From a solid start by Yander Guevara to clutch relief outing by Yunier Cano (3-0) to big at bats from Jorge Alfonso, other players also contributed to the 3-2 Tigers win in 10 innings over Matanzas on Tuesday afternoon, giving Ciego de Avila its first series win over the Cocodriles in the 54 National Series.
Thursday may have been the worst day for the Industriales Lions this season.
The Cubs completed a sweep of the Lions with a 1-0 win on Thursday night, sweeping the 12 time champions for the first time this season.
The game was all about pitching, Yusmel Velázquez (1-1) struck out four in eight and two-thirds scoreless innings, while closer Yuniel García (1) struck out Josuan Hernández in the ninth, saving his first game.
Starting pitching was expected to dominate this week at Calixto García Stadium by at least one team.
That team was the Holguín Cubs, whose rotation dominated the first two games of the series against the Lions, despite having a slow start of the season.
An apparent shoo-in to walk off with 2014 American League Rookie of the Year honors, José Dariel Abreu has now completed a summer-long debut performance in Chicago that surprised even the most ardent advocates who had watched him tear up Cuban League pitching for much of the past half-dozen winter seasons. Abreu hardly flashed on to the big league scene as a lightning bolt shot out of nowhere; he was hardly an “unknown quantity” for those who had followed the Cuban domestic national pastime across recent winter seasons.
Rodolfo Sorís (1-0) allowed one unearned run in seven solid innings and Holguín knocked out Noelvis Entenza (0-1) in the sixth inning, as the Holguín Cubs beat 5-2 the undefeated Industriales Lions on Tuesday night at Calixto García Stadium in Holguín.
Whether or not the manager Lázaro Vargas is actually the reason for the win streak Industriales is having during the beginning of the 54th National Series, is up for debate, but one thing is not. The Industriales are playing well and their pitchers are the best in the league.
On Sunday, Lourdes Gourriel, Jr. and Frank Camilo Morejón homered. Morejón drove in four runs, and the Industriales Lions beat Santiago de Cuba 7-5.
NB: The following interview was first published in Spanish on the Reynaldo Cruz MLBlog.com site (Universo Béisbol). Here is the original English-language version of the full interview.
RC: You have been involved with researching and spreading the word about the history of Cuban baseball. When, how and why did you first become interested in this topic?