Yet another offensive record went by the wayside on Sunday as Cuban League hitters continue to pound away at the circuit’s remarkably ineffective pitching. The latest onslaught occurred when basement-dwelling Las Tunas exploded for 18 runs in the top of the second inning against a hapless Guantánamo mound corps on the way to a 28-5 victory in Nguyen Van Troi Stadium. The game featured seven homers, part of the overall 30 round trippers stroked during Sunday afternoon’s league action. Joan Carlos Pedroso provided two of the long balls for Las Tunas, his 23rd and 24th on the year. In other league action Yulieski Gourriel slugged his 20th for Sancti Spíritus, Yosvani Peraza clubbed numbers 22 and 23 for Pinar del Río, and last year’s home run leader Alexei Bell continued his rebound from early-season injury with three circuit blasts for Santiago in a 17-7 romp over Camagüey. Bell’s record 31 homers hit last season now seems in serious danger of falling as Alfredo Despaigne (Granma) already owns 29 on the season with a dozen contests remaining.
The 18-inning Las Tunas unprising on Sunday represented the most productive single inning in Cuban League history. The former mark of 17 was first established on April 8, 1988 by the Serranos club (Santiago) versus Matanzas in a contest played in the now defunct “Selective Series” second season; the record was equalled ten years later in the National Series when Pinar del Río tallied 17 in a single frame versus Sancti Spíritus on October 22, 1998. The total of 28 runs (in a 7-inning contest ended by the 10-run knockout rule) amassed by the Magicians on Sunday was also a Cuban League record.