Tijuana Toros Series Preview: Toros Look To Keep Good Form Against Saraperos de Saltillo

Credit: Diego Perez

Credit: Diego Perez

Tijuana, Mexico

The Tijuana Toros just won two out of three games against Monterrey at the Estadio Gasmart and will continue their nine-game homestand with a three-game series against Saraperos de Saltillo. The series is set to run from Friday, May 4 to Sunday, May 6 and should be a relatively simple series for the home team.

The Border City Bulls are currently second in the LMB Zona Norte division with a 20-15 record while Saltillo is seventh with a 13-22 mark. The last time the two teams met they split two games in Saltillo, but the Toros will be looking for a better result this time around.

The bullpen has been a problem so far for the current LMB champions, but there have already been moves to improve it. The Toros have recently added Daniel Moskos, Horacio Ramirez, and Jeff Ibarra to solidify the relief core.

“Los Astados” also recently worked out a trade with Bravos de Leon to obtain infielder Miguel Torrero that should also solidify the depth on the team. The team is improving as the season progresses, as it looks like it will a be battle against Sultanes de Monterey for the Tijuana Toros this season.

Saraperos de Saltillo should not be a very worrying challenge for the border city side and a sweep is a very probable outcome in this series. Saltillo is coming off a series win against Union Laguna away from home, but will have a much tougher task at the Estadio Gasmart.

The team from Coahuila does have solid batters like Alex Valdez, Christian Zazueta, and Diory Hernandez, but has really struggled in the pitching department. Tijuana is not an ideal place to visit with these problems and it should be a tough three games for Len Picota’s team.

Pitching Matchups

Credit: Diego Perez

Alex Sanabia (3-2; 8.10) vs Oscar Verdugo (1-2; 6.33) Friday, May 4 (7:35 P.M. PST)

Carlos Hernández (5-1; 2.80) vs Luis de Luna (0-0; 4.00) Saturday, May 5 (7:35 P.M. PST)

Kyle Lobstein (2-1; 3.31) vs Kelvin Marte (1-3; 4.93) Sunday, May 6 (6:00 P.M. PST)

The Toros will have their best pitchers in this series and should have the edge against all of Saltillo’s hurlers. Alex Sanabia has been roughed up in his last two starts as he allowed four runs in two and a third innings against Saltillo his last time out and seven runs in four innings against Durango before that. Sanabia is still a very talented pitcher that has shown his potential this season and will have a golden opportunity to get back on track. Carlos Hernandez has had a tremendous season with five wins, and has won in his last three starts. The California native only allowed an unearned run in five and a third innings against Saraperos his last time out and will be looking for a similar performance on Saturday night. Kyle Lobstein is coming off his worst start of the season as he allowed seven runs in just three and a third innings against Monterrey. The American hurler allowed a maximum of two runs in six starts before that bad outing and will seek redemption in his next start.

Players to Watch

Alex Valdez

Alex Valdez has been having an immense season for Saraperos with a .327 batting average, five home runs, and 15 RBI. The Dominican infielder has a six-game hitting streak going and has two hits in five of his last six games. Valdez is already on his way to having a much better season than last year and should be a key player to watch over the weekend.

Isaac Rodriguez

Rodriguez has proven to be Tijuana’s best hitter this season and has a very nice nine-game on-base streak going. The Mexican infielder has 14 hits and five RBI in his last 10 games and is up to a .405 batting average this season. The 28-year-old is 4-for-8 with three RBI in his last two games and will look to stay consistent this weekend.

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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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