Tigres captures ninth title in Mexico

Players for the Angelopolis Tigres celebrate their club's ninth overall title in the Mexican League after defeating Saltillo, 4-3, on Wednesday. (Angelopolis Tigres)

By Nate Freiberg / MLB.com | September 7, 2005 5:18 AM

Behind home runs by Javier Robles and Guillermo Velasquez in a three-run seventh, the Tigres battled back from a two-run deficit to defeat the Saltillo Sarape Makers in Game 6 of the championship series, 4-3, to clinch the Mexican League crown.

With a two-run homer with one out in the inning, Robles continued his hot hitting for Angelopolis. The shortstop also doubled in the contest and finished the series with a team-high .520 average, belting four homers and three doubles while driving in 10 runs.

Velasquez's solo shot two batters later gave the Tigres the lead, and relievers Edgar Huerta and Adrian Manzano combined to shut Saltillo down in the final two frames for the league championship.

Baudel Zambrano (1-0) earned the win with 5 2/3 brilliant innings of relief, holding the Sarape Makers scoreless on just two hits and a walk while striking out three.

Starter Alejandro Armenta tossed a scoreless first, but Saltillo got to the 27-year-old left-hander in the second. After Mario Valenzuela struck out leading off the inning, the Sarape Makers collected four straight hits to chase Armenta from the ballgame.

Noe Munoz hit his second homer of the series on a fly ball to left field and Jorge Luis Valle followed with a single. Cristhian Presichi then cranked a two-run shot as Saltillo made its bid to send the series to a decisive seventh game.

After the Tigres came back to take the lead in the seventh, the Sarape Makers tried to rally against Huerta in the eighth. Leadoff hitter Marco Romero walked and Mario Valenzuela singled off Manzano one out later to put runners on first and second. Yet Manzano bore down, inducing Munoz to ground into a 5-4-3 double play en route to notching his second save of the series.

Angelopolis got on the scoreboard early when Velaszquez walked with the bases loaded in the first.

After a disastrous outing in Game 3 of the series, Saltillo's Steve Bourgeois responded with a fine performance Wednesday, pitching six innings of one-run ball. The Louisiana native allowed just one run on four hits, striking out four and walking four.

Seven-year Major League veteran Jose Mercedes (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing both Tigres home runs in the seventh.

Slugfests characterized the first three games of the series as the teams combined to score 61 runs. Pitching took over in the second half, however, with just 19 runs in the final three contests.

On the 50th anniversary of the club's inception, the Tigres won their ninth title overall.

Nate Freiberg is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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