Tirador goes five more as DP downs Royals 4-1

Dos Pueblos is out in front of the ultra-competitive Channel League baseball race, and Bradley Tirador’s durable arm is one of the biggest reasons why.

After pitching five innings of 3-hit ball in Tuesday’s win over San Marcos, the junior hurler went another five against the host Royals in Thursday’s 4-1 victory. This time, he allowed just two hits and no earned runs while setting the Royals down in order in the third, fourth and fifth innings before developing a blister on his finger and giving way to Tyler McGaughey.

Tirador had actually told coach Nate Mendoza that he could take the mound for Wednesday’s game against Ventura (a 10-9 loss in extra innings).

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“I said my arm felt good yesterday to throw. I really wanted to throw,” said Tirador. “Then he called me up on the bus yesterday and asked me if I was good and I said yeah. I wasn’t going to throw five, but I felt good so I stayed in.”

He got better as he went.

San Marcos’ Landon Boneck started off the game with a walk and eventually scored on a two-error play at first. After one more walk in the first and a single in the second, the San Marcos bats fell asleep.

“I thought we were on him early and hit the ball hard a couple of times but right at guys,” said coach Rob Crawford. “For us it seems to be a game of momentum. If it doesn’t go our way early, I think our guys start to press a little. I don’t think our guys have been in the thick of things before, and it adds a little bit of pressure.”

Ryan Ventura knocked in Steve Reveles to get DP on the board in the first. Jesus Salas got on board with a one-out walk in the second and wound up coming home on the first of San Marcos’ four errors to make it 2-1.

Michael Spiritosanto hit a two-out double in the third — the only extra-base hit of the day — and came home as Dane Limosnero and Shane Micheel hit back-to-back first-pitch singles. Micheel walked in the fifth and later scored on Johnny Corazza’s second single of the day to make it 4-1.

DP’s defense was also flawless after the first inning, turning two double plays including a pretty 1-6-3 play to get the first two outs of the seventh. The Chargers now control their own destiny at 6-4 in the league with four games to play. Crawford, meanwhile, isn’t giving up on the crown yet.

“This is a huge hit, but I still think a 7-5 record is going to win it. We’ve got four games left, so we can still be 7-5,” he said.

DOS PUEBLOS 4, SAN MARCOS 1

Dos Pueblos…111 010 0 — 4 8 3

San Marcos…100 000 0 — 1 3 4

Tirador, McGaughey (6) and Salas; Marshall, Wieland (6) and RMoore.

2B — DP: Spiritosanto.

Team records — DP 12-11, 6-4; SM 12-10, 3-5.