Estrellas slid by Licey 5-3 Thursday night in San Pedro de Macorís, improving to 5-4 in the postseason as los Tigres swoon to 2-7. Radhamés Liz was outstanding once again, striking out six while allowing just two hits and a walk over five shutout innings. Liz, now 35, came up with the Orioles in the mid-aughts, resurfaced with the Pirates in 2015, and spent the summer of 2018 with Milwaukee’s AAA affiliate. The big righthander has now pitched fourteen frames this postseason, striking out twenty against only three walks to the tune of a sub-one ERA.
Javier Solano started in his Licey debut and wasn’t bad himself, tossing four shutout and striking out six. It was the relief pitching that let the Santo Domingo club down as the evening wore on, with a run breaking the scoreless tie in the fifth and two more coming across in the sixth. Leuris Gómez, Mike Devine, and Michael Mariot were all charged. The tiebreaker was courtesy of (who else?) Fernando Tatis Jr., who slashed a triple to left and scored on an RBI single by Estrellas debutante and MLB vet Yasmany Tomás. The sixth was a mess for Licey. Orlando Calixte led off with a single, was balked to second, and scored on a smash up the middle by José Sirí. The insurance run can be credited to some sleight of hand on the part of las Estrellas, Sirí stealing home as Tatis broke for second following a hit-by-pitch.
Los Tigres briefly threatened but came up with nothing in the seventh, loading the bases with one out on three singles. Las Estrellas put the hammer down in the bottom of the inning, two-out singles by Calixte and Alfredo Reyes and a walk to Sirí coming to fruition on an infield hit by Junior Lake that somehow scored two runs. Los Tigres did mount an admirable comeback attempt in the eighth, scoring a trio of runs against a trio of visiting relievers. The first came in on back-to-back doubles by Juan Francisco and Moisés Sierra, the next two resulting from three walks and timely hits by Donovan Solano and Erick Aybar. Liz walked away with a well-earned win and Jumbo Díaz grabbed the save.