Saturday, October 22, 2005


LA Xtreme v. Cleveland Bulldogs
Game 3

Coming home with an unexpected 2 games to none lead over the Los Angeles Xtreme, the Cleveland Bulldogs kept coming home, as home runs dominated game three. Cleveland defeated LA 6-0 behind four home runs and a stellar performance from Mike Mussina, who gave up only three hits in going the distance. LA starter, Johan Santana struck out ten in six innings of work, but was plagued by the long ball, giving up three round trippers.

The Bulldogs started early, striking in the first inning. With two out and J.D. Drew on first via a walk, Mark Teixeira sent one over the wall to put Cleveland up 2-0. Santana held the Bulldogs in check until the sixth inning when Adrian Beltre hit a solo shot with one out. Josh Phelps followed with a single and Michael Cuddyer joined the hit parade with a monster shot to left, and a 5-0 Bulldog lead. The scoring for the night ended in the seventh when Drew, following the formula for the evening, homering off reliever Kiko Calero.

Only two Xtreme runners advanced as far as second base, as Mussina masterfully held LA in check.

LA now has its backs to the wall as the Bulldogs look to pull off an improbable sweep.

Denver Bears v. New York Knights
Game 3

Managing just six hits, the New York Knights made each one count as they defeated the Denver Bears 6-1 to take a 2-1 lead in their division playoff series. Rich Harden pitched well for the Bears, but Pedro Martinez was better for the Knights. Harden gave up only 4 hits and struck on 6 in seven innings of work, but Martinez only allowed the one run in his seven innings on the hill.

Denver scored its lone run of the game in the fourth. With Ivan Rodriguez on first and two out, Lyle Overbay lashed a triple to score Rodriguez. The Bears threatened to score again in the sixth, but Chipper Jones was thrown out at the plate on a fine throw by Knights right fielder Vladimir Guerrero. Overbay then flied out to center, leaving two Bears stranded in scoring position.

New York started its comeback in the bottom of the sixth. Rafael Furcal led off the inning with a single and quickly scored on Tony Womack’s triple. Chone Figgins then followed with a sacrifice fly to put the Knights ahead for good, 2-1. The Knights however were not through in the sixth. Guerrero drew a walk and stole second. With two out, Vernon Wells sent one out to left and upped the Knights lead to 4-1.

The Knights closed out the scoring in the eighth off of Denver reliever Kyle Farnsworth. A lead off single by Womack was followed up with a two out blast down the left field line to make the final 6-1.

Portland Posse v. Orlando Renegades
Game 3

It took eleven innings, but the Portland Posse held of the home team Orlando Renegades, 3-2, to take a three games to none lead in their best of seven series. Pitching was the order of the night as Posse starter Carlos Zambrano gave up only one earned run in his seven innings of work. He however was not rewarded with a win as that honor went to reliever Ramiro Mendoza, who pitched one and a third innings of scoreless ball. On the other side, Roger Clemens pitch a solid nine innings for the Renegades giving up only two runs on five hits. He also recorded seven strikeouts.

Portland opened the scoring in the second. With two out, Clemens surrendered a solo shot to Jorge Posada. This seemed to throw Clemens off his game as Derek Jeter followed with a walk and promptly stole second. Corey Koskie then singled up the middle and Jeter raced home for the 2-0 lead. Clemens then settled down and held the Posse at bay through the ninth.

Orlando squandered a number of opportunities on the night. In the second, the Renegades loaded the based with one out, but Calvin Pickering grounded into an inning ending double play. The Renegades did score in the fifth courtesy of a solo homer by Tony Batista, to cut the lead to 2-1.

Orlando scored a single run in the seventh to knot the game up, but the damage could have been worse. Andruw Jones led off the inning with a double and Pickering followed with a walk. With one out Wilson Delgado lined a single to center and Jones was safe at the plate on an error by Posada. But with two still on an only one out the Renegades were not able to draw additional blood. The Renegades were also able to get the winning run in scoring position with two out in the tenth, but eventual winner Mendoza struck out Jeff Kent to end the threat.

The Posse put themselves in front in the eleventh off of Renegade reliever Trevor Hoffman. A one out double by Damion Easley put Portland in business. Hoffman seemed headed out of trouble when he struck out Cliff Floyd for the second out of the inning. But following an intentional walk to Posada, Mark McLemore, hitting for Jeter, dumped a single down the right field line that brought in Easley with the eventual game winner.

The Renegades however did not go down without a fight. Jones led off the eleventh with a double and advanced to third on a ground out by Pickering. But neither pitch hitter Todd Pratt nor Edgar Renteria could bring Jones home.

The Renegades now look to avoid the sweep in game four.


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