Day two of the Caribbean Series began this morning at Loan Depot Park in Miami, with two invitees putting on a show for the Friday morning crowd supporting their team. The day’s first game saw Panama debut with a convincing win against Curacao. The Suns could not carry the momentum from a high-octane offense that propelled them to a win in their first match yesterday against Mexico. The game began slowly, as is customary in this Series. Pitching dominated the affair until the Panama sixth and seventh innings when the Central American team scored three and one run to put distance between themselves and Curacao.
Panama’s pitching performance was led by Harold Arauz, who held Curacao to only four hits in as many innings. Ronald Ramirez had 1.2 innings of scoreless relief to subdue a Curacao threat led by a mammoth Home Run by Curacao’s Vladimir Balentien. Panama was led offensively by St Louis Cardinals and Federales de Chiriqui’s catcher Ivan Herrera, who had two runs Home Run, and Jonathan Cespedes, who provided two hits and drove in as many runs. Curacao’s bullpen was no match today for Panama’s offense, as they combined to allow four of the five earned runs after Curacao’s starter Juan Carlos Salbaran, exited the game. Salbaran had a solid outing as he went 4.1 innings, allowing only one earned run. A key difference in the performance of both teams is their performance with runners in scoring position. Panama took advantage of their scoring chances by going 4-11 with runners, while their opponents went one for nine and left 11 runners on base.
After the game, Panama manager Jose Agustin Mayorga praised the team’s performance against a team like Curacao, which had a statement win against Mexico yesterday. He stated, «We played a flawless game today. Stellar pitching, stellar defense, timely hitting. We cannot ask for anything better. It was flawless». When asked about how victories like today’s can improve the Panama Winter League program, «The quality of players that we had playing in the winter league in Panama this season, and their commitment to play in the Series as reinforcements are crucial for the success of our program. The commitment of the MLB veterans like Camargo, Christian (Bethancourt), Ivan (Herrera), and many others has been crucial to assist younger players handle their emotions and be all business on the field».
After their debut win in the 2024 Series, Federales de Chiriqui now moves on to play Naranjeros de Hermosillo, representing Mexico tomorrow. In the last match, Naranjeros played a crucial game against Criollos de Caguas today. Meanwhile, Curacao will try to find the offense that propelled them to win yesterday against Mexico and will face a rested Venezuela team, who is off touring Miami on Friday after their hard-fought win against Licey last night.