Valdez carries Yucatan to 3-0 win over Monclova in 5th duel
Merida, Yucatan — Following Saturday’s come-from-behind victory, the Leones inched closer to the national title Sunday.
Cesar Valdez tossed a four-hit shutout for a 3-0 win over the Acereros del Norte.
Valdez (19-2) struck out eight and walked one to get the win at Kukulcán Park.
“It was one of the best outings of my career,” said Valdez, who pitched the entire game after “asking for the ball” in the ninth inning, an unusual and dramatic gesture in baseball. If the Leones win the next game Tuesday, they are national champions for a second consecutive year.
In the bottom of the first, Yucatan took the lead on a single by Art Charles that scored Jonathan Jones. The Leones then added single runs in the third and eighth innings. In the third, Jones hit an RBI single, while Alex Liddi hit a solo home run in the eighth.
Adam Quintana (9-6) went six innings, allowing two runs and six hits while striking out five to take the hard-luck loss in the Mexican League Serie del Rey game.
Monclova’s Acereros were blanked for the seventh time this season, while the Leones’ staff recorded their ninth shutout of the year.
The series resumes Tuesday back at Monclova Stadium. The Acereros will start Spencer Jones while the Leones de Yucatán will send Cuban pitcher Yoanner Negrín.
MVA: Adam Quintana (6.0), Justin Kelly (0.2) and Wilmer Rios (1.1).
YUC: César Valdez (9.0).
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
MVA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 1
YUC 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 x 3 9 1
Win: César Valdez (2-0, 2.25)
Loss: Adam Quintana (0-1, 3.27)
Homerun: YUC Alex Liddi (1).
Sources: Leones, Associated Press