Winter Leagues: Big Game For Benji Gonzalez

In Puerto Rico from Tuesday night, Jerry Sands and his teammates had a rough night. The team managed just one hit the entire game, a third inning single, and Sands went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts. He is hitting .250 through 23 games and has struck out 25 times in 76 at-bats. Sands ranks 11th in the league with an .812 OPS.

Benji Gonzalez got his first real chance to play and he went 3-for-4 with a double and three runs scored. Coming into the game, Gonzalez had made two appearances off the bench, going 0-for-2. He didn’t start the game Tuesday, but he played nearly the entire contest. Gonzalez came in as a pinch-runner in the first inning.

Ivan De Jesus Jr. went 0-for-1 with an RBI, two walks and two runs scored. He is hitting .307 through 22 games and leads the league in both walks and runs scored.

In the Dominican, Gregory Polanco was again out of the lineup due to a stomach virus. On Monday, he was scratched shortly before first pitch.

Oscar Tejeda came in as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning and lined out to right field. He is hitting .242 in 62 at-bats, with three walks and 20 strikeouts.

Atahualpa Severino pitched a scoreless ninth inning, giving up one hit and picking up a strikeout. He has made 12 straight scoreless appearances dating back to late October.

Felix Pie went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. He is hitting .318 through 13 games. Pie, Severino, Tejeda and De Jesus all remain free agents at this time. De Jesus has been linked to the Baltimore Orioles.

The Venezuelan League was off yesterday.

Author: John Dreker

John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.

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