Bass Has A Good Start for Aragua

Cheering for Pirates’ players and friends in Sunday’s winter league games…

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

Leones del Caracas� 9,� Bravos de Margarita� 2� — Caracas began the game with 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st, and kept right on rolling, with a run in the 3rd, 2 in the 4th , and 4 in the 5th.� In the 5th, Margarita reliever Jhonathan Ramos enterd the game with one run already scored, a runner on second base, and no outs.� He made a missed catch error while covering first base for the first batter he faced, which allowed the base runner to score.� Then Ramos gave up a double and a single, and two more runs came in.� A double play and a tapper back to the mound ended the inning.� Margarita’s first run came in the 4th inning, when LF Frank Diaz tripled, and 3B Andy LaRoche brought him in with a sacrifice fly.� Los Bravos scored again in the 5th inning on a pair of doubles.� LaRoche also walked in the 6th inning, but was earased in a double play.

Navegantes del Magallanes� 5,� Tigres de Aragua� 4� — Aragua jumped out to a 3-0 start in the top of the 1st.� A lead-off double was followed by a sacrifice bunt by SS Ronny Cedeno, and an RBI single by LF Lastings Milledge. DH Hector Gimenez brought in Milledge with a 2-run homer.� Magallanes brought Corey Hamman on in relief to begin the 3rd inning, and Hamman allowed Aragua only one hit over the next three innings.� He then began the top of the 6th by giving up a double, then a sacrifice bunt by Gimenez.� Hamman was relieved, and one more run scored on a walk and a sacrifice fly.� Then in the bottom of the inning, Magallanes started their come-back.� Brian Bass had pitched 5 scoreless innings for Los Tigres (allowing just 2 hits and 4 walks), and Los Navegantes had to wait until Bass was relieved to start their rallies.� A single, a walk to DH Mike Ryan, then three more walks forced in two runs in the 6th.� A hit batter, another walk to Ryan, a wild pitch, and an RBI ground out got Los Navegantes within one run of Los Tigres.� In the bottom of the 8th, two lead-off singles and a sacrifice bunt put two Navegantes’ runners into scoring position.� The next batter dropped another sacrifice bunt, which Aragua reliever Rich Rundles picked up and threw away, allowing two runs to score, to give Magallanes the win.� Aragua CF Jorge Cortes also singled and doubled in the game but didn’t score.

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Milledge, LaRoche, and Cedeno Rolling In Venezuela

A few winter league games with Pirates’ players and friends on Saturday…

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

Aguilas de Zulia� 2,� Caribes de Anzoategui� 1�� (Game 1 and Game 2)� – No kidding, the same score in both games.� Zulia recorded 6 hits in both games also.� In the first game, Los Caribes were held to just two hits, and their only run scored on a walk, a ground out, and an RBI double in the 2nd inning.� Zulia scored a run in the 1st on a pair of singles and a throwing error.� The tie-breaker scored in the 4th inning on two singles and a double play.� Adenson Chourio came in to pinch run for Los Caribes in the top of the 7th after a walk.� He got as far as third base on a bunt and a ground out, but was left there when the game ended.� The second game began with Los Aguilas scoring 2 runs on two walks and a 2-RBI single in the 1st inning.� Los Caribes had 7 hits in this game, but still scored only one run, again on two singles and a double play.� Chourio made the start at shortstop in this game, but went 0-for-2 at the plate.

Leones del Caracas� 8,� Tiburones de La Guaira� 6� — A 3-run homer made the difference for Caracas in the 8th inning.� Los Leones scored their first run in the 1st on a walk and an RBI single.� They added 2 more in the 4th, on a double, and two RBI singles, one by C Carlos Maldonado.� Maldonado ended the inning when he was thrown out trying to steal second base — something that would not surprise Indy Indians’ fans.

Navegantes del Magallanes� 4,� Cardenales de Lara� 0� — Los Cardenales posted just 3 hits in the shutout.� Los Navegantes scored 2 runs in the 4th, on three singles, a walk, and two wild pitches.� They added another pair in the 7th, when they got a single and a walk off Lara reliever Romulo Sanchez.� Sanchez was relieved, but two more singles drove in the 2 runs.� DH Mike Ryan went 0-for-3 for Los Navegantes.

Bravos de Margarita� 6,� Tigres de Aragua� 4� — Los Tigres got onto the scoreboard first with 3 runs in the 3rd inning.� A walk and a single opened the inning.� SS Ronny Cedeno struck out, but a wild pitch on strike three let the runners advance one base.� LF Lastings Milledge hit a fielder’s choice to his Pirate teammate 3B Andy LaRoche, who threw to the plate to get the lead runner out.� But moments later, LaRoche’s error at third let a run score, and two mroe runs came in on an RBI single.� Los Bravos came back with 5 runs in the top fo the 4th.� LaRoche hit the middle of three consecutive singles to open the inning, scoring a run.� A walk loaded the bases, and C Henry Blanco cleared them with a grand slam.� Aragua got one run back with a homer in the bottom of the 4th, to make the score 5-4, with Margarita ahead.� Blanco singled in the 9th, and scored again for Margarita, on a fielding error by Cedeno.� Ronald Belisario came on to pitch for Margarita in the 9th inning.� He earned his 5th save, despite giving up two singles, including one to pinch-hitter Hector Gimenez. A double play ended the inning for Belisario.� C Raul Chavez also had a single for Aragua.

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Cedeno Joins In, Machi Earns Save #3

Cheering for the Pirates’ players and friends in winter league action on Thursday…

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

Tigres de Aragua� 6,� Bravos de Margarita� 0� — Los Bravos were held to just 2 hits — a single in the 7th, and another to lead off the 9th inning.� 3B Andy LaRoche worked a walk to open the 2nd inning, but was erased in a double play.� Margarita got another walk in the 4th inning, and those were the only two Bravos batters to reach base in the first six innings.� Los Tigres scored their first run in the 1st inning, on a double, a single by SS Ronny Cedeno (in his Tigres’ debut), a fielders’ choce by CF Lastings Milledge, and an RBI single.� They added 2 more runs in the 4th, on a 2-run homer.� C Raul Chavez doubled after the homer, and Hector Gimenez reached on a fielder’s choice, but Chavez was out at third.� Cedeno also doubled in the 5th, then had the second single of the 7th inning.� Milledge moved Cedeno up to second base on a ground out, and an intentional walk loaded the bases.� A sacrifice fly plated the first run of the inning.� Chavez and Gimenez each drove in a run with an RBI single.� Jorge Cortes made a pinch-hitting appearance for Los Tigres and worked a walk in the 8th, but was left on base.

Navegantes del Magallanes� 3,� Tiburones de La Guaira� 1� — Los Tiburones put up half of their 6 hits in the 4th inning, when they scored their only run — back-to-back doubles and a single to begin the inning.� Los Navegantes scored one run in the 1st inning on a fielding error, a stolen base, and a double.� After Los Tiburones tied the score in the top of the 4th, Magallanes came back in the bottom of the frame to take the lead with a single, a walk, a wild pitch, and a 2-RBI single.� DH Mike Ryan was hitless in 4 trips to the plate for Magallanes.� Jean Machi pitched the top of the 9th for Magallanes and gave up a walk but struck out 2 batters to keep Los Tiburones from scoring.� Machi earned his 3rd save of the winter league season.

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Roster Moves and Winter Leagues: Rough Night For Morton And Hamman

A few roster moves by the Pirates today:

Several players have been removed from the 40-man roster and outrighted to AAA Indianapolis:� LHP Justin Thomas, RHP Sean Gallagher, RHP Steven Jackson, 1B Jeff Clement, and OF Brandon Moss.

Of these, Thomas, Jackson, and Moss are now all free to declare themselves minor league free agents.� Clement does not have enough service time to get to be a free agent, so he’s “stuck” on the Indianapolis roster.� He’s had knee surgery, and hopes to be ready by spring training.� Gallagher does have the service time, but the Pirates are probably negotiating with him to try to keep him.

LHP Wil Ledezma has signed a one-year contract with the Pirates for 2011.

RHP Jose Ascanio and 1B Steve Pearce (who has also had knee issues) are officially off the DL and back on the 40-man roster.� RHP Ross Ohlendorf also falls into this category.

On to Wednesday’s winter league action, with Pirates’ players and friends:

PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE

Senadores de San Juan� 4,� Gigantes de Carolina� 3� — San Juan rallied from a 3-1 deficit to score one run in the 5th and 2 runs in the 6th for the win.� Los Gigantes scored one run in the 4th on a double and a single.� They added 2 runs in the 5th, on two singles, an error, a walk, and a sacrifice fly.� Benji Gonzalez made a pinch-hitting appearance for Los Gigantes in the 8th inning, but flied out.� He remained in the game at third base for the final inning.

Criollos de Caguas� 4,� Indios de Mayaguez� 0� — 3B Ramon Vazquez and SS Luis Figueroa each had one hit for Los Criollos in their win.� Vazquez’s single in the 5th drove in one of Los Criollos’ runs.� They also scored 2 runs in the 4th on two singles and two errors, and another run in the 6th on two singles and a sacrifice fly.

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Milledge, Gimenez, and LaRoche Homer; Ryan Hits For The Cycle

Sunday’s action for Pirates’ players and friends in the winter leagues.� The Arizona Fall League and the Mesa Solar Sox have the day off.

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

Tigres de Aragua� 20,� Leones del Caracas� 15 — No, they weren’t playing football.� That’s 35 runs on 38 hits, 17 walks, 10 strikeouts, 4 wild pitches, 2 hit batters, and 2 errors.� LF Lastings Milledge hit a solo homer in the 3rd.� Los Tigres broke the game open in the 4th, which included three homers — a solo homer by RF Alex Romero,� and back-to-back blasts by 1B Hector Gimenez (three runs) and 3B Marquez Smith.� Aragua added 3 more in the 5th and 2 in the 7th, then sent 11 batters to the plate to score 7 runs in the top of the 9th.� Caracas had one run in the bottom of the 2nd, then had a rally in the 6th, scoring 4 runs.� The added one more in the 7th,� Los Leones were trailing 20 – 6 going into the bottom of the 9th, and that’s when they had the biggest inning of the game.� Of the 13 batters who came to the plate, the first seven reached base safely, and after a few more singles and their only homer of the game, Caracas scored 9 runs in the bottom of the 9th.� Still not enough for the win, though.� Milledge went 3-for-5 with 4 runs scored and 2 RBI.� Gimenez was 2-for-5 with 2 runs scored and 3 RBI.� Former Altoona Curve and Indy Indian CF Jorge Cortes also went 2-for-5 with 2 runs scored and 3 RBI.� Another former Curve and Indian C Miguel Perez was the only member of the Aragua starting lineup who did not have a hit or a walk in the game.

Navegantes del Magallanes� 11,� Tiburones de La Guaira� 3� — Former Indy Indian LF Mike Ryan hit for the cycle, going 4-for-5 for Magallanes, who posted 18 total hits.� Ryan starter with a double in the bottom of the 1st.� Los Navegantes scored 7 runs in the 3rd inning, and Ryan contributed a 2-run homer and a single in that inning.� Then he got the hardest part, a triple (and an RBI) in the 5th, and scored moments later.

Bravos de Margarita� 6,� Cardenales de Lara� 4� — “Only” 22 hits in this game.� One belonged to 3B Andy LaRoche, who homered to lead off the 2nd inning and start Los Bravos’ scoring.� Three singles and a double added two more runs for Margarita in the 2nd.� Two singles, a sacrifice bunt, and a sacrifice fly gave them another run in the 4th.� LaRoche was intentionally walked in the 7th inning, when Margarita scored twice more.� Lara scored one run in each of four innings.� Justin Thomas took the mound in relief for Los Bravos in the 6th, with two Cardenales on base and two outs.� He gave up an RBI single, though that run was charged to the previous pitcher.� Thomas started the 7th inning with a strikeout, then a hit batter and a single.� He was relieved, but an RBI grounder brought in the first runner, and this run was charged to Thomas.

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