Merida, Yucatan — Art Charles’ two-run double in the first inning led the Leones de Yucatan to a 4-3 win over the Pericos de Puebla on Wednesday.
The double by Charles scored Francisco Hernandez and Alex Liddi to give the Leones a 2-0 lead at Kukulcan Alamo Park.
After Yucatan added a run in the third when Leo Heras hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Liddi, the Pericos cut into the deficit in the sixth inning when Danny Ortiz and Antonio Lamas, with two outs, hit back-to-back home runs.
Manuel Chavez was sent in to get the third out.
In the eighth, the Leone sent Enrique Burgos the mound, where he gave a great show with his 98-mile-per-hour fast ball.
The victory, which assures a series win, was also credited to Cuban pitching star Yoanner Negrin (12-6), who picked up a quality start and the win after allowing two runs on four hits, and striking out six, over 6 2/3 innings.
The Leones tacked on another run in the sixth when Jorge Flores hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Jose Aguilar.
Josh Lueke closed the game with the last three outs, earning his 18th save of the season.
Puebla saw its comeback attempt come up short after Nick Torres scored on an error in the eighth inning to cut the Yucatan lead to 4-3.
Liddi celebrated his birthday with a productive night, batting 2-4 with 2 runs scored.
“I am very happy to contribute to the team and win a very important series,” Liddi said after the game. “I am grateful to God for having completed another year, we invite people to continue supporting us to get hard in the playoffs.”
Opposing starter Brandon Cumpton (0-3) took the loss after giving up three runs and seven hits over three innings.
The final game of the series is 7:45 p.m. today (Thursday) with Mauricio Lara (5-9, 4.22 ERA) and Jesse Estrada (7-2, 5.18 ERA) starting on the mound.
Win: Negrín (12-5)
Loss: Cumpton (0-3)
SV: Lueke (18)
HR: Ortiz (36), Lamas (10) for PUE
Source: Leone, The Associated Press