HIRAM BITHORN STADIUM
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Los Cangrejeros de Santurce are the first team in this series to win at home, and the first to capture two straight. Santurce now leads this see-saw affair by a 3-2 margin. After a day off on Friday, play resumes on Saturday at Parque Yldefonso Sola Morales for Game Six.
Caguas continues to do themselves no favors at the plate. Despite nine hits in Game Four, los Criollos somehow still only managed 2 for 14 with runners in scoring position. This is beyond trending now. Their situation has become pandemic. Criollos are now batting .148 (11 for 74) with runners in scoring position through 11 playoffs games. It's no wonder then, they've been limited to two runs or fewer in seven of those games.
Caguas opened Thursday's scoring in the top of the fourth on doubles by left fielder Rusney Castillo and first baseman Ruben Gotay. But mustered nothing more.
Meanwhile, Criollos starter Orlando Roman cruised through the first three innings and his first turn through the order. His second time through, not so much. Santurce laced three base hits and were helped along with a error by Orlando Roman himself in the bottom of the frame en route to taking a 2-1 lead. A third run off reliever William Oliver effectively sealed los Criollos fate.
Otherwise, the bullpen silenced Santurce the rest of the way, pitching five scoreless innings while allowing just one hit and fanning seven.
Mi isla del encanto..
Just in case anyone is wondering ... yes, I do have a genuine rooting interest in Caguas Criollos.