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Updated: February 5, 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)

Venezuela hands México third loss of Serie del Caribe

ZAPOPAN, Jalisco (México) - With a 6-4 victory on Sunday-evening (February 4), Venezuelan champion Caribes de Anzoátegui handed Mexican champion Tomateros de Culiacán its third loss of the Serie del Caribe.

In the afternoon, Águilas Cibaeñas, the champion of the Dominican professional league, recorded its first victory. It had been a busy period for Águilas, which on Wednesday won the Championship-title by winning the seventh game of its Final, which was interrupted by three days of rain. Águilas traveled to México on Thursday, then had the day off on Friday, the opening day of the 60th Serie del Caribe. On Saturday, the Dominicans suffered a big 15-4 loss against Venezuela, but today, the team won 6-3 against Criollos de Caguas, the champion of Puerto Rico.

Cuban champion Alazanes de Granma, which had won its first two games, had the day off on Sunday.

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 4)

Related Articles:
Cuba also wins second game of Serie del Caribe. (February 3)
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)

Puerto Rico vs. Dominican Republic
Águilas Cibaeñas decided the game early, scoring five runs in the first two innings. The team collected 15 basehits, including three by Abiatal Avelino and Junior Lake.

The Dominicans opened the score with two runs in the top of the first inning off of starting pitcher Giovanni Soto. Abiatal Avelino and Juan Perez began the game with singles and moved on a wild pitch. With one out, both scored on a single by Edwin Espinal.

Three runs were added in the second at bat on five basehits. Hector Gomez led off with a single and Carlos Paulino followed with a double. Hereafter, Gustavo Nunez reached on an infield-hit, which loaded the bases. Nunez hit the ball to third base, meaning the two baserunners were unable to advance. Nunez was ruled safe at first base on a close play, which was followed by a challenge, but the call was upheld. A run was then scored when next hitter Abiatal Avelino also singled. Ivan Maldonado then took over the pitching, but he gave up two more runs via a sacrifice fly from Juan Perez and a single from Junior Lake, which lifted the lead to 5-0. With two outs, the bases got loaded again when Christian Bethancourt walked, but a line drive then ended the inning, leaving three runners behind.

While reaching base each inning, it took until the sixth for Puerto Rico to score its first run. Facing new pitcher Samuel Deduno, David Vidal and Damek Tomscha opened for Criollos with singles. The first run was then scored on a single by Dayron Varona, which brought in new pitcher Ramon Ramirez. An error during a pick-off attempt led to runners on second and third base, then the bases got loaded when Ramirez walked Wilfredo Rodriguez. Irving Falu followed with a 2-run single to make it a 5-3 score. A double play and a strikeout then ended the at bat.

The Dominicans took some more distance by scoring another run in the top of the eighth on a force play-grounder by Gustavo Nunez.

México vs. Venezuela
Venezuela broke a 2-2 scored in the sixth inning and led 6-2 halfway the ninth inning. México scored twice in the bottom of the ninth, but was left empty-handed for the third consecutive day.

Venezuela outhit México 14-8, including three hits by Willians Astudillo, who also homered, and Luis Domoromo, who doubled twice.

In the top of the first inning, Rafael Ortega led off the game with a homerun off of starter Rolando Valdez.

México left a runner behind in scoring position in its first at bat, but then came alongside in the next inning. Jesus Castillo led off with a single, then scored on a 2-out single from Gabriel Gutierrez.

In the top of the third inning, Venezuela got the bases loaded with two outs, but was unable to re-take the lead, as the at bat ended with a strikeout. But that did happen in the fourth. With one out, Willians Astudillo and Alexi Almarista both singled, then Luis Domoromo delivered a runscoring single with two outs.

México again tied the score in the bottom of the fourth when Joey Meneses led off with a double and scored on a following single by Jesus Castillo.

From the sixth inning on, the game belonged to Venezuela. With one out in the sixth, the team took the lead for the third time and this to keep. Willians Astudillo homered to make it a 3-2 score. Venezuela added another run in the seventh when Luis Domoromo led off with a double and scored on an one-out single by Niuman Romero.

In the ninth, Venezuela added two insurance runs. Luis Domoromo led off with his second double in the game off of reliever Derrick Loop, who then was replaced by Ryan Kussmaul with two outs. But the new pitcher was greeted with a runscoring single from Rene Reyes, then gave up a double to Balbino Fuenmayor. Next, Reyes scored on a wild pitch to make it a 6-2 score.

In the bottom of the ninth, Ricardo Gomez was to close for Venezuela. He gave up a lead-off double to Joey Meneses, then an one-out homerun to Chris Roberson, which made it a 6-4 score. When next hitter Fernando Perez singled, Victor Capellan was brought in as new pitcher. México got another baserunner when Japhet Amador reached on an error, which led to runners on first and third base. The inning and the game then ended when Walter Ibarra grounded into a double play.

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