Cedeno and Milledge Homer, Morton Pitches 6 Scoreless

Winter league action with the Pirates’ players and friends on Wednesday…

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

Tigres de Aragua� 6,� Bravos de Margarita� 0� (Game 1) — SS Ronny Cedeno’s 3-run homer in the 4th inning put the game away for Los Tigres.� Aragua scored one run in each of the first three innings.� A single, a sacrifice bunt by Cedeno, and an RBI single by DH Hector Gimenez plated the run in the 1st inning.� A walk, a single by CF Jorge Cortes, and an RBI ground out brought in the run in the 2nd.� Gimenez also drove in the run in the 3rd with another RBI single.� LF/RF Lastings Milledge was hitless in this game, as was Margarita’s 3B Andy LaRoche. Los Bravos were held to just 3 hits.

Tigres de Aragua� 2,� Bravos de Margarita� 0� (Game 2)� – RF Lastings Milledge blasted a solo homer over the left field wall in the top of the 1st, and that was all the scoring Los Tigres needed.� Milledge added another RBI in the 7th inning with a single to give Aragua some insurance, and he also walked in the 3rd inning.� Los Tigres needed only 5 hits in the game, with 1B Hector Gimenez getting one of those.� CF Jorge Cortes walked in three trips to the plate, but SS Cedeno and C Raul Chavez were both hitless.� 3B Andy LaRoche singled to lead off the 2nd inning for Margarita, but did not score.

Aguilas de Zulia� 5,� Navegantes del Magallanes� 1� — DH Mike Ryan scored Magallanes’ only run, which came in the 6th inning, when he singled, then scored on an RBI double.� Ryan also singled in the 1st inning.� Zulia scored one run in both the 1st and 2nd innings, then 2 more in the 6th, and one in the 7th.� Corey Hamman took the mound in relief in the 7th, with two outs and a runner on 2nd base.� He gave up an RBI single to the only batter he faced, though the run was charged to the previous pitcher.

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Pirates Hitting In Venezuela, But Not In The Dominican

Cheering for some Pirates’ players and friends in Tuesday’s winter league action…�� The Australians are back in action on Thursday, which will be late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning for most of us.

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

Tigres de Aragua� 6,� Bravos de Margarita� 0� — A Pirate-filled game… 2B/3B Andy LaRoche singled twice and walked for Los Bravos, but his teammates could not get him or anyone else pushed across the plate.� LaRoche singled to lead off the 2nd inning, went to second on a fielding error, and to third on a wild pitch, but he was out at the plate on what seems to have been a wild pitch or passed ball.� LaRoche worked the second of two walks in the 4th inning, but was erased in an inning-ending double play.� Another double play took him off the bases in the 9th, after another lead-off single.� Meanwhile, the Pirates playing for Los Tigres also got off to a frustrating start.� DH Hector Gimenez walked in the 2nd, and LF Lastings Milledge followed by beating out a tapper back to the mound.� But a double play ended that inning without a run scoring.� It got better in the 5th, when Milledge walked, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, then scored on CF Jorge Cortes’ RBI double into right field.� A single and a home run by C Wilson Ramos gave Los Tigres 2 more runs in the 6th.� In the 8th, with two on (walk and single) and two outs, Jhonathan Ramos came on to pitch for Los Bravos.� Gimenez was the first batter he faced� — and he blasted a 3-run over the left field wall, to give Aragua a 6-0 lead.� Ramos got Milledge to ground out to end the inning, and he was relieved for the next inning.� So, one hit each for Gimenez, Milledge, and Cortes, but an 0-for-4 night for SS Ronny Cedeno.

Caribes de Anzoategui� 7,� Tiburones de La Guaira� 1� — The score was tied at 1-1 going into the bottom of the 8th, when Los Caribes exploded for 6 runs.� After a lead-off double, Adenson Chourio was brought in to pinch-hit.� He was intentionally walked, and a sacrifice bunt put both runners into scoring position.� Another intentional walk loaded the bases, then an unintentional walk forced in the go-ahead run.� An RBI grounder plated Chourio, then back-to-back homers, 3-run and solo, gave Los Caribes all the insurance they would need.

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Roster Moves and Winter Leagues: Rough Night For Morton And Hamman

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.

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Diaz Makes First Winter League Appearance

Looking at our Pirates’ players and friends in Tuesday’s winter league games….� the Dominican and Puerto Rican leagues begin in a few days.

Here’s an article on MILB about Indy Indians’ All-Star Catcher Erik Kratz.

VENEZUELAN LEAGUES

Aguilas de Zulia� 5,� Tigres de Aragua� 4 — Los Tigres had a 4-1 lead after 4 innings, but Los Aguilas got 2 runs back in the 6th and another in the 7th to tie the game.� Then with two outs in the bottom of the 9th, a single and a stolen base put the winning run on second base.� After an intentional walk, DH Tony Alvarez lined a single to right, scoring the runner from second base.� Hector Gimenez, behind the plate tonight, had the first of two walks to lead off the 3-run 2nd inning, then scored on 1B Ramon Castro’s 3-run homer.� DH Raul Chavez doubled in the 6th, but was left on base.

Navegantes del Magallanes� 7,� Cardinales de Lara� 6� — Magallanes also broke a tie with a run in the bottom of the last inning.�� In this case it was the 10th, and Argenis Diaz scored the winning run in his first appearance for Magallanes.� Diaz entered the game as a defensive replacement at shortstop in the top of the 7th, and of course the first batter of the inning grounded right to him (easy out).� He lined out to right field in the 7th inning.� With the score still tied at 6-6, Jean Machi pitched a scoreless top of the 9th, and Los Navegantes went down in order in the bottom of the frame.� Machi returned the favor, with three straight ground outs in the top of the 10th.� Then in the bottom of the 10th, with one out, Diaz singled into center field.� Another single pushed Diaz to second base, and LF Johermyn Chavez singled into left field, and the speedy Diaz raced around from second base to score the winning run.� Machi earned the win, his first of the winter season.� DH Mike Ryan went 0-for-4 at the plate (unusual for him, with his .357 average), and walked and scored in Magallanes’ 5-run 6th inning.

Caribes de Anzoategui� 6,� Leones de Caracas� 0� — Los Leones managed 8 hits, but could not get any runs across the plate.� C Carlos Maldonado had two of those hits, a single and a double.� Los Caribes scored 3 runs on 2 homers in the 1st inning, then two more runs in the 3rd inning.� Former Pirate farmhand Ronald Uviedo came on in relief for Caracas in the bottom of the 7th, when he got two outs to end the inning.� Then he gave up the final Caribes’ run in the bottom of the 8th, on two singles and a double.

MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE

Naranjeros de Hermosillo� 12,� Yaquis de Obregon� 8� — Former Pirate CF Jeff Salazar went 3-for-4 with a walk and an RBI in Obregon’s losing effort.� Another former Pirate, C Humberto Cota, singled and homered — a 3-run homer in the 5-run 6th inning.

Venados de Mazatlan� 7,� Aguilas de Mexicali� 6� — Mazatlan took the lead with 4 runs in the 3rd inning, then kept ahead of Mexicali with another run in the 5th and two more in the 7th.� RF Rogelios Noris went 0-for-4 for Los Venados.

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