MAZATLAN, Mexico -- Venezuela's Alex Cabrera hit a three-run home run in the top of the seventh inning off David Cortes to propel the Tigres de Aragua to a 5-4 victory against the Mazatlan Venados in a game between the two hottest teams in the Caribbean Series.
Cabrera finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored and four RBIs. The one-time Arizona Diamondbacks player and current star in Japan came into the matchup against Mexico 1-for-12 in his first three games of the series.
"With the wind blowing the way it was, I said before the game that Alex Cabrera could hit a home run out of here that Mexico will never forget," Venezuela coach Buddy Bailey said. "Sure enough, he did it."
With the victory, Mexico and Venezuela each have identical 3-1 records after four games. A win would have given Mexico a share of the Caribbean Series championship, its fifth title in history, and its first in its home country.
Now, the title remains up for grabs.
"We are a championship club from a country," Bailey said. "Championship clubs don't quit. I think you have to give credit to our players."
Mazatlan starter Rigoberto Loya threw a scoreless top of the first inning and his teammate Trenidad Hubbard stung Venezuela for the first time when he led off the bottom half of the frame with a double. He eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Washington's Vinny Castilla to put Mexico ahead, 1-0.
But Venezuela responded with a pair of singles by Cabrera and Luis Landaeta the very next inning. Both scored on RBI singles to take the lead, 2-1, in a game that started as a pitcher's duel between Loya and Aragua starter Ricardo Palma and ended as a homer fest.
Mazatlan tied the game, 2-2, with a solo home run by Derrick White in the fourth frame and took a 3-2 advantage in the fifth on another solo home run, this time by Hubbard.
The lead and the ball disappeared soon after.
Mexico's Walter Silva, pitching in relief of Loya, allowed two base runners in the seventh before being replaced by Cortes. All Cabrera did was drive Cortes' second delivery of the game deep into the bleachers in left field to put his team ahead for good.
In the bottom half of the inning, Mazatlan's Adan Amezcua reached base after being hit by a pitch and scored on a fielder's choice to put Mexico within one run at 5-4, but Mexico would not score again.
"You have to give them credit," Hubbard said. "We didn't expect to win every game so we will see what happens. I don't want to make any predictions other than our team is going to come out and fight everyday."
Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.