Tag Archives: Benji Gonzalez
The Pirates have signed reliever Justin Thomas to a minor league contract for the 2011 season.� Thomas was removed from the Pirates’ 40-man roster at the end of the 2010 season.� He has been pitching for Los Bravos de Margarita, where he has made 5 appearances, for 12.1 innings.� He has a 0-2 record with a 6.57 ERA.
AFL:� Scottsdale Scorpions� 8,� Mesa Solar Sox� 3
The Solar Sox scored their runs on 3B Brandon Wood’s 3-run homer in the 7th inning, and that was all the scoring they managed, despite having at least one runner on base in all but one inning.� The Solar Sox threatened in the 4th inning when C Tony Sanchez walked and RF Andrew Lambo singled, but neither came around to score.�� The Scorpions did their scoring early, with 2 runs in the 2nd and 3 runs in the 3rd all off starter Robert Carson (Mets), who surrendered 8 hits.� The Scorpions added another 3 runs in the 4th inning off reliever Eric Niesen (Mets), on a homer, a walk, a single, a double, and a sacrifice fly.� David Cales (Cubs) finished the 4th and pitched a scoreless 5th for Mesa.� Nicholas Carr (Mets) threw 2 scoreless innings, and Brian Leach followed with a scoreless 8th, with one walk.� Robert Fish (Angels) wrapped things up for Mesa with a scoreless 9th.
Toros del Este� 8,� Leones del Escogido� 1 — C Jason Jaramillo singled and doubled for Los Toros, and the double drove in a run for Los Toros in the 6th inning.� SS Pedro Ciriaco was hitless in 5 trips to the plate.� He committed one of Los Toros’ 4 errors, though his error did not lead to Los Leones’ run.
Tigres del Licey� 7,� Aguilas Cibaenas� 5� — C Luke Carlin and CF Starling Marte each had one hit for Los Aguilas, who could not stand up to Los Tigres’ 3 runs over the final two inning of the game.� Carlin walked and Marte reached on a fielding error in the 2nd inning, and in the 4th, Carlin singled and Marte bunted him to second base, but they did not score in either of those innings.� Marte doubled to lead off the 6th inning, and he came around to score in that inning.� C Robinzon Diaz doubled to lead off the 5th inning for Los Tigres, and he scored on two singles and a ground out.
Estrellas de Oriente� 7,� Gigantes del Cibao� 5� — Franquelis Osoria had the win for Los Estrellas, as he was the pitcher of record when his teammates scored 4 runs in the top of the 9th.� Mike Dubee pitched a total of 2 innings for Los Gigantes.� He entered the game in the 6th inning with one on and one out, then ended the inning by picking the runner of first and then striking out the next batter.� Dubee retired the side in the 7th, then began the 8th with a ground out and a hit batter, before being relieved.� (That runner did not score.)
PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Gigantes de Carolina� 3,� Criollos de Caguas� 0� — 2B Benji Gonzalez had two singles for Los Gigantes, though he was not involved with the scoring.� The only runs of the game came in the top of the 5th, on a 3-run homer for Los Gigantes.� SS Luis Figueroa had one hit, and 3B Ramon Vazquez collected 2 singles for Los Criollos.
A few winter league games with Pirates’ players and friends on Saturday…
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.
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.
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.
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.
Friday’s winter league action for Pirates’ players and friends:
Bravos de Margarita� 3,� Cardinales de Lara� 0� — 3B Andy LaRoche got Los Bravos onto the scoreboard with a solo homer in the 4th inning — his first home run in the Venezuelan League.� LaRoche also walked in the 5th inning, when Margarita used two singles, two wild pitches, and another walk to score 2 more runs.� LaRoche also walked in the 7th inning, but didn’t score.� Lara was held to just 4 hits in the shutout.� Jhonathan Ramos pitched to three batters in the 7th inning — a double, a fielding error, and a strikeout.� Ronald Belisario pitched a perfect 9th inning to earn his 2nd save.
Tiburones de La Guaira� 7,� Tigres de Aragua� 4� — Los Tiburones scored 5 runs in the late innings to overcome Los Tigres.� Aragua scored 2 runs in the top of the 1st, when 3B Luis Maza led off with a double (the first of 3 hits for him in the game), 1B Hector Gimenez walked, and LF Lastings Milledge plated the first run with an RBI single.� Another single brought in Gimenez.� La Guaira tied the score with a 2-run homer in the 2nd inning.� A triple and a single gave Aragua the lead in the 4th, and a double, a throwing error and a single added a run in the 7th.� La Guaira scored 3 runs in the 6th and 2 more in the 8th.� Milledge and Gimenez both went 1-for-3 with a walk.� C Raul Chavez was hitless in 4 at-bats.
MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE
Caneros de Los Mochis� 6,� Venados de Mazatlan� 3� — Los Caneros also scored 5 runs in the late innings, to overcome Los Venados.� Mazatlan scored their first run in the 2nd inning on a throwing error and a double by 1B Roberto Saucedo.� Saucedo drove in the second run in the 4th inning with a bases-loaded single.� Los Caneros got one run back in the bottom of the 4th, then scored 2 runs in the 6th inning with a home run.� 2B Freddy Sandoval homered for Los Venados in the 8th inning, to tie the score, but Los Caneros responded with another 2-run homer and another insurance run in the bottom of the inning.� LF Rogelios Noris singled in the 6th inning for his hometown Mazatlan, but was left on base.
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.
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.
Cheering for the Pirates’ players and friends in winter league games:
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.