Quiroz’s grand slam lifts Mexico past Dominican Republic

Quiroz’s grand slam lifts Mexico past Dominican Republic
03/11/2019
Mexico earned its first win of the Premier12 2019 with a 6-1 victory over Dominican Republic

A clutch grand slam by Esteban Quiroz in the third inning and back-to-back homers by Efrén Navarro and Matt Clark in the sixth provided all the runs as Mexico defeated Dominican Republic, closing the first day of competition in Group A. A storm delayed the start of the game more than an hour, and it was called official after six innings, when the rain started again.

In the first inning Dominican Republic jumped ahead with an RBI single by former MLB player Carlos Peguero to center field, driving in Geraldo Perdomo.

Enny Romero had two solid first innings to open the game, mixing his fastball and slider to keep the Mexican lineup hitless. However, in the bottom of the third inning Javier Salazar and leadoff hitter Jonathan Jones recorded consecutive singles with no outs. One out later, Christian Villanueva drew a six-pitch walk to load the bases and Esteban Quiroz sent the next pitch, a slider in the middle of the plate, over the center field wall for a grand slam to take the lead.

“The game changed with Esteban’s grand slam,” said Mexico’s skipper, Juan Gabriel Castro.

“But also our starter, Eduardo Vera, did a good job too, so in the end it’s a team effort”.

Dominican starter Romero exited in the bottom of the fifth inning with 10 strikeouts and two walks, and allowing five hits and four earned runs. He was charged with the loss.

“Enny did a good job today, he was clutch with runners in scoring position the first two innings, but Mexico is a very dangerous team. With three swings they scored six runs,” said Dominican Republic manager Luis Rojas.

“I’m very happy with the energy of my team today.”

In the bottom of the sixth, when the rain started to fall again, Navarro and Clark blasted back-to-back home runs to put Mexico ahead 6-1. Two outs later, the game was delayed due to rain, and one hour later it was officially called a victory for the Mexican team.

“Start with a win is always very important, especially in a short tournament like this. The guys were very happy in the clubhouse for the victory,” finished Castro.

Vera pitched four innings allowing four hits and one earned run. Humberto Castellanos claimed the win in relief, pitching two hitless innings.

Tomorrow Mexico and USA will face each other at 7:00 p.m. local time, while the Dominican Republic will play the Netherlands at noon.