Leaders sweep rivals in Cuban baseball series


Juventud Rebelde

Las Tunas, Matanzas and Industriales, the three teams already qualified to the playoffs of the 57th Cuban National Baseball Series, managed to sweep Granma, defending champion, Artemisa and Pinar del Río, respectively.
Las Tunas, now with an advantage half a game over Matanzas, defeated Granma twice with scores of 5-4 and 10-3, with wins for Angel Sanchez (4-1) and left-hander Luis Angel Gomez (8-2) in that order.
The losses went to lefty Ulfrido Garcia (10-5) and Erluis Blanco (2-2), while Yosbel Alarcon (14) and Alberto Civil (2) earned the saves.
In the double-header there were homers to Las Tunas´ 1B Rafael Viñales and DH Danel Castro, while Granma´ LF Geydi Soler also homered.
Matanzas completed the swept over Artemisa with an 8-5 victory, and win to Dariel Gongora (6-3), while Geonel Gutierrez (5-9) took the loss and Javier Mirabal got his fourth save of the season.
There were offensive highlight to CF Eduardo Blanco, who hit 2 for 5 with 1 run driven in, for the winners; and SS Yordan Manduley, 3 for 4 with 1 RBI, and CF Yosvani Pañalver, 2 for 3 with 3 RBIs, for the losing side.
Industriales, third in the standings, reached its third win in a row over Pinar del Río with a score of 3-2, result that further complicates the ticket to postseason of the latter, as now Granma, fourth, have an advantage of 5 games over them.
Reliever Dayron Duran (1-2) earned the win, the loss went to Frank Luis Medina (5-4) and Jose Pablo Cuesta scored his 4th save of the season, in a match in which Industriales´ PH Eriel Sanchez blasted a two-run homer to tie the score 2-2 while his replacement, Frank C. Morejon, decided the game with a sacri-fly in the seventh frame.
The last subseries of this second stage will start on Thursday through the matches Matanzas-Las Tunas, Artemisa-Industriales and Pinar del Río-Granma.

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