The Tijuana Toros were out on a six-game road stand in Cancun and Yucatan and will now be returning from the scorching heat of Southern Mexico back to the Estadio Gasmart. The Border City Bulls start a six-game homestand this Tuesday, July 17, with the first game of a three-game series against Pericos de Puebla.
The recent road trip was a successful one for Lino Rivera’s team as the border city side won five of six games and improved to an 8-4 record on the season. The Toros are still trailing first-place Monclova in the LMB Zona Norte, who currently have an impressive 11-1 record.
The offense has been doing its job even without Cyle Hankerd and the pitching, especially the bullpen has been outstanding in this run of good form. Tom Wilhelmsen is up to five saves on the young season and has been an immense addition to the pen’.
The recent standouts at the plate for Tijuana have been Isaac Rodriguez and Justin Greene, who both have 16 hits in their last 10 games. Puebla also counts with some dangerous hitters like former big leaguers Delmon Young and Daric Barton.
Pericos de Puebla currently have a 5-6 record and did win their most recent series against Rieleros de Aguascalientes, two games to one. The team from Angelopolis has a solid team and is under great management with former big league coach Lorenzo Bundy. The series should be a hard-fought one at the Estadio Gasmart and has potential to be very entertaining.
The pitching matchups definitely favor the home team in this series as Puebla’s pitchers have proven to be inconsistent, especially Benny Suarez, who has allowed 10 runs in two starts. Horacio Ramirez has shown his age so far as he has failed to pitch five innings or more, but he has only allowed a maximum of two runs in his two starts. Alex Sanabia has won his two starts while Hector Ambriz has failed to win a game, but has pitched very well with a 2.70 ERA so far.
Players to Watch
Rodriguez picked up right where he left off from last season with a .388 batting average and is on pace to contend for the LMB batting title once again. The Mexican infielder had 10 hits in the recent six-game road trip and has proven to be Tijuana’s most dangerous hitter.
Delmon Young was cut by Acereros del Norte in the LMB spring tournament, but has found new life in this fall tournament with Pericos de Puebla. The former ALCS MVP is currently hitting .319 this season with three home runs and 16 RBI. Young has plenty of power that can make him one of the best hitters in Mexico and he is showing that so far this season.