Lots of Pirates and former Pirates pitching in Friday’s winter league action… This is the last week of regular season play for the Dominican and Puerto Rican leagues.
Caribes de Anzoategui 8, Tiburones de La Guaira 5 — (Game 1) A 5-run 6th inning gave Los Caribes the edge in the first game of the double header. Los Caribes started the game with 3 runs in the top of the 1st, on a single, a walk by DH Jose Tabata, and a 3-run homer. The 6th inning began with a double, a hit batter, and a walk to load the bases. Two sacrifice flies, an RBI single, and a sacrifice bunt aided by a throwing error by Los Tiburones’ pitcher added four more runs. Tabata also singled in the inning. La Guaira scored 2 runs in the 4th and rallied for 3 in the bottom of the 7th, but could not catch up.
Tiburones 9, Caribes 2 — (Game 2) Ryan Vogelsong earned his 6th win for Los Tiburones. He allowed 2 runs on 5 hits and a walk over 6 innings. Tabata did not get into the night-cap.
Leones de Caracas 6, Aguilas de Zulia 2 — Another former Pirate pitcher earned the win — Ronald Uviedo also pitched 6 innings and allowed 2 runs. He gave up 8 hits and a walk. Los Leones scored one run in the 1st, two in the 2nd, and 3 in the 5th. C Carlos Maldonado singled twice and walked, and scored one run.
Bravos de Margarita 9, Cardenales de Lara — Both teams put up big innings and posted a total of 12 hits each. Lara had a 5-run 3rd inning, which began with CF Ray Sadler being hit by a pitch. Three singles and a throwing error brought in 2 runs, a sacrifice fly plated a third run, and a 2-run homer made it 5 runs. Three consecutive doubles, including one by Sadler, plus a sacrifice fly gave Los Cardenales 3 runs in the 4th. Los Bravos began their scoring with a run in the 2nd, then 3 runs in the 3rd on three singles, an error, and a wild pitch. They added 4 more in the next inning, on three singles and three walks. After the bottom of the 4th, the score was tied at 8-8. Los Bravos scored what would turn out to be the winning run in the top of the 5th, on a walk, a double, and an RBI ground out. Romulo Sanchez pitched to three batters and got three outs in the top of the 9th for Los Cardenales. Anthony Claggett took the mound for Los Bravos in the bottom of the 6th, with two on and one out. He got two outs to end the inning, then pitched the next two innings, allowing only one walk, no hits, with three strikeouts. Ronald Belisario earned his 14th save with a scoreless 9th inning for Los Bravos.
Tigres de Aragua 7, Navegantes del Magallanes 5 — New Pirate Fernando Nieve made the start for Los Navegantes and pitched 4.2 innings, allowing 4 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks. A double and an RBI single by CF Jorge Cortes gave Los Tigres their first run in the 2nd inning. Nieve gave up a 2-run homer to 1B Hector Gimenez in the 3rd inning. Gimenez got to him again in the 5th, with an RBI single that followed a lead-off double. Los Tigres scored 3 more runs after Nieve departed. Cortes walked to lead off the 6th, then scored on a bunt and an RBI single. Two runs scored in the 7th. A double, Gimenez’s third hit of the game, a wild pitch, and LF Lasting Milledge’s sacrifice fly plated the runs. Los Navegantes also scored one run in the 2nd inning, when LF Mike Ryan led off with a walk, moved to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a throwing error. Magallanes scored 3 runs in the 5th, on a pair of singles, a double, and a fielding error by Milledge. Reliever Wil Ledezma took the mound in relief for Aragua after those three runs had scored, and he worked around another error to get two outs and prevent further runs from scoring.
Looking in on Pirates’ players and friends in Saturday’s winter league play–
The Puerto Rican and Dominican Leagues had today off, as they prepare for their All-Star teams to face off tomorrow.
Tigres de Aragua 5, Aguilas de Zulia 0 — (Game 1) SS Ronny Cedeno tripled in Los Tigres’ first two runs, after a double and a single in the 3rd inning. In the next inning, CF Lastings Milledge reached base on an error, and a walk and a single loaded the bases. A wild pitch brought in one run, and C Raul Chavez drove in the 2nd run of that inning with a sacrifice fly. Chavez also picked up an RBI in the 6th inning with a single that followed two walks. Milledge reached on a fielding error for the second time in the 6th inning, but he was picked off first.
Tigres 9, Aguilas 2 — (Game 2) Cedeno continued hitting in the night cap, going 2-for-3. The 6-run 3rd inning took care of things for Los Tigres. A triple began the inning, and Cedeno drove in the first run with a single. Three consecutive walks (one by 1B Hector Gimenez) drove in Cedeno, then three consecutive singles added three more runs. LF Jorge Cortes and C Miguel Perez each had one of those hits. A sacrifice fly made it 6 runs in the inning. Perez began another rally in the 6th inning with a walk, and he scored on an RBI double. Cedeno singled again, and advanced to second base on a wild pitch. After a single, another wild pitch let Cedeno cross the plate with the 3rd run of the inning.
Tiburones de La Guaira 4, Leones del Caracas 3 — Two runs in the bottom of the 9th gave Los Tiburones the walk-off win. A bases-loaded single drove in both runs. A 2-run homer in the top of the 1st started the game for Los Leones. La Guaira scored one run in the bottom of the inning, then tied the game with another run in the 4th. A hit batter and a single gave Los Leones a 3-2 lead in the 5th, and that’s where the score remained until the bottom of the 9th. Jose Ascanio pitched the 8th inning for Caracas. He gave up a one-out single, then erased that runner and ended the inning with a double play. Former Pirate C Carlos Maldonado singled in the 2nd inning for Los Leones, but he was also erased with a double play.
Lots of talking and speculating at the Winter Meetings, but no action yet.
And not much action in the winter leagues on Monday, though that is not unusual for a Monday.
Bravos de Margarita 9, Leones del Caracas 7 — Pirates’ farmhand Jhonathan Ramos earned his third win for Los Bravos. Ramos entered the game in the 6th inning with the score tied at 4-4, one out, and a runner on first base. A fielding error put a second runner on base, and an RBI single with another error brought in the go-ahead run. With a runner on third base, the next batter tapped a ball back to the mound, where Ramos scooped it up and fired to the shortstop covering second, hoping to start a double play. They only got the runner coming into second base, though, and the second run of the inning scored. Ramos got a strikeout to end the inning, but Los Leones had taken a 6-4 lead. Los Bravos came right back in the top of the 7th. A walk, a single, a passed ball by Leones’ C Carlos Maldonado, and a sacrifice fly brought in one run. Then a hit batter and a 3-run homer gave Los Bravos an 8-6 lead. Ramos started the bottom of the 7th, and gave up a solo home run. Los Bravos got that run back with two singles and a sacrifice fly in the top of the 8th. Ronald Belisario earned his 12th save for Los Bravos with a 1-2-3 9th inning. Maldonado went 0-for-4 for Los Leones.
Puerto Rican League:
Leones de Ponce 3, Criollos de Caguas 2 — Former Pirate farmhand RJ Rodriguez earned his 8th save for Los Leones with a scoreless final inning, even though he gave up 2 singles. Ponce scored a run in the 1st and 2 more in the 2nd. Caguas scored one run in the 2nd, then took advantage of a bases-loaded walk to score again in the 3rd.
Cheering for the Pirates’ players and friends in Tuesday’s winter league action…
I’ll be going on the road for a few days… catch up with everyone at the beginning of next week.
Cardenales de Lara 6, Tigres de Aragua 2 — Los Tigres were held to 5 hits. They scored their 2 runs in the 7th inning on a walk, a triple, and a single. Aragua also had two singles in the 3rd inning but didn’t score, and 3 walks in the 6th, but a double play and a pop out ended that inning without a run scoring. Los Tigres’ only other hit in the game was a double by 1B Hector Gimenez to lead off the 9th inning. Raul Chavez pinch hit in the 9th, but popped out to end the game. Lastings Milledge started the game in left field, and popped out to end the 2nd inning (with no runners on base). He was removed from the game as the bottom half of the inning began, but no explanation was given. CF Jorge Cortes went 0-for-3 for Los Tigres. Former Indy Indian C Alex Delgado had an RBI single in the 4th for Lara, and doubled and scored on a 2-run homer in the 6th.
Bravos de Margarita 2, Navegantes del Magallanes 1 — Pitching ruled for the first 6 innings of this game. Margarita scored a run in the 7th on two singles and added another run in the 8th on a walk and two more singles. Los Navegantes scored just one run, which came in the bottom of the 9th, on a walk and a double. Justin Thomas took the mound in relief for Los Bravos to begin the bottom of the 5th. He worked around a lead-off single for a scoreless 5th, then loaded the bases on two singles, a sacrifice bunt, and an intentional walk to begin the 6th inning. Edgar Martinez relieved Thomas and got a strikeout and pop out to end the inning with the bases still loaded. Ronald Belisario earned his 7th save for Margarita, even though he was responsible for Los Navegantes’ run in the 9th.
Leones del Caracas 5, Caribes del Anzoategui 4 — Four runs in the top of the 9th were not enough for Los Caribes to catch up to Los Leones. Adenson Chourio came into the game to pinch-run in the 9th, with the bases loaded and one run already walked in. A double lined into center field scored the runners from second and third, but Chourio was out at the plate on the throw in from center field. C Carlos Maldonado was the one who tagged out Chourio. Maldonado’s lead-off homer in the 8th gave Caracas what turned out to be the winning run. He also singled in the 2nd and walked in the 6th.
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.