Las Estrellas Orientales pipped los Toros del Este Friday night in San Pedro, tying their adversary for top playoff mark at 6-4 with a 3-2 victory in ten innings. The visitors from La Romana were on top most of the night, scoring two early runs against the otherwise excellent Yunesky Maya, who struck out six over six innings of work. Los Toros ended the first inning with a lead thanks to a Jordany Valdespín single, Hunter Pence reaching on a fielders’ choice, a wild pitch, and a sacrifice fly by Teoscar Hernández.
This sliver of a lead stood until late thanks to a masterful performance by Toros hurler Jenrry Mejía, who struck out twelve in his six innings with a humming fastball and a diving breaker. Mejía was close to unhittable after the second, when left-fielder Rubén Sosa Jr. cut down las Estrellas’ best chance at a run against the righty. Yasmany Tomás had singled with one out, taken second on a wild pitch, and was rumbling toward home after Orlando Calixte poked a hit into right field.
Las Estrellas began to chip away in the seventh when Fernando Tatis Jr. and Héctor Giménez singled back-to-back to lead the inning. Reliever Jhan Mariñez then induced a double play grounder from Tomás, but catcher Héctor Sánchez blooped one in with two outs to cut the lead in half. The home team knotted it up in the eight as reliever Héctor Neris revealed a self-destructive streak. Alfredo Reyes snuck onto first via a one-out drag bunt, was balked to second, and eventually scored on a wild pitch. A clutch knock from Tomás was the only hit necessary for los Verdes to walk it off in the tenth, as Michael Dimock had put the ducks out with two hit-batsmen. The unsung heroes of the night reside in the home bullpen, with former big-leaguers Odrisamer Despaigne and Jumbo Díaz among those contributing to four blank frames.