Merida, Yucatan — Xavier Scruggs hit a three-run homer, part of a three-hit night, as the Leones de Yucatan topped the Rieleros de Aguascalientes 10-1 in Thursday’s rubber match.
This is the fourth consecutive series win for the Leones in the second half of the season, to improve to 4-2 against Aguascalientes.
The Leones went up 1-0 in the first inning with a run scored by Alex Liddi who, after reaching base on balls, was brought home by Sebastian Valle. In the second, a pair of runs was scored when Scruggs singled, later reaching third base on a double by Yeison Asencio. Both were brought home on a single by Walter Ibarra.
In the fourth, they put together a four-run rally on a single by Jonathan Jones and Liddi’s three-run homer. It was Liddi’s second home run of the season.
The Leones blew the game open when Valle and Leo Heras opened the fifth inning with singles, setting the stage for Scruggs, who hit his first home run with the Mexican League. The homer over left field scored the contest’s last three runs.
The Rieleros avoided a shutout with a run scored by Eliezer Ortiz in the eighth.
Cesar Valdez (10-1) picked up the win after allowing four hits, eight strikeouts and no walks over six scoreless innings. Opposing starter Bennett Parry (0-1) took the loss after a rough outing in which he allowed seven runs and eight hits over 3 2/3 innings.
The Leones return to action tonight (Friday) to face off with the Generales de Durango. Ivan Pineyro (2-1, 3.65 ERA) and the Leones’ Jose Samayoa (2-2, 3.84 ERA) will duel it out on the mound. For “ladies’ night,” women and small children will be admitted free for certain seats.
Until Thursday’s game, Scruggs had connected just five hits with 37 at bats. His performance last night is the reason the California native and former St. Louis Cardinal was brought in three weeks ago to play for the Leones.
“I’m very happy to be here,” said Scruggs. “Day by day we work hard to reach the playoffs.”
WP: Valdez (10-1)
LP: Parry (0-1)
SV: No hubo
HR: Liddi (2), Scruggs (1) por YUC
With information from the Associated Press and the Leones.