By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
Mexico’s Caneros De Los Mochis improved their record to 4-1 Monday, good for first place at the Caribbean Series, beating host nation Venezuela’s Leones De Caracas 7-0 behind a stellar performance from starting pitcher Luis Miranda, clinching a spot in Thursday’s semifinals.
Mexico manager Jose Moreno has a chance, with just two games left in pool play, to help Caneros De Los Mochis get to the catbird’s seat. Miranda went six innings, allowing just two hits, walking one batter and striking out seven during his dazzling performance.
Mexico got on the board in the top of the second when Joey Terdoslavich laced a two-run double to left field, scoring Reynaldo Rodriguez and Rodolfo Amador to take a 2-0 lead. In the top of the third, Los Mochis added more insurance when Roberto Valenzuela roped a triple to center field, scoring Jose Cardona and Justin Dean to extend the lead to 4-0.
Leones starting pitcher J.C. Ramirez did not record a single out in the third inning, throwing two innings, allowing five hits, five earned runs, walking two batters and striking out one. Leones manager Jose Alguacil was forced to go to his bullpen early, calling upon relief pitcher Norwith Gudino. The next batter, Reynaldo Rodriguez, drove a single into center field to score Valenzuela and make it 5-0.
Mexico ran away with the game with their offense outburst, smacking 13 hits. Los Mochis’ bullpen shut the door behind a combined effort from Samuel Zazueta, Brandon Koch, Rafael Cordova, and Juan Gamez, who allowed no hits, walked two batters and struck out one during the shutout.
Los Mochis is looking for their first Caribbean Series championship title in the history of their franchise. This is their third appearance at the event.
Los Mochis could inch closer to the top seed tomorrow if they take care of business against 2-3 Federales De Chiriqui of Panama at 1:30 p.m. EST at Estadio Forum La Guaira. Leones De Caracas will have to get back on track as they fight for seeding positioning against 2-3 Curacao at 6:30 p.m. EST at Estadio De La Rinconada.
All Caribbean Series games are streamed on ESPN Deportes and ESPN+.