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Playoffs I Elite League: Agricultores takes a 2-0 lead vs. Tabacaleros in the Semifinals



A home run by Guillermo Avilés led a three-run rally in the bottom of the sixth, left-hander Leandro Martnez dominated with one run allowed, and Agricultores beat Tabacaleros 6-1 Friday afternoon, in Game 2 of the Semifinal of the First Elite League of Cuban Baseball.



Agricultores has taken a 2-0 lead against Tabacaleros, who have been stifled on offense in their first two matches of this postseason. Having opened up the scoring with a leadoff single and a double from Juan Carlos Arencibia and a ground ball to short by Leonardo Urgellés, the team led by Alexander Urquiola took an early 1-0 lead. The western team's offense, made up of players from Pinar del Rio, Artemisa, and Isla de la Juventud, suffered eight consecutive shutouts from the Agricultores pitching after that first match up against the left-handed veteran Leandro Martínez, 43.


The right-handed Erlys Casanova threw three scoreless innings where he allowed only one hit —single from catcher and eighth hitter, Iván Prieto—, using only 33 pitches. Four of those first nine outs were taken by defensive shortstop Arencibia, who precisely committed a costly blunder in the following inning, leaving Osvaldo Abreu safe at second with a routine groundout by Yordanis Alarcón. After one out, yielded by Yosvany Alarcón on a fly to first, Rafael Viñales drove in the tie run (1-1) for Agricultores, with a sacrifice fly to center field.


An inninge later, Guillermo Avilés - once again - shined on the postseason stage, and hit a long home run to right field on a 1-1 count. The solo shot provided a 2-1 lead for Agricultores —which would have been decisive—, and then hits from Yuniesky Larduet and Yordanis Alarcón extended the lead to three runs, until Casanova was removed after 4 2/3 IP, 4 C, 2CL, 2SO.


With a 4-1 lead, Leandro Martínez retired the sixth inning in a row against Tabacaleros, completing a quality start by allowing no runs, striking out one opponent and walking just two. The rest of the game was handled by right-handed Yoel Mojena, who got the save, after completing three innings. Tabacaleros went 1-for-10 against him.


With Yordanis' RBI, now the Alarcón's brothers have 20 RBIs against the Tabacaleros this season, for an impressive 28% effectiveness. Guillermo Avilés hit his second home run of this Semifinals and, together with Osvaldo Abreu, hit half of the 12 hits of Agricultores in the game.


After leading the regular season with a 30-19 record, Carlos Martí's Agricultores remain unbeatable at home. After Friday's win, they now have an excellent record of 20-6 playing at home, and they are only two wins away from going to the first finals of the Cuban Elite League.


(Photo: Yordanys Alarcón/Radio Bayamo)


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