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Updated: January 30, 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; Photo by Henk Seppen)

Jair Jurrjens leads Tigres to win; Dominincan Final now at two apiece

SANTO DOMINGO DE GUZMÁN (Dominican Republic) - After three days of inclement weather, resulting in three cancellations, Game 4 of the best-of-seven Final of the Liga de Béisbol Profesional de la República Dominicana in the Dominican Republic was finally played on Monday (January 29), but at another site. The game was initially scheduled to be played last Friday at the site of Águilas Cibaeñas, which at that moment led the Series 2-1 against Tigres del Licey. The game then went underway 45 minutes later than scheduled due to the weather and was halted halfway the fourth inning due to heavy rain. Águilas led 1-0 after Christian Bethancourt had homered in the third inning. After a waiting period of 2 1/2 hours, it still rained and the game was stopped definitively. The game was re-scheduled for Saturday, but it rained out again, as it also did on Sunday.

Because of the cancellation, the game-schedule was adjusted again. Due to the field conditions because of three days of rain, Game 4 was moved to the site of Tigres in Santo Domingo to be played today. There, the now home-playing Tigres recorded a big 10-1 victory at Estadio Quisqueya Juan Marichal, which is named after legendary Major League-pitcher Juan Marichal, who was the first Dominican player to be elected into the Hall of Fame in 1983. With the win, Tigres equaled the Series at 2-2, meaning there now will be at least six games in the Final. The teams now will travel back again to Santiago de Los Caballeros, which is located 144 km (90 miles) northwest of capital Santo Domingo. At Santiago, Game 5 will be played on Tuesday-afternoon in the stadium on Águilas. That will be followed in the evening by Game 6 as part of a double-header. When a seventh game is needed, that will then be played again on Wednesday-evening in the stadium of Tigres. The champion has to be known by then, as that team has to travel to México on Thursday for participation in the Serie del Caribe, which opens on Friday.

...Jair Jurrjens was the starting and winning...
...pitcher for Tigres in Game 4...
...On the photo, he pitches for the Netherlands...
...during the 2017 World Baseball Classic...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Reigning champion Tigres del Licey is the team of Netherlands Team-pitcher Jair Jurrjens. Opponent Águilas Cibaeñas opened the series last Tuesday with an 8-1 score, then won Game 2 on Wednesday with an 8-4 score. On Thursday, Licey forced at least a fifth game by winning the third game of the Final with a 4-3 score at home in ten innings.

Righthander Jair Jurrjens had a strong outing for Tigres on Monday-evening, which also the day that he celebrated his 32nd birthday. The former Major Leaguer gave up only three hits in 6 1/3 inning, while giving up one unearned run. He struckout only one hitter, which was the final out during his pitching in the top of the seventh inning. Jurrjens never ran into problems. He retired the side in three of his six complete innings. Of the 19 outs that were made during his pitching, eleven were flyouts! Jurrjens gave up the lone run of Águilas in the fourth inning, while Tigres already led 6-0 at that moment. It was the only time that Águilas came into scoring position in this game. In the top of the seventh inning, Jurrjens struckout the first batter he faced, then walked the next one, then was relieved after a fine evening on the mound. Atahualpa Severino took over and closed with a flyout and strikeout. In the next three innings, relievers Rafael Martín, Luis Vasquez and Andrés Avila completed the fine pitching-evening for Tigres. In the remainder of the game, they held Águilas also scoreless and hitless.

Tigres opened the score with one run in the bottom of the first inning off of starter Michael Roth. With one out, the lefthanded American walked Erick Aybar, who then scored on a following double by Yamaico Navarro, who himself was eliminated trying to advance to second base on the throw to the plate.

Tigres added two runs in the second inning. Yermin Mercedes and Anderson Hernández began with singles and advanced on a sacrifice bunt from Sebastian Valle. With two outs, both scored on a single by Sergio Alcántara.

In the third inning, Tigres doubled its lead and lifted it to 6-0. With one out, Erick Aybar singled and Yamaico Navarra doubled. A wild pitch then led to two runs. First, Aybar scored, then Navarra also scored when a throwing error followed. With two outs, Yermin Mercedes homered to make it a 6-0 score.

Jair Jurrjens gave up a lead-off single in the first inning to Jonathan Villar, but with one out, he was supported with an inning-ending double play. Águilas was retired in order in the second inning, then left a runner behind on first base in the next at bat. In the fourth, trailing 6-0, the team scored what would be its lone run. Lead-off hitter Junior Lake reached second base on an error and became the lone runner of his team to get into scoring position in this game. Lake advanced to third base on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly by Felix Perez.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Tigres scored three more (unearned) runs. With two outs and two runners on base, a run was scored when Sergio Alcántara reached on an error. Chris Roberson and Erick Aybar followed with runscoring singles to lift the lead to 9-1.

Tigres scored its last run in the seventh, thanks to a 2-out single from Sebastian Valle.

(January 29)

Related Article:
Game 4 Dominican Final rains out for third time. (January 28)
Granma repeats as Cuban champs with small win in Game 7. (January 28)
Game 4 Dominican Final rains out again. (January 27)
Game 4 Dominican Final stopped by rain. (January 26)
Jair Jurrjens and Tigres trail in Dominican Final. (January 23-25)

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