Playoffs 2021: Granma Alazanes beat Industriales Leones 4-0, take 2-1 lead in quarterfinals series
In his finest start of the season, Granma’s righthander César García tossed seven scoreless innings, allowing just three hits while walking two as the Granma Alazanes blanked the Industriales Leones, 4-0. García retired the last 10 hitters he faces in succession.
There was little margin for error for García until the eighth inning as he nursed a 2-0 lead and his teammates stranded seven baserunners.
In the eighth, a two-run home run by catcher Iván Prieto – his second this postseason – off reliever Juan X. Peñalver provided some breathing room.
The first run of the game came on a sacrifice fly by Osvaldo Abreu off starter Pavel Hernández in the third inning, one of the two runs allowed by the Leones’ starter.
In the sixth, Roel Santos singled, moved to second with Abreu’s fly to right field, Despaigne was intentionally walked, and Guillermo Avilés followed with a single to center to load the bases. Then Hernández walked Carlos Benítez allowing Santos to score from third.
Star of the Game: César García
García was a decent pitcher during the regular season of the 60th National Series. The righthander threw 93 1/3 innings giving up 37 runs while winning 7 games. He also received an 8.58 run support during his outings. Today was different.
Under pressure pitching an important Game 3, the García on display Saturday afternoon looked like the Blanco we saw two days ago. He got ahead of hitters, got lots outs via ground balls (12) and limited the power Leones lineup to just three hits – all singles – over seven innings.
Against a difficult lineup that includes the season home run leader – Lisbán Correa – he got through seven innings with just 78 pitches.
Then he got help form his bullpen. Miguel Paradelo and Carlos Santana finished the three-hitter combining for two scoreless innings with two strikeouts, and two walks.
With the win, now Granma's pitchers have held the Leones scoreless through 18 innings.
The Alazanes and Leones will play Game 4 of this series Monday morning at 1:00 p.m. Leandro Martínez will take on Brian Chi – starters of Game 1 - as the Alazanes look to punch their ticket to the Semifinals.
National Series Quarterfinals
Jan 27, Game 1: Ind 5, Grm 4 (10 Innings)
Jan 28, Game 2: Ind 0, Grm 3
Jan 30, Game 3: Grm 4, Ind 0
Feb 1, Game 4 – 1 p.m.: Probables, Leandro Martínez, Grm (6-7-3.98) vs. Brian Chi, Ind (4-3-2.94)
Granma leads the best-of-five series 2-1
(Top photo of César García: István Ojeda Bello)