A few signing notes for some former Pirates — LHP Phil Dumatrait has signed a minor league contract with the Twins, and LHP Neal Cotts has signed a minor league contract with the Yankees. OF Rajai Davis was traded from the A’s to the Blue Jays.
Sunday’s winter league action involving a few Pirates’ players and friends:
Aguilas Cibaenas 12, Tigres del Licey 1 — A 6-run 1st inning put the game into Los Aguilas’ pocket right from the start. Starling Marte came into the game in the 5th inning as a pinch runner (he didn’t score), then remained in the game in left field. He flied out in the 7th, then hit an RBI single in the 8th. Denny Bautista was one of the few Licey pitchers who held Los Aguilas scoreless, as he threw a perfect top of the 9th for Los Tigres. Indy area native Jake Fox went 0-for-4 for Los Tigres.
Tiburones de La Guaira 6, Tigres de Aragua 2 — Los Tiburones scored 5 runs over the first 3 innings, and Los Tigres could only manage 2 runs. In the top of the 1st, SS Ronny Cedeno followed a lead-off single with a sacrifice bunt, then another single brought in the first Aragua run. Their second run came in the 6th inning, when Cedeno led off with a double into left field, and a few minutes later, 1B Hector Gimenez doubled into right field, bringing in Cedeno. C Miguel Perez came in as a defensive replacement behind the plate, but flied out in his only plate appearance. CF Jorge Cortes went 0-for-3 with a walk. Former Pirate pitcher Chris Hernandez pitched the top of the 9th for La Guaira. He gave up a walk, but then got Cortes to bounce into a double play to end the game.
Cardenales de Lara 7, Navegantes del Magallanes 2 — Los Navegantes were also only able to put up 2 runs, one in the 2nd, and one in the 7th. SS Argenis Diaz contributed one of Los Navegantes’ 5 hits, but he did not score. Corey Hamman pitched the 7th inning for Magallanes, and he gave up a solo home run.
Bravos de Margarita 2, Aguilas de Zulia 1 — Anthony Claggett won his second game in two days for Los Bravos, this time with one scoreless inning of work (it was 1.1 innings yesterday). Los Bravos scored one run in the bottom of the 4th on a double, a single, and a grounder. Los Aguilas tied the score in the top of the 6th, also with a single and a double. Claggett took the mound to begin the 7th. He gave up a lead-off single, then retired the next three batters he faced. In the bottom of the inning, Los Bravos scored the go-ahead run on a single, a bunt, a wild pitch, and a sacrifice fly. That made Claggett the pitcher of record. Ronald Belisario pitched a perfect 9th inning for Margarita to collect his 10th save of the season.
Looking in on the Pirates’ players and friends in Saturday’s winter league action…
PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Criollos de Caguas 2, Gigantes de Carolina 1 — A low-hitting game, and Caguas scored their 2 runs in the bottom of the 7th on two singles and some mistakes by Los Gigantes. With the first two batters on base, SS Luis Figueroa bunted both into scoring position. That put the runner on third base in position to score on a wild pitch. Ramon Vazquez reached base on a fielding error at second base, which let the second run score. Another wild pitch and a walk put two runners on base again, but no more runs scored. Los Criollos also loaded the bases in the 3rd, on singles by Figueroa and Vazquez and a walk, and a walk and two more singles loaded the bases in the 6th, but both times the bases were left loaded. Vazquez also walked in the 1st inning. Los Gigantes’ only run came in the 5th, on a single, a double by Luis Matos, and a sacrifice fly.
Navegantes del Magallanes 4, Tigres de Aragua 0 — Los Tigres could not score despite 7 hits and 2 walks. RF Alex Romero had 3 of those 7 hits, and 1B Hector Gimenez had a single. SS Ronny Cedeno, CF Jorge Cortes, and C Raul Chavez were all hitless in the game. Los Navegantes scored all 4 of their runs in the top of the 2nd, on a solo homer, followed by four singles. Corey Hamman pitched to one batter in the 6th, and gave up a single. Two more walks loaded the bases for Magallanes, but the runners were left stranded. Jean Machi pitched the 9th inning for Magallanes and gave up the single to Gimenez, but a double play erased Gimenez and ended the game.
Bravos de Margarita 6, Aguilas del Zulia 4 — Anthony Claggett earned his first Venezuelan League win with 1.1 scoreless innings for Margarita. Los Bravos scored first, with a run in the bottom of the 1st, and Los Aguilas tied the score with one run in the top of the 2nd. Zulia scored 2 more runs in the top of the 3rd on two walks and three singles, and Claggett was brought into the game with 2 runs in, one out, and the bases loaded. he faced just one batter, and got the double play to end the inning. Los Bravos’ batters responded with 4 runs in the bottom of the 4th, on 4 singles, a walk, and a bases-clearing 3-RBI double. That gave Los Bravos the lead, which they would not give up, and Claggett was the pitcher of record. He began the top of the 4th with two outs, then a throwing error and a single put two runners on for Los Aguilas. Claggett was relieved at that point, but those runners did not score. Ronald Belisario earned his 9th save for Margarita.
Cheering for Pirates’ players and friends in a few winter league games on Friday…
VENZUELAN WINTER LEAGUE
Tigres de Aragua 4, Cardenales de Lara 1 — Aragua starting pitcher Yorman Bazardo pitched 8 innings and allowed only one run on 7 hits, earning his 5th win for Los Tigres. That one run came in the 9th, on a bases-loaded ground out. Los Tigres scored their first run in the 4th on a walk and a double. They added 2 more runs in the 5th. After a pair of walks, CF Jorge Cortes bunted both runners up one base, then an RBI double brought both runs in. 1B Hector Gimenez started a 2-out rally in the 8th with a walk, followed by two singles, which brought in Gimenez. Gimenez also singled in the 6th inning, and Cortes walked in the 7th. SS Ronny Cedeno went 0-for-4 for Aragua.
The rest of Friday’s Venezuelan League games were all postponed.
PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Criollos de Caguas 17, Gigantes de Carolina 4 — Los Criollos posted 20 hits and took advantage of 3 Carolina errors as they overwhelmed Los Gigantes. DH Javier Valentin had 4 hits for Los Criollos. 3B Ramon Vazquez contributed a hit and an RBI, and scored one run. SS Luis Figueroa had a hit and a walk, and he scored twice. Both Vazquez’s hit and Figueroa’s walk came in Caguas’ 7-run 3rd inning.
Leones del Escogido 3, Gigantes del Cibao 1 — Former Pirate farmhand C JR House had one hit for Los Gigantes, but he was lifted for a pinch-hitter in a critical situation in the 8th inning (despite his .375 average). The pinch-hitter was able to knock an RBI single, accounting for Los Gigantes’ only run. Los Leones scored on a solo homer in the 3rd, then added 2 runs in the 7th inning. Former Altoona Curve and Indy Indian SS Pedro Lopez had 2 hits for Escogido, but did not score. One more former Pirate farmhand, Gigantes’ reliever Juan Perez, pitched to one batter in the 8th inning, and got a ground out.
MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE
Caneros de Los Mochis 3, Venados de Mazatlan 2 — LF Rogelios Noris’ single in the 2nd inning loaded the bases for Los Venados, then a walk forced in the first run of the game. Mochis took the lead with 2 runs in the 6th and another run in the 7th. Mazatlan added one more run in the bottom of the 7th with a single, a throwing error, and an RBI ground out, but they couldn’t catch up.
(Early Sat. Morning)
Adelaide Bite 4, Perth Heat 2 (Game 1) — The Bite cruised through their opening series of the season, then ran into trouble with the Heat. They split the 4-game series last weekend in Perth, and when the two teams resumed play in Adelaide this weekend, Perth easily took the first two games of this series. This morning, the Bite salvaged a split of this series also, with a win of a double-header. There was only one inning of scoring in Game One. A single and a two-run homer gave Perth the lead in the top of the 4th inning. The Bite came back in the bottom of the 4th. Two walks, a grounder force out, and a third walk loaded the bases for RF Brendon Pett, who took the lead with a grand slam. A walk and a single followed the homer, but LF Quincy Latimore bounced into an inning-ending double play. Latimore singled in the 1st and walked in the 3rd, but both times was left on base.
Bite 11, Heat 4 (Game 2) — Adelaide’s Dushan Ruzic pitched a complete game in the night-cap, allowing 4 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 8 Perth batters. Ruzic faced only one batter over the minimum for the first 3 innings (fielding error), then got out of a 4th inning jam with a double play. Ruzic got plenty of run support, beginning with a 6-run 3rd inning by the Bite. Two singles and an error brought in the first run, and a walk and a double added the second run. LF Quincy Latimore smacked a 3-run homer over the left-center field wall to give the Bite a 5-0 lead. The next batter after Latimore was hit by a pitch, prompting the ejection of the Perth pitcher. A walk, a single, and a sacrifice fly brought in the 6th run of the inning. Perth scored 2 runs in each of the 5th and the 6th innings. The Bite matched the 2 runs in the 5th on a 2-RBI double. In the bottom of the 6th, two lead-off singles, one by Latimore, set up C Brandon Bantz for his 3-run homer. Latimore’s batting average sits at .400 and he leads the league with 5 homers and 16 RBI.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Everyone has probably seen that Zach Duke has been traded to Arizona for a player to be named later.
Also, former Pirate Bryan Bullington, who was removed from the Kansas City Royals’ 40-man roster last week, was released by the Royals yesterday. Then Bullington signed a contract to play in Japan for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp for 2011.
Cheering for Pirates’ players and friends in the winter leagues on Wednesday…..
Tiburones de La Guaira 4, Bravos de Margarita 1 (Game 1) — This was supposed to be a 7-inning game, but the score was still tied at 1-1 after 7. A bases-loaded walk forced in Los Bravos’ run in the bottom of the 1st. Los Tiburones tied the score with a run on a single, a ground out, and another single in the 3rd. Anthony Claggett had pitched a scoreless 7th inning — he gave up a single, but then picked the base runner off first. But he started the top of the 8th with a single and a sacrifice bunt, and was then relieved. The next pitcher loaded the bases with a pair of walks, then he was relieved too. Two singles and a sacrifice fly brought in 3 runs for Los Tiburones, with the first one charged to Claggett, making him responsible for the loss. Margarita won the second game 3-0, holding Los Tiburones to just 3 hits in the 7-inning game. Former Pirate farmhand Ronald Belisario allowed one of the hits along with a walk in the 7th inning, earning his 8th save.
Tigres de Aragua 7, Navegantes del Magallanes 5 — Both SS Ronny Cedeno and 1B Hector Gimenez hit 2-run homers for Los Tigres in this win. Gimenez’s blast got Aragua going in their 4-run 1st inning, and Cedeno’s homer made the score 6-1 in the 2nd inning. Gimenez also doubled in the game. CF Jorge Cortes walked and scored for Los Tigres, and C Raul Chavez was 0-for-3 at the plate.
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.