The Tijuana Toros started up the 2018 LMB fall tournament this Tuesday, July 3, with a 3-2 win against Sultanes de Monterrey away from home.
Los Fantasmas Grices had defeated the Toros in the playoffs last season, but were just coming off losing the final of the 2018 LMB spring tournament against Leones de Yucatan.
Both teams maintained a very similar roster for this season, but the Toros do have a new manager in Lino Rivera along with a handful of new players. Justin Greene had missed most of the spring tournament due to an injury, but was back in Tijuana’s lineup for this game. Former Padres’ prospect Fernando Perez also made his debut for Los Astados in this encounter and did so with an RBI single in the sixth inning.
The other runs in the game for the border city side came from a solo home run by Gabriel Gutierrez in the fifth inning and a groundout by Cyle Hankerd to drive in Justin Greene in the seventh inning. Monterrey’s runs came with an RBI single by Victor Mendoza in the fourth and a solo shot by Tijuana native Ricky Alvarez in the sixth inning,
Hector Galvan started the game for the Border City Bulls and allowed a run on two hits through three and a third innings. The bullpen was nearly flawless as it only allowed a run through five and two-thirds innings. Rafael Diaz, Pedro Villarreal, Daniel Moskos, Jesus Pirela and Tom Wilhelmsen came on in relief as Wilhelmsen picked up his first-ever save in Mexico.
For Monterrey, Zack Dodson allowed a run in four and two-thirds innings, but was let down by Atahualpa Severino and Nicolas Heredia, who allowed a run each. Heredia came away with the loss while Pedro Villarreal picked up the win in this hard-fought clash.
The Toros started up the new season with an impressive victory at the Estadio Monterrey and will now try to wrap up the series on Wednesday night. Former White Sox’ pitcher Scott Carroll will make his debut for Tijuana to face off against Edgar Gonzalez, another former major leaguer.