Checking in with a few Pirates’ players and friends in Friday’s winter league play :
Tigres de Aragua 9, Tiburones de La Guaira 4
SS Ronny Cedeno went 1-for-3 for Los Tigres in his winter league season debut. Los Tigres roared loudly in the first four innings, especially in the 5-run 3rd inning. After a lead-off double in the bottom of the 1st, Cedeno was hit by a pitch, and a single loaded the bases. CF Lastings Milledge grounded out, driving in the lead runner from third, and an RBI single brought in Cedeno. A walk and two singles, including one by Cedeno, added a run for Aragua in the bottom of the 2nd. The bottom of the 3rd began with a solo home run by Milledge. After the homer, a double, a single, and a walk loaded the bases again for Los Tigres. A triple swept in all three runners, and a sacrifice fly brought in the 5th run of the inning. Cedeno was again hit by a pitch in the inning. Los Tigres wrapped up their scoring with one more run in the 4th, coming on three singles. 1B Hector Gimenez went 0-for-5 for Aragua.
Navegantes del Magallanes 7, Caribes de Anzoategui 3
Four runs in the top of the 9th gave Los Navegantes the win. CF Gorkys Hernandez was in the lead-off spot in the batting order for Los Caribes. He began the bottom of the 1st inning with a walk, then moved to second on a bunt single and to third on a sacrifice bunt, and scored on a sacrifice fly. Former Pirate SS Argenis Diaz doubled and scored for Los Navegantes in the top of the 3rd, tying the score. Los Caribes came back with a solo home run in the bottom of that frame. Los Navegantes regained the lead in the 5th, with a walk and two singles, plus a throwing error. Los Caribes tied the score again in the bottom of the 7th, with two walks, a stolen base, and a wild pitch (by Tanner Scheppers). The score remained tied until the top of the 9th, when Diaz led off with a walk. He advanced to second base on a walk, then scored on an RBI double, breaking the tie. After an intentional walk, a 3-run homer gave Los Navegantes three insurance runs. Former Pirate farmhand Jean Machi pitched the final two innings and was the winning pitcher.
Aguilas del Zulia 4, Leones del Caracas 3
Los Aguilas scored all four of their runs in the top of the 3rd inning, then would not let Los Leones catch up. Los Aguilas’ rally began with a double by former Pirate C Carlos Maldonado. A single and a sacrifice fly brought in Maldonado, then another single and sacrifice fly sequence drove in the second run. A pair of doubles plated two more runs for Zulia. Caracas got onto the scoreboard with a run on three singles in the 1st. C Ramon Cabrera led off the bottom of the 5th with a single for Los Leones. Two more singles and an RBI ground out scored Cabrera and another runner. Jose Ascanio pitched a perfect top of the 5th for Los Leones.
MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE
Venados de Mazatlan 11, Algodoneros de Guasave 3
Los Algodoneros scored 3 runs in the top of the 2nd inning to take a 3-2 lead. Former Pirate Yurendell de Caster led off the inning with a single, and came around to score, along with two other runners, on an RBI single plus a throwing error. Then Los Venados came back with 9 unanswered runs over three innings — 4 runs in the bottom of the 2nd, including a home run and two doubles; three singles, two walks, and a triple in the bottom of the 4th for 5 more runs. Rogelio Noris enterd the game to play center field for Los Venados in the 7th inning. He grounded out in his only plate appearance.
Adelaide Bite 3, Canberra Cavalry 2
Former Altoona Curve Paul Mildren earned the win for the Bite with an 8-inning start. He allowed only one run on 5 hits, with 5 strikeouts, and he did not walk a batter. The only run Mildred allowed came in the 4th inning, on a single and a double by Canberra’s C Travis Scott. The Bite scored 2 runs in the 2nd inning on a 2-RBI triple. They added a run in the bottom of the 7th. Mildren was relieved to begin the top of the 9th, and the first batter of that inning smacked a solo homer for Canberra.
Perth Heat 9, Melbourne Aces 8
The two teams combined for 29 hits in this game. Perth had two 3-run innings, and Melbourne’s 4-run 7th inning fell just short. 1B Aaron Baker doubled in two runs for Perth in the 3rd inning.