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’ scoring barrage started with one out in the bottom of the third. They loaded the bases with three straight singles by Israel Nunez, Medina, and Jaime. The second out of the inning came on the infield fly rule. The next batter, CF Cedric Hunter, got a very good hit that just made it into right field, and two runs scored.
The winning run came in the fourth inning, on a two-run home run by Nunez. The Bravos pretty much put it out of reach with four runs in the bottom of the fifth. The inning started with a single by Jaime. He went to third on a ground-rule double by Hunter. The next batter was intentionally walked, then Latimore hit a double to clear the bases. Latimore then scored on a single by 1B Brandon Macias.
The Olmecas got their second and final run of the game in the top of the sixth, when C Alan Espinosa, the last batter that Martinez faced, hit a double. He scored when SS Daniel Hinojosa reached on an error on a ground ball. The Bravos piled on four more runs in the bottom of the seventh, with a two-RBI single by Latimore, a sacrifice fly by Nunez, and a two-RBI single by Nunez.
Martinez finished with six strikeouts and five walks. RHP Jesus Garcia, RHP Fredy Quintero, and LHP Sergio Alvarado pitched perfect seventh, eighth, and ninth innings, respectively, and Alvarado struck out the final two batters. Olmecas starter LHP Thomas Melgarejo got the loss. Hunter finished 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI. 3B Ronnier Mustelier went 2-for-3 for the Olmecas.
box score play-by-play
Melgarejo (Minatitlan) was in the Dodgers organization 2005-13. Hernandez (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) played in the Majors Leagues for the Mets, Nationals, Indians, and Astros 2005-10. He played in 240 games, had a career average of .241. Carbonell (Camaguey, Cuba) defected in 2013. He signed a $1.4 million contract with the Giants, but was released in 2018 without ever playing a major league game. Mustelier (Santiago de Cuba) defected in 2009, was in the Yankees organization 2011-14, and the Braves organization 2015-2016.
Quintero (Los Mochis, Sinaloa) was in the Dodgers organization 2008-09. Latimore (Raleigh, NC) was drafted in the fourth round in 2007 by the Pirates, was in their organization until 2014, then in the Nationals and Orioles organizations. Nunez (Mexico City) was in the Mariners organization 2005-09.
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Olmecas de Tabasco official site