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Liga Mexicana de Beisbol: Zona Norte Race Tightens Up; Leonys Martin Suspended

 Leif Skodnick - World Baseball Network  |    Jul 2nd, 2024 4:15pm EDT

Lewin Diaz has been loaned to the Diablos Rojos del Mexico by the Piratas de Campeche. (Photo by Adam Hagy/Getty Images)

With one month remaining in the Liga Mexicana de Beisbol regular season, the race to win the Zona Norte is as tight as could be, with the top five teams separated by just five and a half games.

Currently, the Sultanes de Monterrey lead the Zone Norte with a record of 40-24. The Algodoneros de Union Laguna are one game back, and the Tecolotes de Los Dos Laredos are two back of Monterrey. The Acereros de Monclova are four back of Monterrey, and the Toros de Tijuana are five and half games back in fifth place.

As a reminder, the top six teams in each of the LMB’s two divisions make the playoffs, and the team in each division that lost a first round series but won the most games advancing to the second round with the three series winners.

With approximately 29 games remaining for most teams, the Charros de Jalisco (26-39, 8th in Zona Norte), Caliente de Durango (24-41, 8th in Zona Norte) and Dorados de Chihuahua (24-42, 10th in Zona Norte) are all but eliminated, though there’s always an outside chance that one of those teams goes .700 down the stretch and finds its way into the playoffs.

The battle for the top seed in the Zona Norte will be compelling, but an equally compelling race will be taking place for the sixth and final spot in Zona Norte. The Saraperos de Saltillo (32-33) currently hold the sixth spot in the Zona Norte, with the Rieleros de Aguacalientes (31-34) just two games back.

Meanwhile, in the Zona Sur, everyone is playing for second place, as the Diablos Rojos del Mexico (51-14) have a 15-game lead on the second-place Leones de Yucatan (33-26). The next six teams are separated by three and a half games, with the Guerreros de Oaxaca (32-32) and El Aguila de Veracruz (31-31) tied for sixth. Even the Bravos de Leon (27-37), five games out of the sixth and final playoff spot, have a chance at getting into the postseason.

Queretaro’s Leonys Martin Suspended – Cuban OF Leonys Martin of the Conspiradores de Queretaro was suspended for Saturday and Sunday’s games this past weekend after he confronted an umpire in the series finale against the Diablos Rojos del Mexico on June 27.

Queretaro’s Friday night against at Campeche was postponed due to rain, and Martin served the suspension during Saturday’s game and the first game of a twin bill on Sunday. Martin did not play in the third game of the series either, and the Conspiradores (32-31, 5th in Zona Sur) went 1-2 over the weekend.

Martin leads the league in runs scored with 67 and is second in the LMB in homers with 23.

Noventa y Nueve Anos – The LMB celebrated its 99th birthday on June 28, the day in 1925 that the league was formed by two sportswriters, Alejandro “Fray Nano” Aguilar Reyes and Ernesto Carmona.

The Rich Get Richer – The Diablos Rojos del Mexico added Dominican outfielder Lewin Diaz, who comes to the nation’s capital on loan from the Piratas de Campeche, according to Beisbolpuro. Diaz, who appeared in 112 games with the Miami Marlins between 2020-22, is batting .361 with 12 homers and 47 RBI this year with Campeche.

Esta Semana en la LMB – The Zona Norte leading Sultanes de Monterrey open the week hosting the Toros de Tijuana and the Acereros de Monclova visit Dos Laredos, giving fans a preview of possible first round matchups. The league-leading Diablos Rojos del Mexico face the defending Serie del Rey champion Pericos de Puebla (34-30, 3rd in Zona Sur) in a rematch of last year’s Zona Sur Serie Campeonato.

Next weekend, the best series going on south of the border pits second-place Union Laguna against Tijuana in the Zona Norte.


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Leif Skodnick - World Baseball Network