Tijuana Toros Game Preview: Bulls Return Home to Start Series With Olmecas de Tabasco

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Credit: Toros

Tijuana, Mexico

The Tijuana Toros will return to the Estadio Gasmart this Tuesday to start a six-game homestand. The Border City Bulls will start a three-game series against Olmecas de Tabasco this Tuesday, then will start another three-game set against Piratas de Campeche over the weekend. Pedro Mere’s team is coming off a rough road trip, recently losing a series to Diablos Rojos del Mexico.

The Toros were 3-3 in this road trip and now have a 7-8 record heading into this homestand at the Estadio Gasmart. The offense has been very productive recently and some of the standouts have been Isaac Rodriguez and Carlos Apodaca. Rodriguez is currently on a nine-game hitting streak while Apodaca now leads the team with five home runs on the season after this road trip.

The bullpen has really proven to be the border city team’s biggest problem throughout 2018, and this showed in the recent road stand as well. The ‘pen allowed 27 runs over the course of six games, and something must change or the Toros could continue to drop games because of the inconsistent performances by the relievers.

Olmecas de Tabasco has been a struggling franchise in the LMB for a few years now and does not seem like a team that will aspire for important accolades this season. Tabasco is currently in penultimate place in the Zona Sur division with a 6-9 record and has a 1-2 record away from home. The Toros were 6-0 against Los Cabezones last year and should put up a similar mark against them this season.

The team is led by Houston Jimenez at the helm, who played in MLB from 1983-1988 with the Minnesota Twins, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Cleveland Indians. However, Tabasco does not carry very notable names and is a team that Tijuana could potentially sweep at home.

Pitching Matchup Game 1 Tuesday, April 10, 2018 (7:35 P.M. PST)

Alex Sanabia (1-1 8.10 ERA) vs Francisco Rodriguez (0-1 4.26 ERA)

Sanabia’s ERA may be daunting when first looking at it, but he has been much better than what the numbers may indicate. The San Diego native was dominant in his latest start as he only allowed a run on four hits through five innings against Bravos de Leon. His first start of the season against Sultanes de Monterrey was not ideal, but he will be facing a much weaker lineup this time around. Francisco Rodriguez was Tabasco’s opening day starter and has been very solid in two of his three starts this season. Discarding his one bad start, Rodriguez has only allowed a run in 10 innings of work, but should be due for a tough task in this opening game of the series against the Tijuana Toros.

Players to Watch

Ronnier Mustelier

Mustelier has been one of Tabasco’s best players this year with a .339 BA a home run and five RBI. The Cuban infielder has 20 hits, including five doubles, and could be one of the more dangerous hitters Tijuana’s pitchers will face in this series.

Juan Apodaca

The Venezuelan catcher has been one of Tijuana’s best players so far as he is now at five home runs on the year. One of his most memorable dingers of the season was a grand slam at the Estadio Gasmart, and he is coming off one of his most notable performances of the tournament. Apodaca hit two home runs to lead Tijuana to a 9-8 win over Diablos Rojos del Mexico and will be riding on the momentum of that display heading into this series. The 31-year-old backstop has three home runs in the last two games he has played and will be one to watch in the opening game of this series and throughout the three-game set.

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