Orioles 13, Pirates 3
Indianapolis area native C Jake Fox beat up on the Pirates’ pitching this afternoon in Bradenton, with two booming home runs and 4 RBI. The first homer capped a 6-run 3rd inning, when Pirates’ starter Ross Ohlendorf gave up four singles and a double before the homer. Fox struck again in the 7th — Scott Olsen gave up a double to DH Matt Wieters, followed by Fox’s second homer. Olsen surrendered a single and a walk after the homer, and he was relieved by Mike Dubee. Dubee struck out the first batter he faced, then gave up an RBI single, before ending the inning with a fly out. The Orioles added 3 runs in the 8th off Joe Beimel. A double, a walk, and a single loaded the bases, then a single and two ground outs drove in the runs. Former Indy Indian C Michel Hernandez singled for the Orioles in the top of the 9th, and scored on an RBI triple off reliever Sean Gallagher. Daniel McCutchen pitched 2 scoreless innings for the Pirates, allowing 3 hits.
While the Orioles were busy posting 20 hits, the Pirates managed 8. Two of those were by 3B Pedro Alvarez, who also had the Pirates’ only extra base hit, a double in the 7th, which was ruled a ground-rule double. That made a difference, because 2B Neil Walker had opened the inning with a walk. He raced around and crossed the plate on Alvarez’s double, but then was called back to third base when the umpires ruled it a ground-rule. Walker was left standing on third base, when a strikeout and a ground out ended the inning.
The Pirates did score one run in the 2nd inning. 1B Lyle Overbay began the rally with a single lined into right field. RF Matt Diaz grounded to short, forcing Overbay out at second, but Orioles’ shortstop (and another former Indy Indian) JJ Hardy made a throwing error on his relay to first, allowing Diaz to reach second base. Diaz advanced to second on a fly out, and scored on C Jason Jaramillo’s RBI single. LF Jose Tabata led off the 5th inning with a walk, and moved to second base on Walker’s ground out. CF Andrew McCutchen plated Tabata with a single up the middle. Overbay reached base on a catcher’s interference call, then Diaz brought in McCutchen with a line drive single into right field.
Also getting into the game: LF John Bowker, 3B Andy Marte, Corey Wimberly in center field, RF Miles Durham, RF Steve Pearce, 2B Josh Harrison, pinch-hitter Pedro Ciriaco, 1B Garrett Atkins, C Dusty Brown, and SS Josh Rodriguez. Durham entered the game to play right field in the top of the 8th. In the top of the 9th, he crashed into the wall trying to catch the ball that turned out to be a triple. Durham was down for a few moments, but was able to get up and walk off the field under his own power. Pearce took over for Durham in right field, then singled in the bottom of the inning. Josh Rodriguez also singled in the 8th inning, and Josh Harrison worked a walk in the 9th.
The MLB Winter Meetings are over…. back to the winter league action, as we cheer on some new Pirates’ players.
Leones del Escogido 3, Tigres del Licey 0 — New Pirate Caesar Valdez (just acquired from the Diamondbacks as the player-to-be-named-later in the Zach Duke trade) made his 8th start for Licey, but did not get out of the 3rd inning as he suffered his 2nd loss of the season. Valdez had no trouble in his first inning of work, then gave up a solo home run in the 2nd inning. He put out the first two batters in the 3rd inning, then gave up three consecutive singles for a run, plus a walk. Valdez was relieved at that point, with no more runs scoring in the inning. Los Leones did score one more run in the 5th. Los Tigres were held to just 4 hits, including one by Indy area native 1B Jake Fox. 3B Andy Marte and C Robinzon Diaz were both hitless in the game.
Bravos de Margarita 5, Cardenales de Lara 4 — Los Cardenales tied the score at 4-4 in the top of the 8th on a pair of doubles. The winning run scored in the bottom of the 9th, when two walks and a hit batter put three Bravos on base. Another walk forced in the winning run. Romulo Sanchez pitched to 4 Margarita batters and made 4 outs, finishing the 6th inning for Lara and then pitching a 1-2-3 inning in the 7th. Jhonathan Ramos pitched a scoreless 6th inning for Margarita. He allowed a double and a walk, with 2 strikeouts.
Tigres de Aragua 6, Navegantes de Magallanes 4 — A game full of Pirates. Los Tigres posted a pair of 2-run homers in the 5th inning, on their way to 13 total hits. Every member of the lineup except for C Raul Chavez had at least one hit. SS Ronny Cedeno, 1B Hector Gimenez, LF Lastings Milledge, and CF Jorge Cortes each had one run. Wil Ledezma pitched one inning for Los Tigres. He entered the game in the 7th inning, and was responsible for one run on a solo homer. Then he began the 8th inning, when he allowed two more runs to score. Corey Hamman pitched in the top of the 9th for Los Navegantes. He gave up a single and a pair of intentional walks, but ended the inning and the game without any of those runners scoring.
Tiburones de La Guaira 5, Caribes de Anzoategui 3 — In his second Venezuelan League game, LF Jose Tabata walked and singled for Los Caribes. He singled in the bottom of the 1st, moving another runner to third base, and that runner came around to score, for 2 runs in the 1st. Los Tiburones tied the score with 2 runs in the 3rd inning. They took the lead with a run in the 6th, and Los Caribes tied the score again in the bottom of the 7th, on a walk and two singles. The game went into extras, and in the top of the 10th, Los Tiburones scored the winning and insurance runs on a 2-run homer.
Two pitching acquisitions for the Pirates at the winter meetings, though both should remain at the major league level, with no impact on the minor league part of the organization:
RHP Kevin Correia is a 30-year old San Diego native, who came up through the Giants’ organization, but pitched for his home-town Padres for the past two seasons. In 61 games (all but 2 were starts) for the Padres, he earned a 22-21 record and 4.54 ERA. In 343 innings, he allowed 346 hits and walked 128 batters, while striking out 256.
LHP Scott Olsen will turn 27 next month. The Michigan native came up in the Marlins’ organization and was traded to the Nationals at the end of 2008. He has spent a lot of the past two seasons on the DL with left shoulder issues, so that over those two seasons he made only 28 appearances (2 in relief) for the Nats. He has a 6-12 record and a 5.79 ERA in those games. In 143 innings at the major league level, he allowed 176 hits and 52 walks, and struck out 95.
Former Pirate farmhand RHP Jimmy Barthmaier signed a minor league contract to return to the Nationals.
Former Pirate INF Ty Wigginton is signing a contract with the Rockies.
Just a little bit of winter league action on Tuesday, involving Pirates’ players and friends:
Aguilas Cibaenas 3, Leones del Escogido 2 — Los Aguilas scored 2 runs in the 4th inning, and that gave them all the runs they needed. Indy Indians’ Kevin Melillo, in his first game with Los Aguilas, started the rally with a double, then scored on a 2-run homer. He went 1-for-3 in the game. Starling Marte came into the game as a pinch-hitter and remained in to play center field. Marte struck out in both of his at-bats.
Tigres del Licey 3, Toros del Este 0 — Los Tigres scored all of their runs in the top of the 5th. Indy area native LF/1B Jake Fox led off with a double, then 3B Andy Marte moved Fox to third with a sacrifice bunt. After a walk, a double plated Fox. Another single brought in the second run, and a sacrifice fly added the third run. DH Ronny Paulino went 0-for-4 for Los Tigres. SS Pedro Ciriaco singled for Los Toros in the bottom of the 8th, but was erased with a double play.
Aguilas de Zulia 5, Navegantes del Magallanes 4 — This game was tied at 2-2 going into the top of the 7th. A single, a sacrifice bunt, and an intentional walk gave Los Aguilas two on and one out. A grounder produced a force out at second base and gave Zulia runners on the corners. Los Navegantes’ Corey Hamman was brought in to get the last out of the inning. The only batter he faced lifted a fly ball into center field, but the ball was misplayed, and the error allowed 2 runs to score. Hamman was relieved, and a strikeout ended the inning, with Los Aguilas ahead 4-2. Los Navegantes tied the score again in the bottom of the 9th, on a walk, two singles, and an RBI ground out, sending the game into extra innings. Jean Machi came in to pitch for Los Navegantes, and he gave up the go-ahead run on a walk, a sacrifice bunt, and a single. Two walks in the bottom of the inning gave Los Navegantes one more chance to catch up, but a double play ended the inning without a run scoring.
Looking in on Pirates’ players and friends in Saturday’s winter league action:
Estrellas de Oriente 6, Tigres del Licey 3 — Los Tigres posted only 5 hits, but they also hurt themselves by committing 4 errors. They scored all of their runs in the 3rd inning on a 3-run homer. DH Ronny Paulino, C Robinzon Diaz, and 1B Jake Fox were all hitless for Los Tigres. Los Estrellas took advantage of the errors to score 2 runs in each of the 1st, 5th, and 8th innings. Half of their runs were unearned.
Gigantes del Cibao 7, Leones del Escogido 3 — Mike Dubee earned his third Dominican League win for Los Gigantes. Dubee entered the game in the top of the 5th inning, with Los Gigantes leading 3-2, two runners on base, and two outs. The first batter he faced reached base on a fielding error at third base, allowing the tying run to score. The next batter singled up the middle, but the throw in from center field let C JR House tag the lead runner out at the plate to end the inning. House was the lead-off batter in Los Gigantes’ half of the inning, and he began a rally with a single into center field. A sacrifice bunt and a single brought in House with the go-ahead run, and another single and an RBI ground out gave Dubee and Los Gigantes an insurance run. Dubee pitched a scoreless 6th inning, and then was relieved. Los Gigantes added 2 more runs in the 8th on two singles, a walk, and a fielding error.
PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Criollos de Caguas 2, Leones de Ponce 0 — The Caguas pitchers allowed only 4 Ponce hitters to reach base, on three singles and a double scattered throughout the game, and two of the base runners were erased with double plays. Los Criollos scored their first run in the 4th, when 3B Ramon Vazquez led off with a walk, and scored on a single and an RBI double. A triple and an RBI single gave them another run in the 7th, and that was all they needed.
Cheering for the Pirates’ players and friends in Thursday’s winter league action:
Toros del Este 6, Tigres del Licey 0 — Los Tigres were shut-out on 6 hits. They had 2 runners on base in a few innings, but were never able to bring them around to score. New Pirate 1B Andy Marte did not start, but came in to play at first in the 5th inning. He bounced into a double play in the 6th, and was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the 9th. DH Ronny Paulino and LF Jake Fox were both hitless, though Fox walked in the 1st inning. Denny Bautista pitched the final inning for Los Tigres, and gave up 2 runs on a single, a walk, and a double. SS Pedro Ciriaco went 0-for-3 for Los Toros.
Gigantes del Cibao 3, Estrellas de Oriente 2 — Mike Dubee earned his second Dominican League win for los Gigantes with 1.1 scoreless innings of work. Each team started with a run in the 1st inning — on a homer for Los Estrellas and on a double, a bunt, and a sacrifice fly for Los Gigantes. After the homer, Los Gigantes’ starter Roman Colon retired the next 10 batters in order. Dubee relieved Colon to begin the 5th inning. He gave up a double and a walk, but got out of the jam with a strikeout and a ground out. Dubee started the 6th inning with a fly out and a walk, then he was replaced by Juan Perez. Perez finished that inning, but gave up a run on a double and an error in the 7th. Los Gigantes’ C JR House singled to lead off the 5th, then scored on a sacrifice bunt and a single. A solo homer gave Los Gigantes’ one more run in the 6th. House also singled in the 2nd inning.
PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Criollos de Caguas 15, Indios de Mayaguez 2 — Los Criollos posted 21 hits and scored in all but one of the first 7 innings, including 4 in the 2nd and 5 in the 6th. SS Luis Figueroa singled and doubled and scored twice. 3B Ramon Vazquez singled twice and drove in 2 runs.
Leones de Ponce 3, Senadores de San Juan 0 — Another shut-out, as Los Senadores were held to just 2 hits. Starter Ben Snyder (Rangers, and Ball State University) gave up a walk in the 3rd inning, and lone singles in the 4th and 6th innings, as he pitched 7 innings for the win. RJ Rodriguez earned his 7th Save with a perfect 9th inning.
Cardenales de Lara 6, Tigres de Aragua 5 — A single, two walks, and a sacrifice fly gave Los Cardenales the go-ahead run in the top of the 8th, then held on for the win. Lara put up 13 hits, while Los Tigres had 7 hits, including 2 singles by SS Ronny Cedeno, and 2 doubles by LF Lastings Milledge. Lara scored 4 runs in the 3rd and one more in the 5th. Cedeno singled, stole second, and scored in the 1st inning. He singled again in the 6th to begin a rally. Two walks (one by C Hector Gimenez), a single, and Milledge’s first double, brought in 3 runs for Los Tigres in that inning. Aragua tied the score in the 7th, on an error, a bunt by Cedeno, and an RBI single. That rally was cut short when Romulo Sanchez came on in relief for Lara and ended the inning with two strikeouts. Milledge doubled again in the 8th inning and stole third base, but was out at home on a fielder’s choice.
MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE
Venados de Mazatlan 4, Tomateros de Culiacan 2 — LF Rogelios Noris led off the top of the 6th with his 5th double of the season for Los Venados. That sparked a 4-run rally, with three singles driving in three runs, and three walks forcing in a fourth run. Former Pirate SS Luis Cruz drove in Culiacan’s runs with a 2-run homer in the 4th.