Not many winter league playoff games today, but a few player moves:
LHP Wil Ledezma had been DFA’ed right before Christmas, and yesterday he was claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays.
Both INF Delwyn Young and RHP Brian Bass signed minor league contracts with the Phillies today.
Earlier in the week, RHP Joe Martinez, who had also been DFA’ed by the Pirates shortly before Christmas, was traded to the Blue Jays for cash considerations.
Leones del Caracas 11, Bravos de Margarita 3 – Los Leones posted 14 hits, which was enough to make up for their 3 errors. Three singles and a Bravos’ fielding error gave Los Leones their first 3 runs in the 2nd inning. In the third, the first six Caracas batters reached base — a double, two singles, and three walks (including a walk by LF Mike Ryan) — then a sacrifice fly and another single gave Los Leones 5 runs. A 3-run homer in the 8th capped their scoring. Margarita scored one run in the 6th, with the help of one of those errors. An error by Ryan in left field, plus a walk and two singles (one by C JR House) brought in two more runs in the 9th. Ronald Uviedo earned the win for Caracas, going 6 innings and allowing only the unearned run in the 6th inning, on 3 hits and a walk, with 5 strikeouts.
Caribes de Anzoategui 5, Tigres de Aragua 4 – New Blue Jay Wil Ledezma came into the game for Los Tigres in the 6th inning with one run in and runners on the corners. Ledezma gave up a single, which broke a 4-4 tie, and eventually gave the win to Los Caribes. Ledezma also retired the side in order in the 7th. Los Caribes started the game with 3 runs in the bottom of the 1st, on a single, a double, an error, and a sacrifice fly. Los Tigres scored one run in the 2nd, when 1B Hector Gimenez walked, then scored on an RBI double. Gimenez added a 2-run homer in the 4th, and another homer in the 5th gave Aragua their 4 runs. LF Lastings Milledge singled and stole second base in the 6th, and advanced to third base on another single, but he got no further. C Raul Chavez went 0-for-3 for Los Tigres.
A quick look at what some of the Pirates’ players and friends were up to in the Venezuelan League recently:
Anthony Claggett joined Los Bravos de Margarita, and has made two relief appearances. On the 17th, he pitched one inning, giving up only a 2-out double, then finishing the inning with a groundout. On the 21st, Claggett pitched 2 innings and allowed only a single to former Indy Indian Jorge Cortes, who he then erased in a double play.
Los Tigres de Aragua got two hits each from1B Hector Gimenez, SS Ronny Cedeno, and C Raul Chavez on the 17th. Unfortunately their only run in the game was Gimenez’s solo home run. Brian Bass made the start for Los Tigres on the 19th. He pitched 5 innings and gave up 4 runs — one run on a pair of singles and his own throwing error in the 1st inning, and 3 runs on a homer then two walks and 3 singles in the 3rd. The score was tied when Bass left the game. Lastings Milledge contributed a 2-run homer for Los Tigres in the 1st. Aragua won the game in the bottom of the 10th on a walk-off RBI single by Cortes.
Also on the 19th, Sean Gallagher suffered his third loss of the season for Los Navegantes. He pitched 4 innings against Los Aguilas del Zulia and gave up 4 runs on 8 hits. In the 3rd inning, he allowed a 2-run homer, then in the 4th, Gallagher gave up 2 more runs on a walk and 3 singles.
Justin Thomas earned the win (his first in Venezuela) for Los Bravos de Margarita on Saturday the 20th. He was first charged with a blown save when he gave up a solo home run in the bottom of the 7th to Los Navegantes del Magallanes. But he was then credited with the win when Margarita hit a 3-run homer in the top of the 7th. Corey Hamman also was charged with a blown save for Magallanes in that same game, when he faced 3 Margarita batters in the 5th inning and gave up a homer, a single, and a double. Jean Machi pitched the top of the 9th for Magallanes and got three ground outs.
Cheering for the Pirates’ farmhands and friends in Saturday’s winter league games…
Cardenales de Lara 2, Tigres de Aragua 1 – Brian Bass suffered the loss for Los Tigres, though he did not pitch poorly. Bass threw 7.2 innings and scattered 5 hits and 3 walks. He gave up a run on a single and a double in the 3rd inning, and another on a hit batter and a double in the 6th. A walk and a double play on a bouncer back to the mound started the 8th inning, then Bass was relieved. Los Tigres scored their only run in the 5th inning. A pair of singles and a walk loaded the bases for SS Ronny Cedeno, whose sacrifice fly plated the run. Cedeno singled in the 1st inning. LF Lastings Milledge singled in the 4th inning, but he was picked off. DH Hector Gimenez doubled in the 8th, but was left on base. CF Jorge Cortes was the only Tigres batter with 2 hits, both singles. Romulo Sanchez pitched to two batters in the 6th for Lara — he walked Milledge, then got a ground out.
Navegantes del Magallanes 6, Leones del Caracas 3 – Sean Gallagher earned his third win for Magallanes, going 5 innings in this start. Gallagher faced only one batter over the minimum over the first three innings, allowing just a walk in the top of the 1st. He allowed a lead-off homer to DH Jesus Guzman in the 4th, then a single and a double in that inning. Guzman got to Gallagher again in the 5th, with a 2-run homer. Jean Machi earned his 5th save of the season with a scoreless top of the 9th for Magallanes, allowing only a single to
Tigres del Licey 5, Toros del Este 2 – C Jason Jaramillo drove in one of Los Toros’ runs with a sacrifice fly in the 2nd inning, but Los Toros would not score after that. SS Pedro Ciriaco singled in the 9th innning, but was left on base. Los Tigres scored one run in the 3rd, and tied the game with a solo homer in the 5th. Licey took the lead in the 6th. Pinch-hitter Jake Fox began the rally with a single, and he came in on an RBI single. C Robinzon Diaz gave the team a pair of insurance runs with a 2-RBI single.
Cheering for Pirates’ players and friends in Sunday’s winter league games…
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.
Limited winter league action on Monday night…� but back to full strength on Tuesday� (Go Vote!)
Tigres de Aragua� 6,� Leones del Caracas� 4� (Venezuelan League)� — Starter Brian Bass won his first game for Los Tigres tonight.� He allowed 2 runs in the 1st inning on a single, a triple and an RBI ground out by Caracas’ C Carlos Maldonado.�� Then Bass scattered 3 hits and 2 walks over the next four innings.� He started the 6th with a double and a line out before being relieved.
Los Tigres threatened in their half of the 1st, loading the bases on a single, a double, and a walk, but leaving the bases loaded.� C Raul Chavez was the only Aragua batter to reach base over the next four innings� — he walked to lead off the 2nd inning, but was out in a double play.� He also led off the 5th with a single, but was again forced out at second base.
Aragua got going again in the 6th, starting with a double by CF Lastings Milledge. A walk and another double drove in two runs to tie the score, and Chavez’s sacrifice fly brought in the third run for the lead.� A walk, a throwing error, and a wild pitch increased the lead to 4-2 in the 7th inning.
Chavez continued on a roll in the 8th inning, when his solo homer followed LF Luis Maza’s homer, for a 6-2 lead.� Caracas got 2 runs back in the bottom of the 8th, on a double and two singles, but got no further, and Aragua had the win for Bass.
Milledge went 2-for-5 with a single and a double; Chavez went 2-for-2 with a single and a homer, a walk, and a hit-by-pitch, plus 2 RBI.