Winter League Playoff Wrap Up
Tigres de Aragua 16, Caribes de Anzoategui 0 – Two big innings put the situation away for Los Tigres on Thursday, tying the series at 2 games each. Twelve batters came to the plate in the 2nd inning as 8 runs scored on three walks (one to LF Lastings Milledge), three singles, two doubles, and a 2-run homer. Aragua batted around in the 7th, that time scoring 6 runs. A fielding error began the inning, then Milledge walked again (for the third time in the game, plus he singled once). Another error and another walk forced in a run, then two singles and the third error of the inning drove in 4 runs. A wild pitch accounted for the last run of the inning. A solo home run brought in one more in the 8th. Los Caribes were held to just 4 hits and one walk. 1B Hector Gimenez went 0-for-3 with a sacrifice bunt for Los Tigres, and Jorge Cortes flied out in a pinch-hitting appearance.
Caribes 8, Tigres 7 – Los Caribes went up one game in the series with a win on Friday. They began the game quietly, managing only 3 singles over the first 5 innings. They loaded the bases in the 6th but did not score. Los Tigres posted only one hit over the first 4 innings. LF Lastings Milledge singled in the 5th, then scored on two more singles. Things got exciting in the last two innings of the game. Los Caribes scored 4 runs in the top of the 8th on two RBI singles and a 2-run homer. Los Tigres answered with one run in the bottom of the 8th, with a walk and an RBI double, bringing the score to 4-2. Reliever Wil Ledezma took the mound for Los Tigres in the top of the 9th. Ledezma gave up a single, then a sacrifice bunt, and two throwing errors on one play gave Los Caribes an unearned run. Ledezma then surrendered an RBI single and a 2-run homer before being relieved. Los Tigres entered the bottom of the 9th behind by 8-2. 1B Hector Gimenez and Milledge began the inning with a pair of walks. Two singles drove in Gimenez and left the bases loaded. Another walk forced in the second run of the inning, and a run scored on a double play. A fielding error and a single added two more runs, bringing Los Tigres within one run of Los Caribes. But a strikeout ended the game with a runner still on first base, and the two teams moved on to Game 6.
Tigres 4, Caribes 1 – Los Tigres held Los Caribes to just 4 hits, and two of them (triple and double) came in the 1st inning. Los Caribes had runners reach base in the next three innings but couldn’t get any of them across the plate. They had only one base runner (a single) over the last 5 innings. Los Tigres began the game with a walk and a 2-run homer. A walk, two singles, and a sacrifice fly gave them 2 more runs in the 7th inning. 1B Hector Gimenez went 0-for-3 with a walk, and LF Lastings Milledge walked twice in four plate appearances. Los Tigres’ win in Game 6 forces Game 7, to be played on Sunday.
Adelaide Bite 4, Melbourne Aces 3 – A hit batter, a single, and a missed catch error by the Aces’ pitcher covering first base allowed the Bite to score the winning run in the top of the 11th. The Bite scored their first run in the 3rd inning on a single, a double, and an RBI ground out. A walk, a single, and a double brought in 2 more runs in the 5th. The Aces scored 2 runs in the 3rd on two singles and a double, then tied the score in the bottom of the 6th with a single and a double. After 4 scoreless innings, the Bite took the win, and also won the 3-game series. DH Quincy Latimore went 0-for-5 in the game, the day after he hit two home runs. At the same time, the Perth Heat beat the Sydney Blue Sox 6-0, to take that 3-game series. The Australian League playoffs now proceed with the next round, also a 3-game series, between Sydney and Adelaide. The winner of that series will face Perth in the final round.