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Updated: February 2, 2021
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Copyright © 1997-2021
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2021 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photo by Henk Seppen)

Second win Panama, Dominicans in Serie del Caribe

MAZATLÁN (México) - The teams representing Panama and the Dominican Republic recorded their second victory on Day 2 of the 63rd edition of the Serie del Caribe in México. On Monday (February 1), Federales de Chiriquí (Panama) won 6-3 against Caimanes de Barranquilla (Colombia), which also lost its opener on Sunday. Águilas Cibaeñas (Dominican Republic) won 4-2 against host Tomateros de Culiacán (México), which had won its first game. Criollos de Caguas (Puerto Rico) won its first game on Monday via a 3-0 shutout against Caribes de Anzoátegui (Venezuela), which also lost its second game.

The event went underway on Sunday. All teams will face each other in the tournament through Thursday. On Friday, the top-four will play in the Semi-Finals. The two winners then will meet in the Final on Saturday.

All games are played in Estadio Teodoro Mariscal, which is the home of Venados de Mazatlán. Spectators are allowed, but only 40 percent of the stadium's seating capacity (which is 16.000) will be used, due to the corona-measures. All spectators must wear face coverings and observe social distances.

(February 1)

Caimanes de Barranquilla (Colombia) vs. Federales de Chiriquí (Panama)

The Panamanian team decided the game with a 7-run rally in the third inning. The Colombian champion answered with four runs in the sixth, but was uable to turn the game around.

Federales struck in the top of the third inning, scoring seven runs with two outs off of starting pitcher Edison Frías. The righthander had retired the side in the first two innings, striking out four batters, three of them in the second inning. After striking out the first batter in the third, Frías gave up a double to Rodrigo Vigil, who advanced on a grounder, then scored the first run on a single by Jonathan Araúz. The bases got loaded when next batter Jesús López doubled and Allen Córdoba walked. The second run was scored when Willy García also walked. Hereafter, David Rodríguez followed with a baseclearing, 3-run double that made it a 5-0 score. Rodríguez went on to score on a single by Héctor Gómez, who advanced on an error, then scored the seventh run in the inning on a single by Carlos Quiroz. With Federales now leading 7-0, Frias was relieved by Ezequiel Zabaleta, who closed with a strikeout.

Caimanes was held scoreless in the first five innings. Federales-starter Manuel Campos gave up only one basehit in the three innings he pitched. In 2009, the righthander was a member of the National Team of Panama during the World Baseball Classic, but didn't play. In the fourth, Campos was relieved by Edisson González, who gave up one basehit in the next two at bats and was supported with an unassisted double play on a line drive in the fifth. In the bottom of the sixth, González walked Francisco Acuña and Brallan Pérez. The two runners advanced on an error during a pick-off, then got the next base awarded on a balk, which gave the Colombians their first run. With one out, the bases got loaded when Harold Ramírez and Carlos Martínez both singled. Ernesto Silva then took over the pitching. He saw Pérez score on a grounder by Dilson Herrera, then gave up a 2-run double to Jordan Díaz, which narrowed the Colombian deficit to 7-4. Silva closed with a strikeout.

Federales took some more distance by scoring two runs in the top of the ninth. Jhonny Santos led off with a walk, stole second base and scored on a single by Jonathan Araúz. With two outs, Araúz scored on a wild pitch.

Caimanes scored its last run in the bottom of the fifth. Francisco Acuña walked with one out and scored on a 2-out single by Evan Mendoza.

Criollos de Caguas (Puerto Rico) vs. Caribes de Anzoátegui (Venezuela)

The Puerto Rican champion scored its runs in the third (one) and sixth (two) inning. Five pitchers gave up only two basehits to Caribes. Both were recorded off of starter Héctor Hernández, who struckout five batters in five innings. Criollos collected four basehits off of four pitchers. Three of them off of starter Raúl Rivero, who had eight strikeouts in the 5 2/3 inning he threw.

Criollos opened the score in the bottom of the third inning. Rey Fuentes led off with a walk, moved into scoring position on an one-out single by Edwin Díaz, then scored on a 2-out single by Henry Ramos.

Two runs were added in the sixth inning. This time, Jarren Duran led off with a walk. With one out, Major League-veteran Yadi Molina homered to make it a 3-0 score. The 38-year old catcher is currently a Free Agent, but it is reported that he is in talks concerning a return to St. Louis Cardinals for whom he has played since 2004.

Caribes got its first runner in scoring position in the fourth. With two outs, Willians Astudillo hit the first basehit for his team, then Oswaldo Arcia walked, but a flyout followed. Arcia played in the Major League in 2013-2016 for four teams and also played in Japan (2018).

In the fifth, Jesús Sucre led off for Caribes with a double, but the next three batters were eliminated. In the next four innings, the Venezuelan team got only two more baserunners (both walks), but they stranded on first base.

Tomateros de Culiacán (México) vs. Águilas Cibaeñas (Dominican Republic)

Águilas opened the score in the third inning and led 4-0 halfway the ninth. It was then that Tomateros was able to score its two runs, but the team was left empty-handed. All runs in this game were scored with two outs.

Águilas-starter César Valdez struckout six batters and gave up only two basehits in the six innings he was on the mound. Four relievers then completed the game.

In the top of the third inning, Águilas scored its first run with two outs off of starter Héctor Velázquez, thanks to two veteran Major Leaguers. With one out, the righthander gave up a single to Melky Cabrera. With two outs, he got runners at the corners when Robinson Canó also singled. Moments later, Cabrera scored on a single by Ronald Guzmán.

...Robinson Canó as player of the...
...Dominican Republic during the...
...2013 World Baseball Classic...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
38-year old Robinson Canó plays in the Major League since 2005. After having played nine seasons for New York Yankees, the second baseman played for Seattle Mariners (2014-2018). Canó played for New York Mets in 2019 and 2020, but in November, it was reported that he was suspended for the entire 2021 season after testing positive for using a performance-enhancing drug. Canó was the Most Valuable Player of the 2013 World Baseball Classic, which was won by the Dominican Republic.

36-year old rightfielder Melky Cabrera played in the Major League in 2005-2019 for eight teams, including two periods with Kansas City Royals. In 2005-2009, he was a teammate of Canó with New York Yankees. He signed with New York Mets in June last year, but was released less than a month later.

The Dominicans added a run in the sixth inning, also with two outs. Ronald Guzmán led off with a walk, then scored on a 2-out double by Junior Lake.

The team scored its third run in the seventh, again with two outs. After having retired the first batter, reliever Jesús Adrian Castillo was replaced by Carlos Torres. He got a grounder, but then gave up a homerun to Juan Lagares.

Águilas made it a 4-0 score in the top of the ninth. And yes, this run also was scored with two outs. Jonathan Villar then doubled and scored on a following single by Melky Cabrera.

Tomateros was held scoreless in the first eight innings. The team then finally was successful in the bottom of the ninth by scoring two unearned runs, but was unable to turn the game around. Sebastián Elizalde Ramos led off with a single off of reliever Jumbo Díaz, who then was replaced by Fernando Abad. With one out, a grounder by Efrén Navarro had a chance to become a reversed double play, which could have ended the game. However, an error was made at second base and so, there were runners on first and second base with one out. Next, Elizalde was forced out on third base on a grounder by Isaac Paredes. Navarro and Paredes then scored the Mexican runs on singles by Jesús Castillo Montaño and Julian León, which led to a pitching change. With runners on first and third base, Jhan Mariñez took over and he got a game-ending grounder.

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