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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Gonzalezes Power Up With Homers

The West Virginia Power had their last late-morning game of the season today.� The rest of the Pirates’ lower minor affiliates play this evening.

West Virginia Power� 12,� Rome Braves� 4 …��� (box)

The Power hammered away at the Braves, scoring in every inning after the 1st, doubling up the Braves in hits.� Jarek Cunningham and LF Rogelios Noris led the way with 3 hits each.� 2B Rome got off to a good start with a solo home run to begin the 2nd inning.� The Power came right back in the bottom of the inning, when 1B Aaron Baker walked and scored on RF Jose Hernandez’s double off the right field wall.� A ground out pushed Hernandez to third base, and he scored on Noris’ line drive single inot left field.� 3B Elevys Gonzalez added another run with a lead-off homer on the first pitch of the 3rd inning (his 4th of the season).� Noris crushed a ball off the top of the left field wall with one out in the 4th inning, cruising into third base for a stand-up triple.� He scored moments later on SS Benji Gonzalez’s first home run of the season.

Power starter Brett Lorin had allowed that homer in the 2nd, and gave up singles in the 1st and 3rd, plus two walks in the 4th.� The Braves got to him in the top of the 5th, though.� With two outs, Lorin hit a batter, then gave up a double and a 3-run homer.� That brought Rome within one run of the Power, 5-4. But that was all the scoring the Power pitchers intended to let the Braves do.� Maurice Bankston relieved Lorin to pitch 2 scoreless innings, allowing only a single in the 7th.� Jhonathan Ramos, just promoted from State College, celebrated his return to the Power with two perfect innings, including 3 strikeouts.

The Power added some insurance runs in the bottom of the 5th inning.�� Jarek Cunningham led off with a single, and he advanced to second base on a wild pitch.� CF Evan Chambers walked, then when the Braves changed pitchers, Cunningham and Chambers greeted the new hurler by pulling off a double steal.� Hernandez lined a single into right field, scoring Cunningham, and C Ramon Cabrera’s sacrifice fly brought in Chambers.� Noris lined into center field, and when Hernandez tried to make it to third base, the throw in from the outfield got past the Rome third baseman.� Hernandez scrambled for the plate, but the third baseman recovered the ball quickly, and Hernandez was out at the plate.� Noris was credited with only a single on the play, and the Power had a 7-4 lead.

Three more runs scored in the 6th.� Benji Gonzalez singled and stole second base, and Cunningham tripled off the center field wall to bring him in.� Chambers walked and also stole second base, then Baker doubled, plating both Cunningham and Chambers.� DH Andy Vasquez added a solo home run in the 7th inning.� Then the Power loaded the bases in the 8th on a walk to Cunningham, Chambers being hit by a pitch, and a single by Baker.� A sacrifice fly by Hernandez brought Cunningham across the plate for the Power’s 12th run of the game.

The South Atlantic League announced their post-season All-Star Team today, but no Power players were named to the team.

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Curve Shut Out; Power Over-powering

Monday’s action with the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates….

Bowie Baysox� 2,� Altoona Curve� 0 ..� (box)

The Curve out-hit the Baysox 7-5, but were still shutout in Bowie.� 3B Josh Harrison and RF Miles Durham each had two hits, including a double for Harrison, while 2B Chase d’Arnaud, 1B Matt Hague, and LF Jim Negrych had one hit each.� Harrison’s double was the only extra-base hit for the Curve.� In addition, Negrych walked three times, and two Curve batters, C Kris Watts and pinch-hitter Jose De Los Santos, were hit by pitches.� That all adds up to 10 Curve batters left on base.

The Curve had two runners on in the 3rd inning, when d’Arnaud singled and Harrison doubled, sending d’Arnaud to third with two outs.� A strikeout ended that inning.� Two Curve were on base in the 4th also, when Negrych walked for the second time and Durham singled, but Negrych was picked off second base.� In the 8th, Hague singled and Negrych walked for the third time, but again a strikeout ended the inning.� The Curve’s best chance at scoring came in the 7th inning, when they loaded the bases on back-to-back singles by Negrych and Durham, and then Watts was hit by a pitch.� A strikeout and a fly out ended that inning with all three runners still on base.

Justin Wilson suffered the loss.� He threw 5 innings and allowed 2 runs on 4 hits, but with 5 walks and 4 strikeouts.� Bowie scored their first run in the bottom of the 1st without needing a hit:� a walk, a ground out, a stolen base, and a sacrifice fly.� A single and a double brought in their second run in the 3rd.� Mike Colla pitched the last 3 innings for the Curve.� He gave up only one hit, a double in the 7th, and retired the other 9 batters he faced, including 3 strikeouts.

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