Tijuana Toros Series Preview: Toros Face Dangerous Durango Away From Home
The Tijuana Toros started off their six-game road trip successfully as they won two out of three games against Algodoneros de Union Laguna.
The Border City Bulls will now shift over to the Estadio Francisco Villa to take on Generales de Durango to start a three-game series from Friday, April 20 to Sunday, April 22. Union Laguna, and the previous two series before that against Tabasco and Campeche, have been relatively simple tasks for Tijuana. This series against Durango should prove to be a distinct objective as Generales has a very solid team, especially offensively.
The border city side has already faced Matias Carrillo’s team this year at the Estadio Gasmart. The Toros took two out of three games from Generales, but the Northern Mexican team did not go down without a decent fight. The offense, with players like Delmon Young, Jesus Montero Dustin Geiger, and Yadir Drake, really caused problems to Tijuana’s pitching in that previous series. Luckily for the Toros, Delmon Young has been released by the team, but he was replaced by former Marlins’ player Yefri Perez.
Matias Carrillo’s team currently have a 12-12 record, but are coming off a huge series win against Sultanes de Monterrey at the Estadio Francisco Villa. The latest result for Durango was an impressive 5-0 win against Sultanes and this should prove to be a very tough task for the Border City Bulls.
Miguel Pena (0-0; 5.40 ERA) vs TBD
Alex Sanabia (3-1; 5.29 ERA) vs Tiago da Silva (3-1; 3.65 ERA)
Carlos Hernandez (3-1; 3.42 ERA) vs Danny Gutierrez (0-1; 32.40 ERA)
The clear pitching matchup that stands out will be the one in Game 2 of this series this Saturday between Alex Sanabia and Tiago da Silva. Sanabia has won all three of his last starts and is currently in impeccable form heading into this game. The San Diego native allowed two runs on three hits through five innings his last time out against Piratas de Campeche and will be seeking his fourth win of the season. The former Castle Park high school student will have a very tough task in Tiago da Silva, who has allowed a maximum of three runs in each of his four starts this season. The Brazilian right-hander has pitched three consecutive quality starts and will be tough to break down. Da Silva allowed three runs in seven innings against Pericos de Puebla his last time out and did get a win. The other pitching matchups in this series do have the potential to be high-scoring affairs, but this second game of the series should be an old-school pitcher’s duel.
Players to Watch
Generales de Durango might just have the best player in the LMB in Yadir Drake, who is off to a tremendous start. The Cuban outfielder is hitting .398 with four home runs, 24 RBI and a very impressive .472 OBP. Drake currently has a four-game hitting streak and has three RBI in this span of games, and should be trouble for Tijuana’s pitching in this series.
One of the players that stood out in the series against Algodoneros de Union Laguna was Cyle Hankerd. The American outfielder and designated hitter went 4-for-13 in the series with seven RBI and now leads the LMB in the RBI department with 26. Hankerd has exceptional power and very good vision that make him a threat at the plate to any pitcher in the LMB.
Francisco, 26, Chula Vista/Tijuana. 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 local soccer scene. Tijuana Xolos, San Diego Loyal, San Diego Wave.