Merida, Yucatan — After bringing the South Zone championship home, the Leones came one step further toward the national finals.
Jorge Flores homered and singled, driving in three runs as the Leones de Yucatan beat the Diablos Rojos del Mexico 7-5 on Tuesday. The victory is the Leones’ third straight; if the team wins again today (Wednesday), Yucatan snatches the South Zone championship series and heads to the Serie del Rey, Mexico’s World Series.
Mexico started the scoring in the first inning when Japhet Amador hit a two-run single. Walter Ibarra singled twice with two runs.
After Yucatan scored a run in the second when Art Charles scored when a runner was thrown out, the Leones took the lead for good in the third inning when Luis Juarez homered to bring home Ibarra.
The Leones later added two runs in both the fifth and sixth innings. In the fifth, Jonathan Jones scored on a groundout, while Flores hit a two-run home run in the sixth.
Mexico saw its comeback attempt come up short after Jesus Fabela hit a sacrifice fly and Amador hit a two-run double in the seventh to cut the Yucatan lead to 7-5.
Dustin Crenshaw (6-2) picked up the win after allowing two runs on nine hits over 5 2/3 innings. Opposing starter Arturo Lopez (6-5) took the loss after he allowed five runs and six hits over four innings.
The action continues 7:45 p.m. Wednesday at the Kukulcán Alamo Park, with the Diablos’ Patrick Johnson (0-1, 15.19 ERA) facing José Samayoa (0-0, 8.31 ERA) on the mound.
Win: Crenshaw (1-0)
Loss: López (0-1)
SV: Lueke (1)
HR: Juárez (3), Flores (1) for YUC
Sources: Leones, Associated Press