Hialeah, fighting through a sluggish start to its season, came into Thursday’s meeting with American looking for a win that could turn things around.
The T-Breds (7-3) succeeded, shutting down their district foe in a 3-0 win against the Patriots (9-2).
“It was a big game for us, a statement game that builds a lot of confidence for our guys,” T-Breds coach Jonathan Hernandez said. “These are the kind of the ball games we need to win if we’re going to make a run in the playoffs.
“This could be the kind of turnaround we needed after a slow start."
Starting pitcher Adan Gutierrez picked up the win for Hialeah, improving his record to 2-1 after striking out six in six innings. Nestor Cortes came in from first base in the seventh, striking out the side in relief to pick up the save.
“He’s one of the guys coming into the year fighting for a spot in the rotation, and he’s turned it on,” Hernandez said of Gutierrez. “He’s our stopper.
“Whenever we need a big game, we have all the confidence in him to get the job done.”
Hialeah scored its first run of the game in the second inning, when Cortes hit a two-out single into left field that drove in Alian Silva from second base.
The Patriots had a number of opportunities to score in the early going, but they failed to find a timely hit, stranding five runners in scoring position in the first three innings.
In the fourth inning, Silva hit a two-out double, stole third and scored on an infield single by center fielder Alex Miret to make it a two-run advantage for Hialeah. Silva finished 1 for 2 with a walk, driving in a run and scoring one in the T-Bred victory.
Gutierrez eased through the fourth and fifth innings for the T-Breds but hit a bump when the Patriots put the tying run on second base with two outs for leadoff hitter Rodney Williams in the sixth.
Williams slapped a hard line drive into left, but left fielder Gilbert Maldonado made a diving catch to end the inning and the threat.
WP: Adan Gutierrez 6IP 6K (2-1). LP: William Penelas (1-1). Top performer: Alian Silva 1-2, BB, RBI, double, run.