Tijuana Toros Recap: Barreda’s Struggles Continue, Bullpen Shines as Union Laguna Ties Series

Credit: Diego Perez. 47-year-old Rafael Diaz tosses the ball at the Estadio Gasmart

Tijuana, Mexico

The Tijuana Toros played the second game of a three-game series against Algodoneros de Union Laguna at the Estadio Gasmart on Wednesday. The Border City Bulls had a dramatic 7-6 win in extra innings in the first game of the three-game set, where a home run by Juan Apodaca secured a victory. The Toros were not so lucky this time around as Union Laguna tied the series with a slim 3-2 win.

Manny Barreda was the man on the mound for Pedro Mere, and the struggles he has had all season continued on Wednesday night. The Arizona native had a very successful start his last time out against Union Laguna away from home as he only allowed a run in five innings, but he did not keep that going at the Estadio Gasmart.

Barreda allowed three runs on six hits in just three innings of work and he left the bases loaded for Rafael Diaz in the fourth inning. The 47-year-old reliever was flawless out of the bullpen as he got out of the bases-loaded jam and tossed two and two-thirds scoreless innings. The rest of the ‘pen was almost perfect as Gerardo Sanchez, Juan Sandoval, and Pedro Villarreal allowed no runs, no hits, and three walks.

For Union Laguna, starting pitcher Leuris Gomez was great as he only allowed two runs in six innings with seven strikeouts. Los Laguneros’ bullpen also did not allow any hits or runs as former White Sox and Cardinals’ pitcher Maikel Cleto picked up his sixth save of the year to seal the victory.

Offensively, the team from Torreon was led by Cuban designated hitter Barbaro Canizares, who finished the game with an RBI double and a solo home run. The only other run scored by Union Laguna was scored off a fielding error by Roberto Lopez.

The only run producers for the Toros were Cyle Hankerd, who drove in Dustin Martin with an RBI single, and Dustin Martin, who drove in Gabriel Gutierrez with a sacrifice fly. Tijuana left 12 runners on base and Isaac Rodriguez was the only Toros player that had a multi-hit game as he went 2-for-4 on the day.

The most disappointing player for Pedro Mere was easily Corey Brown, who struck out four times after hitting two home runs on Tuesday night. The overall performance barring the bullpen for the border city side was disappointing as the series will now be decided on Thursday night.

Tijuana now has a 17-12 record, but is still in second place in the LMB Zona Norte division and will try to take this series at the Estadio Gasmart before heading back out on the road.

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Francisco Velasco
Francisco, 21, Chula Vista area, Journalism student at Southwestern College. I have been a Padres fan all my life, did most of the series previews and recaps in the Padres' 2016 season for EVT. Now I focus more on the Tijuana Xolos soccer team, get press passes for every home game and write consistently about the team for EVT.

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