Gimenez and Ryan Continue Hitting But LaRoche Doesn’t

Cheering for the Pirates’ players and friends in winter league games:

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

Tigres de Aragua� 4,� Caribes de Anzoategui� 2 — Former Pirate farmhand Miguel Perez smacked a pinch-hit double in the bottom of the 8th after a single and a walk, driving in two runs to break a 2-2 tie and give Aragua the win.� Los Caribes scored a run in each of the first two innings — a triple and a sacrifice fly in the 1st, and three singles in the 2nd.� Los Tigres fought back with a solo home run by 2B Ramon Castro in the 5th.� The 7th began with back-to-back singles, the second by C Hector Gimenez. A sacrifice bunt by DH Raul Chavez moved both runners into scoring position, and an intentional walk loaded the bases.� Castro singled to drive in the tying run.

Aguilas de Zulia� 2,� Bravos de Margarita� 1� — Los Bravos were held to just 3 hits, and two of them came in the 5th, when they scored their only run.� RF Rene Reyes led off with a single, and 3B Andy LaRoche advanced him to second base with a ground out.� Reyes moved to third on a fly out, then scored on a wild pitch.� C Henry Blanco also singled in the inning.� LaRoche reached on a throwing error in the 2nd inning and was left on base, and flied out in the 7th, and was removed for a defensive substitute in the 8th.� His average is now .091.� Zulia scored their 2 runs in the 6th, on a walk, a single, and a 2-run double.� With two outs onad a runner on third, lefty Jhonathan Ramos came on in relief.� Ramos ended the inning with a ground out, then pitched the 7th inning.� He gave up a single, but his catcher Blanco threw out the runner trying to steal second base.

Leones de Caracas� 2,� Navegantes del Magallanes� 1 — A pitching duel ended with a run on two hits in the bottom of the 10th inning by Caracas.� Magallanes was held to just 4 hits, one by LF Mike Ryan, who then came around to score in the 4th.� Caracas posted only 6 hits, including one by C Carlos Maldonado.� They scored their first run in the 2nd inning.� SS Argenis Diaz was hitless in 4 trips to the plate for Magallanes.

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Dominican And Puerto Rican Leagues Begin Play; Noris Homers

The Dominican and Puerto Rican winter leagues open their seasons tonight.� So far, many of the teams in those leagues have only partial rosters or no rosters posted.

PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE

Gigantes de Carolina — SS Benji Gonzalez (West Virginia Power in 2010), and former Indy Indian (2007) OF Luis Matos.

Criollos de Caguas — former Indy Indian (2004) SS Luis Figueroa and former Pirate INF Ramon Vazquez

tonight’s game:

Gigantes de Carolina� 4,� Criollos de Caguas� 0 — Of these players, Figueroa and Vazquez were the only ones to get into the game.� They went 0-for-9 between them as Caguas was held to just 6 hits in the shutout.

DOMINICAN LEAGUE

Aguilas Cibaenas –� C Luke Carlin (Indy Indians in part of 2010) and OF Starling Marte (Bradenton Marauders in 2010).

Toros del Este — managed by Dean Treanor, with C Jason Jaramillo and maybe SS Pedro Ciriaco.

Tigres del Licey� — Three former Pirates: C Ronny Paulino, C Robinzon Diaz, and RHP Denny Bautista.

Gigantes del Cibao� 5,� Aguilas Cibaenas� 1� — C Luke Carlin started the game behind the plate for Los Aguilas.� He walked to open the top of the 3rd but was out in a double play, then struck out in the 5th.� Los Aguilas managed only 3 hits, and they scored their only run in the 6th inning, aided by two errors and a wild pitch.

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

Bravos de Margarita� 4,� Aguilas de Zulia� 1 – Margarita took advantage of mistakes by Zulia.� They scored a pair of runs in the 5th on a single, a walk, and an error, then two insurance runs in the 9th on two walks, two wild pitches, and another error.� Andy LaRoche started the game at third base.� In three trips to the plate, he flied out, struck out, and walked — and was picked off base.� When the next half inning began, LaRoche was removed from the game.� Los Bravos might be getting a little frustrated with LaRoche, who is hitting .100.

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LaRoche Still Struggling At the Plate

Thursday’s winter league action with Pirates’ players and friends…� the Dominican and Puerto Rican Leagues begin play on Friday.

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

Bravos de Margarita� 3,� Cardinales de Lara� 2� — 3B Andy LaRoche continued to struggle at the plate, going 0-for-4 for Margarita.� Los Bravos scored one run in the top of the 1st on a double, a stolen base, and a throwing error.� Lara tied the score in the bottom of the 4th with a solo home run.� Margarita took the lead again in the top of the 7th, and another fielding error jump started the inning.� After a walk and a strikeout, LaRoche grounded to third, resulting in a force out at second base, though LaRoche was safe at first.� He scored on a 2-run double by DH Selwyn Langaigne.� Lara scored one run in the 8th on a double and a single, and they had the bases loaded, but Los Bravos got out of the inning without any more runs scoring.� Jhonathan Ramos came on in relief of Margarita’s starter Will Savage in the 6th.� Ramos got the ground out to end the inning, then retired three straight batters in the 7th.

Leones de Caracas� 6,� Tiburones de La Guaira� 4� — Former Pirate C Carlos Maldonado blasted a 3-run homer in Caracas’ 4-run 7th inning, and he also singled earlier in the game.� Caracas posted 13 hits in the game.

Navegantes del Magallanes� 5,� Tigres de Aragua� 1� — Magallanes also had a 4-run inning, then scored another run in the 8th, while holding Los Tigres to just 4 hits and one run.� C Hector Gimenez and DH Raul Chavez were both hitless for Aragua, whose lone run came in the 3rd inning on a single and a double.� Los Navegantes began the 6th with a single and a sacrifice bunt, the SS Argenis Diaz worked a walk.� A wild pitch and a double brought in the first two runs, including Diaz.� Former Pirate LF Mike Ryan singled, plating another run, and he scored on the second double of the inning.

MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE —

Venados de Mazatlan� 3,� Aguilas de Mexicali� 0 — Mazatlan did all their damage in the 5th inning.� They began the inning by loading the bases on a single by 2B Freddy Sandoval, a walk to RF Rogelios Noris, and a hit batter SS Elliot Johnson.� A wild pitch scored Sandoval and moved Noris and Johnson up one base.� A double scored Noris, and an RBI ground out brought in Johnson.� That was all Los Venados needed.� Noris singled in the top of the 9th, but did not score.� Mexicali was held to just 4 hits in the shutout.

Yaquis de Obregon� 5,� Naranjeros de Hermosillo� 3� — CF Jeff Salazar continued his hot hitting, with a single and a double for Obregon.� He opened the game with a single, moved to second on a wild pitch and to third on a passed ball, then scored on a sacrifice fly in Los Yaquis’ 3-run 1st inning.� Salazar’s double in the 2nd inning drove in another run for Obregon.

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Bass And Thomas Pitch Well In Venezuela

Pirates’ players and friends in action in the winter leagues on Wednesday…

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

Tigres de Aragua� 5,� Aguilas de Zulia� 3� –� Brian Bass pitched 6 shutout innings, allowing only 2 hits for Aragua tonight.� He did not walk anyone, and he struck out 6 batters.� Bass retired the first 10 batters he faced, then with one out in the 4th, gave up a double and a single.� Thanks to some heads-up play by LF Brandon Guyer and C Raul Chavez, the runner who had singled was tagged out at second base, leaving a runner on third.� Bass got a ground out to end that inning.� He hit a batter in the 5th, but Chavez threw him out trying to steal second base, and Bass retired the side again in the 6th.

Unfortunately, Bass did not get the win.� Los Tigres were also held scoreless for the first 6 innings.� They scored one run in the top of the 7th, with Bass still the pitcher of record, on a walk, a single, a wild pitch, and an RBI ground out.� But in the bottom of the 7th, with Jeff Farnsworth taking over for Bass, Zulia scored 3 runs.� Aragua came right back in the top of the 8th.� Guyer singled, and scored from first base on DH Hector Gimenez’s double.� Gimenez went to third on a ground out, then scored on an RBI single.� A 2-run homer by CF Jamie Hoffman gave the lead and the win to Aragua.

Bravos de Margarita� 7,� Navegantes del Magallanes 3 � — Justin Thomas made the start for Margarita, though he lasted only into the 4th inning and was not eligible for the win.� Thomas gave up singles to the first two batters he faced, then got a double play and a strikeout to end the inning.� He faced only 7 batters over the next two innings, surrendering only one hit, to his Indy Indians’ teammate SS Argenis Diaz. Thomas got into trouble in the bottom of the 4th, opening the inning by allowing 3 straight singles, including one to former Pirate/Indian DH Mike Ryan, for a run.� That was the only run Los Navegantes scored until the bottom of the 9th, when a walk and another single by Diaz put runners on the corners.� Diaz moved to second base on defensive indifference, and both runners scored on another single.� It was too little too late, though.� Los Bravos scored 3 runs in the top of the 1st, on four singles, a walk to 3B Andy LaRoche, and a sacrifice fly.� Margarita scored one more run in the 5th, and LaRoche’s RBI double gave them another run in the 5th.� A single, a double, and a sacrifice fly gave Los Bravos two more insurance runs in the top of the 9th.

MEXICAN LEAGUE

Venados de Mazatlan� 8,� Aguilas de Mexicali� 3� — RF Rogelios Noris had 2 hits, a single and a double, raising his average to .273.� Noris was the only member of Los Venados’ lineup to not come to the plate in their 3-run 1st inning.�� They scored after two outs had been recorded, on a walk, a single, a hit batter, then two RBI singles.� Mexicali scored two unearned runs in the bottom of the 3rd, then one more run in the 6th.� In the top of the 5th, Mazatlan added two runs on a double, a triple, and an RBI triple by the hometown favorite Noris.� 1B Robert Saucedo added a 2-run homer in the 8th, followed by another run on a single and a double.� Noris singled in the 7th, but was out at second base on a double play.

Yaquis de Obregon� 3,� Naranjeros de Hermosillo� 0� — Former Pirate CF Jeff Salazar’s batting average dropped to .379, since he had just one hit in 4 at-bats.� He singled to lead off the game, but was left on base.� Obregon scored 2 runs in the 2nd and one more in the 3rd inning.� They held Hermosillo to just 4 hits in the shut-out.� Former Pirate C Humberto Cota went 0-for-4.

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Quiet Day in the Winter Leagues

The Arizona Fall League takes Sundays off, but you can check out the latest post on Tony Sanchez’s AFL Blog.

VENEZUELAN WINTER LEAGUE

Caribes de Anzoategui� 5,� Bravos de Margarita� 0 — Los Bravos were held to just 5 hits, and Los Caribes scored 4 of their runs in the 2nd inning on back-to-back lead-off homers plus two triples.� But, 3B Andy LaRoche had the day off.

Tiburones de La Guaira� 3,� Tigres de Aragua� 0� — Los Tigres out-hit Los Tiburones 6-4, but Aragua’s pitchers helped out by throwing wild pitches that contributed to two of the runs.�� Aragua’s 1B Alex Nunez went 3-for-3, but never came around to score.� DH Hector Gimenez singled and C Raul Chavez tripled for Aragua.

MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE

Algodoneros de Guasave 4,� Venados de Mazatlan 1� — RF Rogelios Noris lifted his average to .308 with two singles tonight for Los Venados.� Guasave starter Daniel Guerrero retired the first 13 Mazatlan batters of the game, then hit LF Matt Clark with a pitch, but retired the next two batters to get out of the inning.� Guerrero also retired the first two batters of the 6th, then gave up a solo home run to 3B Elliot Johnson for Mazatlan’s only run of the game.� After a walk, Guerrero was relieved, and while they didn’t score again, Los Venados did post some hits in the last three innings.� Mazatlan loaded the bases in the 7th on two singles, one by Noris, and a walk, but a double play ended the inning.� They had one single in the 8th, then a pair of two-out singles in the 9th, including Noris’ second hit of the game.� Guasave scored one run in each of the 3rd and 5th innings, then two more in the 7th.

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