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.
The Bravos de León (17-34) trailed the Sultanes de Monterrey (36-13) 4-3 going into the bottom of the eighth inning, but the Bravos got three solo home runs in the bottom of the eighth for a 6-4 win at Estadio Domingo Santana in León on May 28.
The deciding inning started with a fly out. Then, 2B Carlos Valencia hit a home run to left field. The next batter, RF Brandon Macias, hit another home run to left field, and that one got out of the ball park in a hurry. The Sultanes replaced RHP Marcos Rivas with LHP Edgar Torres. Torres recorded a strikeout, but the next batter, C Marco Chicuate, completed the scoring with yet another home run over the left field fence. The Bravos sent in their closer, RHP Craig Stern, to pitch the top of the ninth, and he retired three of the four batters he faced.
The Bravos out-hit the Sultanes 14-7, but missed some opportunities in the early going. A single by Valencia in the third inning scored a run, giving the Bravos a 3-1 lead, but SS Niko Vasquez was tagged out at third; a review of the play upheld the call on the field. After a fly out, Valencia went to second on a single by 1B Leslie Anderson. The next batter, Chicuate, hit a single to left field, but Valencia was tagged out at home after a excellent throw by LF Zoilo Almonte.
The Sultanes opened the scoring with a run in the top of the first without a hit. CF Chris Roberson led off with a walk, went to second on a wild pitch, stole third, and came home on another wild pitch. The Bravos answered with a run walked in, RBI to Valencia. However, the Bravos left the bases loaded when Macias struck out. The Bravos got a runner on first in the bottom of the second, but 3B Agustin Murillo made a great catch of a line drive to prevent any damage.
The Sultanes tied it 3-3 with a two-run home run by Murillo in the top of the fourth. They went ahead 4-3 with a home run by Almonte in the sixth. They were kept off the board the rest of the way by relievers RHP Mitch Lively (seventh inning, one hit), RHP Gerardo Sanchez (eighth inning, no hits), and Stern.
2B-3B Brandon Macias batted in five runs to lead the Bravos de León (11-20) to a 12-3 win over the Olmecas de Tabasco (10-20) at Estadio Domingo Santana in León on May 6.
This was the first game for the Bravos' new manager Luis Carlos Rivera and new pitching coach Ray Loya. It was also the first game for 1B Leslie Anderson, who went 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI, and three runs scored.
The Olmecas opened the scoring with a run in the top of the first on a triple by CF Yordanys Linares, who scored on a single by DH Sandy Madera. Olmecas starter LHP Carlos Teller didn't allow a hit until the forth inning. With two out and the bases empty, he walked LF Alfredo Marte. Anderson got the Bravos' first hit of the game. Teller then walked Macias to load the bases, then hit DH Joshua Banuelos to tie the game. The next batter, 3B Miguel Torrero, hit a two-RBI single, and the Bravos led 3-1 after four innings.
The Bravos got a "small ball" run in the fifth. CF Sergio Garcia opened the inning with a single. He moved to second on a hit batter (Teller hit three of them), and third on a line drive out. He then scored on a sacrifice fly by Marte. Teller was relieved by RHP Rodolfo Aguirre after walking the next batter.