SANTIAGO, D.R.–It took 11 innings, but Licey finally eked out a 2-1 win against Mexico to remain undefeated in the Caribbean Series and set up an even more meaningful matchup when they square off against Aguilas Monday night.
After lefthander Adrian Ramirez walked D’Angelo Jimenez to start the inning, Mexico manager Homar Rojas brought in Hugo Castellanos, who promptly allowed a single down the left field line by Nelson Cruz. Jimenez moved up to third on the base hit, and Castellanos bounced back to get Juan Melo to pop up to shallow left.
Jose Bautista followed with a sacrifice fly to right field, and Armando Rios’ throw was slightly up the third base line, allowing Jimenez to score relatively easily.
Licey righthander Jailin Peguero finished things off with a perfect bottom half in the 11th, and the celebration was on.
* The D.R. Loves Nelson Figueroa: The Mexico righthander pitched in the Mexican Pacific League during the regular season, but actually pitched for Aguilas in the postseason. However, Caribbean Federation rules state that he had to play for Mexico in the Caribbean Series since he spent the regular season in Mexico.
Confusing, I know, but Figueroa was absolutely brilliant against his former club. He pitched 9 1/3 innings, allowed a run on seven hits, walked three and struck out three.
* C-Ro: Mexico first baseman Carlos Rivera and I ‘played’ on the same team at Nashville in 2004. I was there for a week making a moron out of myself. Rivera played for nine seasons in the Pirates’ system, but spent this past year playing in Mexico. "You look familiar," Rivera said as he came out for what is always an abbreviated stretch at the Caribbean Series–it’s the ultimate ‘show-and-go.’ "Yeah, that’s right. You’re the guy who couldn’t hit (expletive deleted). You were a pretty good cheerleader though. Muy bueno high fives."