Diaz and Fox Continue Hitting In Venezuela; Milledge Joins In

Cheering for Pirates’ players and friends in the Winter Leagues on Thursday…

DOMINICAN LEAGUE

Tigres del Licey� 6,� Gigantes del Cibao� 3 — C Robinzon Diaz singled and doubled, and Indy area native 1B Jake Fox went 3-for-3 with 3 RBI as Licey posted 14 hits.� Licey scored one run in the 2nd, and another run in the 3rd (including a single by Fox).� Fox also hit the second of two doubles in the 7th inning, giving Los Tigres another run.� Licey plated 3 runs in the 8th, on four singles, including one by Diaz, a hit batter, and Fox’s sacrifice fly.� Diaz’s double came in the 9th inning.

Estrellas de Oriente� 6,� Aguilas Cibaenas� 3� — CF Starling Marte went 0-for-4 as Los Aguilas were held to just 4 hits.� They scored one run in the 7th inning when a bases-loaded walk forced in a run.� That inning ended when Los Estrellas’ Franquelis Osoria got pinch-hitter Luke Carlin to ground out.� A double added 2 runs for Los Aguilas in the 8th, but it wasn’t enough to catch up the Los Estrellas.

Leones del Escogido� 4,� Toros del Este 3� — Los Toros scored their runs all in the 5th inning, on an RBI double and a 2-run homer.� Escogido caught up with 2 runs in the 7th and one mor in the 8th to tie the score.� In the bottom of the 9th, two singles and a sacrifice fly by SS Pedro Lopez brought in the winning run.� Lopez had only a walk in his previous 3 plate appearances for Los Leones.� Jason Jaramillo singled in the 6th for Los Toros, but he was out on an unusual double play — the runner who had been on first base was thrown out at third on the throw in from right field, and when Jaramillo tried to get to second on the throw, he was also thrown out.� Jaramillo also walked in the 9th inning.

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Pirates’ Pitchers Busy In Winter Leagues; Morton’s Debut

Wednesday’s winter league games with Pirates’ players and friends…

VENZUELAN LEAGUE

Bravos de Margarita� 6,� Leones del Caracas� 4 — Margarita starter Justin Thomas gave up 2 runs in the 2nd inning on a walk and a home run.� He zipped through the 3rd inning, then allowed a single and a walk in the 4th before being relieved, though both of those runners were left stranded.� Caracas scored 2 more runs in the 5th on three walks, a single, and an error.� Los Bravos had been scoreless for the first 4 innings, then exploded for 6 runs in the bottom of the 5th.� 3B Andy LaRoche followed a lead-off single with an RBI double.� Three consecutive walks by a new Caracas pitcher forced in LaRoche with the second run of the inning, leaving the bases loaded.� Another new Caracas pitcher was greeted by LF Frank Diaz’s grand slam, to give Margarita a 6-4 lead.� Former Pirate farmhand Ronald Belisario pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 9th to earn the save.

Navegantes del Magallanes� 2,� Cardinales de Lara� 1 — Los Cardenales were held to just 4 hits in this game, while Los Navegantes posted 11 hits.� Magallanes scored their first run in the 3rd inning, on an RBI single by 1B Mark Trumbo (Angels).� Their starter Anthony Lerew (Royals) pitched 6 innings and allowed the 4 hits, one of which was a solo home run in the 6th inning, to tie the score and make Lerew ineligible for the win.� Corey Hamman came on in relief, and pitched a perfect 7th inning.� Jean Machi followed with a perfect 8th, and Yoel Hernandez retired the side in order in the 9th.� In the top of the 8th, DH Mike Ryan broke the tie with a solo home run, which became the game-winner.� That gave Hamman the win and Hernandez his 2nd save.� Ryan went 3-for-4 in the game, raising his batting average to .389.� SS Argenis Diaz went 1-for-4 for Magallanes.

Caribes de Anzoategui� 3,� Tigres de Aragua� 2� –� Brian Bass gave up 2 runs on 2 hits in his start for Los Tigres, and he was lucky that it wasn’t more runs, because he walked 5 batters.� He gave a free pass to 2 batters in each of the 1st and 2nd innings, and both times left them on base.� In the 3rd, he gave up a 2-out walk, and the next batter smacked a 2-run homer.� He gave up a single in the 5th, and was relieved after getting a ground out.� Aragua tied the game in the 5th inning when former Indy Indian LF Jorge Cortes walked, then a hit batter and a ground out pushed Cortes to third.� he scored on an RBI single.� The score remained tied until the bottom of the 10th, when Los Caribes got a lead-off single.� Adenson Chourio came in as a pinch-runner, and he stole second base.� A walk-off double plated Chourio with the winning run.� 1B Hector Gimenez singled and walked twice for Los Tigres, and C Raul Chavez singled and walked, but neither scored.

PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE

Criollos de Caguas� 2,� Senadores de San Juan 1 — San Juan scored one run in the top of the 1st on a walk, a stolen base, an error, and an RBI ground out.� Then they had only 4 hits for the rest of the game.� Caguas tied the score in the 5th inning on a walk, a single, and an RBI single by former Indy Indian SS Luis Figueroa.� A solo home run by DH Omir Santos gave Los Criollos the winning run in the 7th inning.� Figueroa had 2 more hits in the game — a double to lead off the bottom of the 1st inning, and a single after the homer in the 7th.� 3B Ramon Vazquez singled twice in the game, in the 6th and the 8th innings.

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A Bit Of Winter League Action For Gonzalez

Cheering for Pirates’ players and friends in the winter leagues:

PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE

Gigantes de Carolina� 10,� Indios de Mayaguez� 8 — SS Benji Gonzalez got into this game as a late-inning defensive replacement in the 7th inning.� He got one at-bat, but popped out to second base.� Los Gigantes scored 2 runs in the 1st, and 3 in the 4th, but their biggest inning was the 2nd, when they plated 5 runs on 4 singles and 2 doubles.

Senadores de San Juan� 4,� Leones de Ponce� 3� — San Juan had a 4-0 lead going into the bottom of the 8th.� Ponce used 3 consecutive singles and a double to score 3 runs in that inning, but could not catch up.� Former Pirate farmhand RJ Rodriguez pitched a scoreless top of the 9th for Ponce, though he allowed 2 singles.

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

Tiburones de La Guaira� 9,� Navegantes del Magallanes� 7 — Los Tiburones scored 6 runs in the 1st inning, but Los Navegantes kept chipping away, until they had a 7-6 lead going into the bottom of the 8th.� Los Tiburones would not stand for that, though — they scored 3 more runs in the bottom of the 8th to retake the lead and get the win.� SS Argenis Diaz did not have a hit in the game, for Magallanes, but he reached on a fielding error in the 6th inning, giving him an RBI.� DH Mike Ryan had an RBI ground out for Magallanes in the 1st inning, and drove in the tying and go-ahead runs in the top of the 8th with a double.

MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE

Venados de Mazatlan� 7,� Yaquis de Obregon� 5 – Los Venados scored one run in each of the 1st, 3rd, and 5th innings, and had a 3-1 lead over Obregon.� Los Yaquis’ run came in the 3rd, on an RBI single by CF Jeff Salazar.� Obregon burst out with 4 runs in the 5th, starting the inning with 4 straight singles, then a wild pitch, two more singles, and a walk by Salazar.� Mazatlan answered with 4 runs in the top of the 9th, on two doubled and four singles, to take the win.� RF Rogelios Noris had a single in the 6th inning, but did not score.

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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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