Checking in with Pirates’ players and friends in Saturday’s winter league action…
Cardenales de Lara 15, Tigres de Aragua 8
Four home runs by Los Tigres were not enough to keep up with Los Cardenales, who began the game with a 7-run top of the 1st. Los Tigres got onto the scoreboard with 3 runs in the 3rd inning, on a home run by RF Jonel Pacheco (2-run homer) and 1B Hector Gimenez. Another homer gave Aragua one more run in the 4th, but Los Cardenales scored 4 runs in the top of the 5th, and another 4 in the top of the 8th. Los Tigres had their own 4-run inning in the 9th, including a 3-run homer for Pacheco’s second blast of the game. Jorge Cortes singled in the 2nd, then walked and scored in the 9th inning.
Navegantes del Magallanes 8, Caribes de Anzoategui 0
Los Caribes posted 8 hits, and picked up a walk — one base runner was picked off and caught stealing, and Los Navegantes turned two double plays, then 8 Caribes’ base runners were left on base. Los Navegantes scored by ones and twos, adding up to 8 runs. CF Gorkys Hernandez singled in the 8th inning, but was out at second on a force play.
Leones del Caracas 3, Bravos de Margarita 2
Jhonathan Ramos was charged with the loss when he allowed Los Leones to score a key run in the top of the 7th. He came on in relief to begin the inning, and gave up a double and a walk. The next batter bunted, and Ramos jumped off the mound to snatch up the ball and fire to third, getting a force out on the lead runner. But that was all for him, and after Ramos hit the showers, his relief gave up two singles to bring in the run. Los Leones scored again in the 8th, when CF Corey Wimberly led off with a double, stole third base, and scored on on a force out.
Leones del Escogido 3, Gigantes del Cibao 0
Starter Nelson Figueroa earned his first win for Los Leones, after switching over from Caguas in the Puerto Rican League. Figueroa threw 8 shutout innings and allowed just 2 hits and a walk. He also struck out 6 batters. The walk and one of the hits came in the 1st inning, and the other hit in the 3rd inning. After that single, Figueroa retired the remaining 17 batters he faced in order. He got all the run support he needed in the bottom of the 1st. RF Starling Marte hit the second of back-to-back singles to begin the inning. A walk loaded the bases, and a double drove in all three runners.
Tigres del Licey 5, Toros del Este 0
Los Toros managed just 5 hits and left 8 runners on base. SS Pedro Ciriaco went 0-for-4 for Los Toros. Los Tigres scored one run on a solo homer in the 4th, then added 4 more in the 5th. SS/3B Yamaico Navarro singled after the homer in the 4th, then contributed a bases-loaded walk to the rally, picking up an RBI. A double drove in 2 runs, and a grounder force out allowed the fourth run to score.
Estrellas de Oriente 2, Aguilas Cibaenas 1
Los Aguilas scored one run on a double and single in the bottom of the 1st, and that was the only scoring in the game until the top of the 9th. That’s when Los Estrellas tied the score with a walk, a bunt/error, and a double play allowing the runner to score from third base. Los Estrellas scored the winning run on a solo homer in the top of the 11th, then held off Los Aguilas in the bottom of the frame. LF/1B Jake Fox singled to lead off the 2nd inning for Los Estrellas, while C Dusty Brown was 0-for-3 with a sacrifice bunt.
Sydney Blue Sox 11, Canberra Cavalry 0
Another shut-out, this one with the Cavalry held to 5 hits. They did not help their own cause, though, committing 3 errors in the field. C Travis Scott went 0-for-4 for Canberra. The Blue Sox were quiet over the first three innings, then scored in all but one of the next five innings, including a 5-run 7th inning.
Adelaide Bite 10, Brisbane Bandits 1
This was nearly a shut out — the Bandits had only 4 hits. Three of them, including a double, were by 1B David Sutherland, and the only run came on a solo homer by RF Joshua Roberts. The Bite began their scoring with a 3-run home run in the top of the 1st. A grand slam by CF Denny Almonte (Mariners) in the 5th boosted the score to 7-0. A double, a single, and two errors gave the Bite 2 more runs in the 6th. 1B Calvin Anderson added a solo homer in the 7th inning.