Daily Cuban League Action Update (for April 15, 2012)

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Player of the Day: Roberto Carlos Ramirez collected four hits to help Metros knock Matanzas out of sole possession of the Occidental top spot.

Saturday action saw Villa Clara tightening its grip on first place in the Oriente and Matanzas losing its sole ownership of the top spot in the Occidente. Also in a crucial night game affecting the Oriente pennant chase, loser Granma dropped into a fourth-place tie with Santiago while victorious Holguín climbed back out of the division basement. One final match of much less significance found the Guantánamo Indios winning on home turf and in the process knocking Camagüey into the league cellar. The Guantánamo win not only scuttled Camagüey but also prevented the victors from themselves slidding to the bottom of the pack among into the Oriente League also-rans.

Villa Clara stretched its slim first-place margin to two full lengths over runner-up Ciego de Avila on the strength of a late-game rally highlighted by Aledmis Diaz’s game-winning two run homer in the bottom of the eighth frame. Scoring all five runs in the final three innings, the Orangemen were able to wipe out a strong six-inning effort by Artemisa starter Jonder Martinez. Holguín dumped visiting Granma behind 6.2 innings of strong relief hurling by Pablo Millan Fernández. In a losing effort for the Stallions, clean-up hitter Yordanis Samón collected hit number 123, moving him into a tie with Holguín’s Yordan Manduley.

In the ongoing see-saw battle for the Occidental division leadership between Matanzas and Industriales, the Blue Lions received a large boost from Metros – their friendly Havana rivals – when Luis Suarez’s club knocked off the Crocodiles of Victor Mesa largely on the strength of impressive slugging by former Blues regulars Stayler Hernández and Roberto Carlos Ramírez. Staler knocked home three runs on the strength of a pair of triples; shortstop Ramírez – currently the league’s number seven hitter at .344 – chipped in with four safeties (two of them doubles) to raise his season’s total to 122 – only one behind Samón and Manduley.

Results of Saturday, April 14, 2012

(Boldface team is home club)

Villa Clara 5, Artemisa 4

Metropolitanos 9, Matanzas 5

Guantánamo 4, Camagüey 5

Holguín 5, Granma 2

Idle: All other teams

League Standings (April 14, 2012)

Boldface teams have clinched playoff appearance

Occidental League

Team Games Wins Losses Pct. Margin
Matanzas 90 52 38 .578
Industriales 90 52 38 .578
Cienfuegos 90 51 39 .567 1.0
Sancti   Spíritus 89 46 43 .517 5.5
Pinar del   Río 93 45 48 .482 8.5
Isla de   la Juventud 90 37 53 .411 15.0
Metropolitanos 90 36 54 .400 16.0
Artemisa 90 33 57 .367 19.0
Mayabeque 90 30 60 .333 22.0

Oriental League

Team Games Wins Losses Pct. Margin
Villa Clara 90 54 36 .600
Ciego de Avila 90 52 38 .578 2.0
Las Tunas 88 51 38 .573 2.5
Granma 90 50 40 .556 4.0
Santiago   de Cuba 90 50 40 .556 4.0
Guantánamo 88 42 46 .477 11.0
Holguín 90 42 48 .467 12.0
Camagüey 93 43 50 .462 12.5

Individual Batting Leaders

Ave: José Dariel Abreu (Cienfuegos) .386

Hits: Yordan Manduley (Holguín) 123

Hits: Yordanis Samón (Granma) 123

Runs: Ramón Tamayo (Granma) 83

HR: Alfredo Despaigne (Granma) 35 (new league record)

RBI: Alfredo Despaigne (Granma) 101

Slugging: José Dariel Abreu (Cienfuegos) .814

Individual Pitching Leaders

Wins: Ismel Jiménez (Sancti Spíritus) 16

ERA: Vladimir García (Ciego de Avila) 1.78

Complete Games: Vladimir García (Ciego de Avila) 11

Saves: Danni Aguilera (Isla de la Juventud) 25

Ks: Yadier Pedroso (Artemisa) 120

Ks: Odrisamer Despaigne (Industriales) 120

Innings: Ismel Jiménez (Sancti Spíritus) 177.0

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