Venezuela collected 20 basehits. The team led only 4-3 halfway the fifth inning, but then added eleven more runs in the next four at bats. First baseman Balbino Fuenmayor led the Venezuelan offense by going 5-for-5, including a double and two homeruns. He scored three runs and batted in five. Rafael Ortega, Rene Reyes (who scored four runs) and Willians Astudillo all had three hits. Ortega and Reyes also homered. Both Fuenmayor and Reyes missed the triple to hit-for-the-cycle. Christian Bethancourt accounted for three of the eight Dominican basehits.

Balbino Fuenmayor led off the second inning with a homerun to give Venezuela an early 1-0 lead. In the third at bat, Rene Reyes walked with two outs, then Fuenmayor homered again to make it a 3-0 score. A run scored on a single by Willians Astudillo increased the lead to 4-0 in the fourth inning.

In the top of the fifth inning, the Dominicans narrowed the deficit to only 4-3. Christian Bethancourt led off with a single and scored when Hector Gomez homered with one out. Later in the at bat, Juan Perez added a runscoring single.

Venezuela immediately took some more distance in the bottom of the fifth, scoring two runs on a double by Balbino Fuenmayor.

After Águilas scored what would be its last run in the game on an error in the sixth, Caribes rallied for four runs in its sixth at bat, thanks to 2-run homeruns by Rafael Ortega and Rene Reyes.

In the eighth, Venezuela scored five more runs. With one out and the bases loaded, Willians Astudillo and Alexi Amarista connected for back-to-back, 2-run doubles. The double hit by Amarista came after a pitching change. Amarista later scored the fifteenth run on a single by Cesar Valera.

Cuba vs. México
México took the lead twice and led 4-2 after four innings, but Cuba came alongside in the seventh, then won 5-4 in the eighth inning. Cuba was outhit 11-8.

Tomateros took a quick 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning off of starting pitcher Yoennis Vera. He gave up a lead-off single to Justin Greene, who then stole second base and scored on a following single by Rico Noel.

...Frederich Cepeda batted in 2 runs for Cuba...
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After the Mexicans had left three runners behind in the second at bat, Cuba got its first two hitters on base in the bottom of the second. Frederich Cepeda led off with a walk and Guillermo Aviles singled, but three outs followed.

In the next inning, the team from Granma scored twice to take a 2-1 lead. Raul Gonzalez singled and Roel Santos reached on an error. The two moved on a sacrifice bunt by Yordan Maduley, then respectively scored on a sacrifice fly by Yurisbel Gracial and (after a pitching change), a double by Cepeda.

The lead was shortlived, as México answered with three runs in the top of the fourth. Walter Ibarra and Sebastian Valle began the at bat with singles, which led to a pitching change. New pitcher Alain Sanchez saw the runners advance on a sacrifice bunt, then gave up a bunt-single to Rico Noel that tied the score. That was followed by a runscoring single from Sebastian Elzalde, which gave the Mexicans a 3-2 lead. A force play-grounder from Joey Meneses produced the next run.

After three scoreless innings, Cuba came alongside in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Raul Gonzalez homered off of reliever Aldo Montes. The Cubans then got the bases loaded hereafter. First, Roel Santos walked, which brought in new pitcher Nick Struck, but he hit Yordan Manduley with a pitch and walked Yurisbel Gracial. That led to another pitching. Daniel Moskos took over, but he was greeted with a sacrifice fly from Frederich Cepeda, which made it a 4-4 score.

In the eighth, Cuba took the lead off of another new pitcher. Casey Coleman gave up one-out singles to Carlos Benitez and Yulexis La Rosa, which led to runners on first and third base. Yoelqui Cespedes, the pinch-runner for Benitez, scored the go-ahead run when Raul Gonzalez followed with a sacrifice fly.

In the top of the ninth, Chris Roberson led off for México with a double. Closer Raidel Martinez was then brought in and he retired the next three hitters to end the game.

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