• Ray Otero-Alonso

Playoffs 2021: Leones offense blanked by Lázaro Blanco and two relievers, as Alazanes level playoff


Lázaro Blanco threw 122 pitches, Darién García hit a two-run homer and the Granma Alazanes beat the Industriales Leones, 3-0, for the first time in postseason history.

Blanco dominated as the Granma Alazanes shut out the Industriales Leones Thursday morning to level the best-of-five NS Quarterfinals Series at José A. Huelga Stadium.


BOX SCORE


In a game that lasted only 2 hours and 36 minutes, Blanco combined with two relievers on a five-hitter, and Darién García hit a two-run homer off starter Maikel Taylor in the fourth inning, and Granma never looked back.



For García, who had 5 home runs in 190 AB during the regular season, it was his first career postseason home run.


Game 3 is Saturday afternoon (1 p.m.) at Huelga Stadium, with probably José Pablo Cuesta starting for Industriales against César García.


Blanco scattered four hits over 7 1/3 innings before giving way to Miguel Paradelo (1/3) and closer Kelvis Rodríguez, who worked 1 1/3 scoreless innings and allowing just one hit.


Industriales put two runners on in the fifth inning with two outs, but Blanco got Yoasán Guillén to ground out to end the inning. It was Industriales last real opportunity against the veteran righthander, who struck out six and walked two using 122 pitches.



Alberto Calderón singled to left to start the sixth for Industriales, but Jorge Alomá popped out to center and Blanco had back-to-back struck outs against Stayler Hernández and Lisbán Correa.


Maikel Taylor, pitching with Industriales for the first time since 2015, had a decent start completing 5 innings of 3 runs on 5 hits. He struck out 4, walked 6 and was charged with the loss. To his credit, Taylor made a fantastic catch in the 3rd inning with two runners on, avoiding Granma sacrifice hit and completing a sensational double play. Yandi Molina tossed three scoreless innings of relief, but damage was already done.



Granma scored for the last time in the game in the fifth, when two walks and Carlos Benítez’ single loaded the bases. Catcher Iván Prieto followed with a sacrifice fly bringing Osvaldo Abreu home.


With the win, the Alazanes finally broke through against the Leones. Today’s win was Granma’ first in nine postseason games since their first meeting back in 1989 during the 28 NS.



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 – 1 p.m.: Probables, José Pablo Cuesta, Ind (7-6-4.35) vs. César García, Grm (7-4-3.57)


Best-of-five series tied 1-1