The Bravos de León (17-11) defeated the Olmecas (Olmecs) de Tabasco (11-18) 12-2 at Estadio Domingo Santana in León on July 22. The Bravos are in first place in the South Division of the Mexican League.
The Bravos were firing on all cylinders. Five pitchers held the Olmecas to five hits, all of them off starter RHP Rogelio Martinez. Defensively, they were charged with three errors, but that’s misleading. One of the errors probably should have scored a hit instead, and the Bravos made a lot of good defensive plays, especially by SS Marco Jaime (Phoenix, AZ).
Martinez was shaky the first three innings. He gave up the first run on the game in the top of the third. The Olmecas loaded the bases with one out on a walk, an error, and another walk. The second out of the came on a ground ball to third resulting in a force out at home. The next batter, 2B Anderson Hernandez, took the count to 3-2. He fouled off a couple of pitches, then took ball four to get the RBI. The following batter, LF Daniel Carbonell, also took the count to 3-2, but this time, Martinez blew strike three by him, and the inning ended with the bases loaded. Martinez then settled in, recording three strikeouts over the next 2 1/3 innings, and got the win. He was helped by a good defensive play by RF Quincy Latimore in the top of the fifth. He caught a fly ball in foul territory, then made a good throw to first base that initially looked like a double play, but the runner on first (why was he off the bag when the batted ball was clearly foul?) was ruled safe. Two more good catches, by 3B Luis Medina and Latimore, became the second and third outs.
The Bravos de León (10-6) defeated the Algodoneros (Cotton Farmers) de Unión Laguna (7-11) 10-8 at Estadio Domingo Santana in León on July 22. This was the Bravos' sixth straight win, and they are in first place in the South Division of the Mexican League.
The game was scoreless for the first three innings, with the Bravos getting a double play in the top of the third inning, and leaving the bases loaded in the bottom of the third. The shutout ended with an RBI single by 3B Eudor Garcia in the top of the fourth, and his single loaded the bases with nobody out. Bravos starter RHP Eder Llamas struck out the next batter, and the following batter hit a ground ball that resulted in a force out at home. Llamas was relieved by RHP Marco Quevedo, and he was greeted by a grand slam home run by CF Jonathan Jones. The Algodoneros added another run in the top of the sixth on an RBI single by C Daniel Mercado. They led 6-0 going into the bottom of the sixth, and it looked like the Bravos' winning streak was coming to an end.
The Leones de Yucatán (Mérida) (40-17, first place in South Division) defeated the Bravos de León (27-29, fourth place in the South Division) 6-4 at Estadio Domingo Santana in León on June 3. The win gives the Leones a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven first round playoff series.
This game was almost all Leones until the eighth inning. They jumped on Bravos starter RHP Dustin Crenshaw for two runs in the top of the first inning. CF Ruben Sosa led off with a single, then stole second base. (The Leones stole three of them.) He scored on a double by DH Luis Juarez, and Juarez scored on a double by LF Jesus Valdez. They added two more runs in the third on a home run by 1B Art Charles Jr. The Bravos originally thought they got out of the third with a double play, but the call at first base was reviewed and reversed; RF Leo Heras was safe at first. However, he was then caught stealing to end the inning.
Crenshaw made one of the better defensive plays of the game in the top of the fourth, when he caught a hard-hit line drive by SS Everth Cabrera. The shutout ended in the bottom of the fourth when 2B Niko Vasquez hit an RBI single. However, CF Junior Lake, who reached on a double, also tried to score on the play, and was out on a close play at home, on a throw from Heras.
The Piratas de Campeche (15-23) defeated the Bravos de León (22-17) 8-3 at Estadio Domingo Santana in León on May 6. The loss ended an 11-game winning streak for the Bravos.
Bravos starter Alejandro Soto struck out the first two batters he faced, and was one strike short of striking out the side. Instead, DH Olmo Rosario hit one over the left field fence. The next batter, 2B Henry Alejandro Rodriguez, hit a double, and scored on a single by Jovan Rosa. The Bravos got a run in the bottom of the first when LF Felix Pie scored when DH Quincy Latimore reached on a fielder's choice. The Bravos got two more on a single by RF Cedric Hunter, and led 3-2 after one inning.
The Bravos didn't score again. The closest they came was in the bottom of the fifth, when CF Junior Lake drew a walk with two out, then stole second base. However, the inning ended with Latimore striking out.
The Saraperos (Serape Makers) de Saltillo (5-10) defeated the Bravos de León (6-9) 6-3 at Estadio Domingo Santana in León on April 8.
The Bravos started the scoring in the bottom of the second inning on an RBI double by 1B Brandon Macias; the Saraperos’ third baseman, Christian Zazueta, got a piece of the ball, but it deflected into left field. The Saraperos answered with two runs in the top of the third on an RBI single by LF Jose Manuel Orozco followed by a sacrifice fly by RF Rainel Rosario. The Saraperos got the rest of the runs they needed in the top of the fourth; an RBI single by C Jibran Castro, and a two-run home run by Steve Carrillo for the winning run.
The Bravos got their second run of the game on a home run by LF Felix Pie in the bottom of the fifth. Christian Zazueta hit an RBI double in the top of the eighth, and CF Junior Lake, who reached base when he was hit by a pitch, completed the scoring by coming home on a sacrifice fly by RF Cedric Hunter in the bottom of the eighth.
The Guerreros de Oaxaca (2-1) defeated the Bravos de León (1-2) 17-3 at Estadio Domingo Santana in León on March 25.
These two teams played 14 innings the previous night, with the Guerreros winning 4-3. This game was close for only two innings. With two out in the bottom of the first, SS Yuniesky Betancourt hit a single. 3B Hector Gomez followed with a double, then 1B Luis Alfonso Garcia sent both of them home with a single.
Bravos starter LHP Orlando Lara should have gotten out of the second inning without any damage, but Bravos SS Amadeo Zazueta bobbled a double-play ball, and LF Raymundo Torres scored. Cedric Hunter made a great catch in right field to end the inning.
The Bravos got on the board with an RBI single by Zazueta in the bottom of the third. Lara was replaced by RHP Andrew Gutierrez (West Covina, CA, college ball at Indiana State) in the top of the fourth, and all hell broke loose. He didn't make it through the inning. He walked 2B Jaime Brena, who then stole second, went to third on a ground out, and scored on a balk. Bravos Manager Luis Rivera objected to the call, and was ejected. The Guerreros followed with two singles, an RBI single by Garcia, another RBI single by C Carlos Paulino, and a two-RBI triple by Torres. Felix Pie ran into the center field fence attempting to field the ball hit by Torres, was injured, and had to leave the game. The Guerreros finished the inning with five runs, and led 8-1.
The Leones de Yucatán (Mérida) (45-60, first place in South Division) defeated the Bravos de León (63-42) 5-1 at Estadio Domingo Santana in León on August 17. The win gives the Leones a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven first round playoff series.
Four Leones pitchers, RHP Jose Samayoa, RHP Jesus Barraza, RHP Pedro Rodriguez, and RHP Ronald Belisario, held the Bravos to three hits. The starter, Samayoa, didn’t allow a hit until the fifth inning. That was a double by SS Niko Vasquez, who scored the Bravos’ only run of the game on a single by 3B Miguel Torrero. The Bravos didn’t get another hit until the bottom of the ninth, a double by CF Junior Lake. Lake was stranded on third base when the game ended.
The Tigres de Quintana Roo (Cancun) (42-54) defeated the Bravos de León (40-56) 7-4 at Estadio Domingo Santana in León on July 30.
The Bravos took a 2-0 lead with an RBI single by 1B Dan Johnson (Coon Rapids, MN) and a sacrifice fly by 2B Carlos Valencia in the bottom of the first inning. They loaded the bases with nobody out in the third inning with singles by Johnson and Valencia, and a bunt single by RF Leandro Castro. However, the next batter, SS Niko Vasquez, hit into a double play. Johnson scored, and the Bravos didn’t score again until the bottom of the ninth.
The Tigres got to starter RHP Mitch Lively in the top of the fourth. Lively hit 3B Brian Hernandez. One of Hernandez’ hands was injured. He couldn’t stay in the game, so he was replaced by 2B Abel Martinez. Martinez was forced out at second on a ground ball by 2B-3B Osniel Madera. The next batter, DH C.J. Retherford, hit a fly ball to right field. Castro made a good effort to get to the ball, but didn’t hold onto it long enough. (A review confirmed this.) Madera went to third on the play, then scored on a single by LF Ramon R. Ramirez. The next batter, C Francisco Cordoba, hit a fly ball to left field. Again, LF Gilberto Mejia made a great effort to get a glove on the ball, but he couldn’t hold on, and Retherford scored.
The Rieleros (Railroaders) de Aguascalientes (52-38) defeated the Bravos de León (34-50) 8-7 at Estadio Domingo Santana in León on July 16.
It took over four hours to play this game. Neither of the starting pitchers got through the third inning. The Rieleros used eight pitchers, and the Bravos used seven, despite the fact that both bullpens were depleted by the double-header the previous day.
This game was close all the way. The winning run came on an RBI single by 1B Jesus Castillo in the top of the sixth inning, and it put the Rieleros ahead 8-6. The Bravos stranded a baserunner on third in the bottom of the seventh. With one out in the bottom of the ninth, 2B Gilberto Mejia hit a ball down the right-field line to the fence that was just foul. A couple of pitches later, he hit a ball down the left-field line that was almost to the fence, and just fair, but it was caught by LF Amilcar Gomez for the second out. However, the next batter, CF Junior Lake, was hit by a pitch, and he went to second on defensive indifference. Lake then scored on a single by 1B Dan Johnson, and it was a one-run ball game. However, DH Carlos Valencia, after a long turn at bat, flied out, ending the game.
The Bravos got off to a good start. They ended the top of the first with a double play. LF Eduardo Arredondo led off the bottom of the first with a single. Mejia followed with a double, and Arredondo scored on a ground out by Lake. Johnson then hit a sacrifice fly to score Mejia.
The Piratas de Campeche (24-32) swept a double-header against the the Bravos de León (19-37), 8-1 and 4-2, at Estadio Domingo Santana in León on June 4.
First game: RHP Rolando Valdez went the seven-inning distance for the Piratas, allowed eight hits, walked one, struck out four.
The Piratas got all the runs they needed in the top of the first inning. They loaded the bases on Bravos starter RHP Alfonso Sanchez with a walk, a base hit by DH Frank Diaz, and another walk. Sanchez then hit SS Paul Leon with a pitch to open the scoring. The next batter, LF Maxwell Leon, bunted for an RBI and the winning run. 1B Fernando Flores hit a double to score two runs, and RF Roberto Valencia hit a double to score another run.
Sanchez didn’t allow another hit until the fifth inning, when Diaz led off with a double. 3B C.J. Retherford followed with a home run. Sanchez walked the next batter, and was relieved by RHP Fredy Quintero, who gave up a single, then a double-play ball. Leon completed the scoring with home run in the seventh that went a long way over the left field fence.