Noris Homers, MIlledge Hitting Well

Saturday’s winter league action for the Pirates’ players and friends.� The Puerto Rican League had their Ponce/Caguas game postponed.

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

Bravos de Margarita� 11,� Cardenales de Lara� 1� — Despite 10 hits, Los Cardenales were able to score just one run, which came in the 3rd inning.� Los Bravos piled up 12 hits and 11 runs, with two big innings.� Margarita began with one run in the 1st, then added another in the 2nd.� With all of the hits Lara was collecting, the Margarita starter, Will Savage, was relieved in the 5th inning, with one on and one out.� Jhonathan Ramos came in for Savage, and ended the inning by getting a double play.� He only pitched to one batter, but with the Bravos’ rally in the bottom of the inning, Ramos was awarded his second win of the season.� Margarita scored 4 runs in the 5th.� 3B Andy LaRoche singled and stole second base in the inning, then scored on a later RBI single.� LaRoche also walked in the 7th, and scored on another RBI single, for the first run of what would be a 5-run inning.

Navegantes del Magallanes� 6,� Tigres de Aragua� 3� — LF Lastings Milledge singled twice and walked once for Aragua, but it wasn’t enough for a win.� Milledge led off the bottom of the 4th with a single, and a fielding error, a single, and a grounder force out gave Aragua 2 runs, for a 3-1 lead.� Milledge also singled to lead off the 6th and stole second base, but was left on base when Corey Hamman came on in relief for Magallanes and struck out the only batter he faced.� Another pitcher relieved Hamman and ended the inning with Milledge still on third base.� Milledge also reached third base in the 8th, when he walked, and advanced to third on a single.� Magallanes scored 3 runs in the 6th inning, then two more in the 7th, to take the lead and the win.� Jean Machi earned his 2nd win for Magallanes when he struck out the side (all swinging) in the 9th inning. � LF Mike Ryan went 0-for-4 for Magallanes.� C Hector Gimenez went 0-for-4 for Aragua.

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LaRoche Homers In Venezuela

Friday’s winter league action for Pirates’ players and friends:

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

Bravos de Margarita� 3,� Cardinales de Lara� 0� — 3B Andy LaRoche got Los Bravos onto the scoreboard with a solo homer in the 4th inning — his first home run in the Venezuelan League.� LaRoche also walked in the 5th inning, when Margarita used two singles, two wild pitches, and another walk to score 2 more runs.� LaRoche also walked in the 7th inning, but didn’t score.� Lara was held to just 4 hits in the shutout.� Jhonathan Ramos pitched to three batters in the 7th inning — a double, a fielding error, and a strikeout.� Ronald Belisario pitched a perfect 9th inning to earn his 2nd save.

Tiburones de La Guaira� 7,� Tigres de Aragua� 4� — Los Tiburones scored 5 runs in the late innings to overcome Los Tigres.� Aragua scored 2 runs in the top of the 1st, when 3B Luis Maza led off with a double (the first of 3 hits for him in the game), 1B Hector Gimenez walked, and LF Lastings Milledge plated the first run with an RBI single.� Another single brought in Gimenez.� La Guaira tied the score with a 2-run homer in the 2nd inning.� A triple and a single gave Aragua the lead in the 4th, and a double, a throwing error and a single added a run in the 7th.� La Guaira scored 3 runs in the 6th and 2 more in the 8th.� Milledge and Gimenez both went 1-for-3 with a walk.� C Raul Chavez was hitless in 4 at-bats.

MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE

Caneros de Los Mochis� 6,� Venados de Mazatlan� 3� — Los Caneros also scored 5 runs in the late innings, to overcome Los Venados.� Mazatlan scored their first run in the 2nd inning on a throwing error and a double by 1B Roberto Saucedo.� Saucedo drove in the second run in the 4th inning with a bases-loaded single.� Los Caneros got one run back in the bottom of the 4th, then scored 2 runs in the 6th inning with a home run.� 2B Freddy Sandoval homered for Los Venados in the 8th inning, to tie the score, but Los Caneros responded with another 2-run homer and another insurance run in the bottom of the inning.� LF Rogelios Noris singled in the 6th inning for his hometown Mazatlan, but was left on base.

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Gimenez and Ryan Continue Hitting But LaRoche Doesn’t

Cheering for the Pirates’ players and friends in winter league games:

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

Tigres de Aragua� 4,� Caribes de Anzoategui� 2 — Former Pirate farmhand Miguel Perez smacked a pinch-hit double in the bottom of the 8th after a single and a walk, driving in two runs to break a 2-2 tie and give Aragua the win.� Los Caribes scored a run in each of the first two innings — a triple and a sacrifice fly in the 1st, and three singles in the 2nd.� Los Tigres fought back with a solo home run by 2B Ramon Castro in the 5th.� The 7th began with back-to-back singles, the second by C Hector Gimenez. A sacrifice bunt by DH Raul Chavez moved both runners into scoring position, and an intentional walk loaded the bases.� Castro singled to drive in the tying run.

Aguilas de Zulia� 2,� Bravos de Margarita� 1� — Los Bravos were held to just 3 hits, and two of them came in the 5th, when they scored their only run.� RF Rene Reyes led off with a single, and 3B Andy LaRoche advanced him to second base with a ground out.� Reyes moved to third on a fly out, then scored on a wild pitch.� C Henry Blanco also singled in the inning.� LaRoche reached on a throwing error in the 2nd inning and was left on base, and flied out in the 7th, and was removed for a defensive substitute in the 8th.� His average is now .091.� Zulia scored their 2 runs in the 6th, on a walk, a single, and a 2-run double.� With two outs onad a runner on third, lefty Jhonathan Ramos came on in relief.� Ramos ended the inning with a ground out, then pitched the 7th inning.� He gave up a single, but his catcher Blanco threw out the runner trying to steal second base.

Leones de Caracas� 2,� Navegantes del Magallanes� 1 — A pitching duel ended with a run on two hits in the bottom of the 10th inning by Caracas.� Magallanes was held to just 4 hits, one by LF Mike Ryan, who then came around to score in the 4th.� Caracas posted only 6 hits, including one by C Carlos Maldonado.� They scored their first run in the 2nd inning.� SS Argenis Diaz was hitless in 4 trips to the plate for Magallanes.

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LaRoche Still Struggling At the Plate

Thursday’s winter league action with Pirates’ players and friends…� the Dominican and Puerto Rican Leagues begin play on Friday.

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

Bravos de Margarita� 3,� Cardinales de Lara� 2� — 3B Andy LaRoche continued to struggle at the plate, going 0-for-4 for Margarita.� Los Bravos scored one run in the top of the 1st on a double, a stolen base, and a throwing error.� Lara tied the score in the bottom of the 4th with a solo home run.� Margarita took the lead again in the top of the 7th, and another fielding error jump started the inning.� After a walk and a strikeout, LaRoche grounded to third, resulting in a force out at second base, though LaRoche was safe at first.� He scored on a 2-run double by DH Selwyn Langaigne.� Lara scored one run in the 8th on a double and a single, and they had the bases loaded, but Los Bravos got out of the inning without any more runs scoring.� Jhonathan Ramos came on in relief of Margarita’s starter Will Savage in the 6th.� Ramos got the ground out to end the inning, then retired three straight batters in the 7th.

Leones de Caracas� 6,� Tiburones de La Guaira� 4� — Former Pirate C Carlos Maldonado blasted a 3-run homer in Caracas’ 4-run 7th inning, and he also singled earlier in the game.� Caracas posted 13 hits in the game.

Navegantes del Magallanes� 5,� Tigres de Aragua� 1� — Magallanes also had a 4-run inning, then scored another run in the 8th, while holding Los Tigres to just 4 hits and one run.� C Hector Gimenez and DH Raul Chavez were both hitless for Aragua, whose lone run came in the 3rd inning on a single and a double.� Los Navegantes began the 6th with a single and a sacrifice bunt, the SS Argenis Diaz worked a walk.� A wild pitch and a double brought in the first two runs, including Diaz.� Former Pirate LF Mike Ryan singled, plating another run, and he scored on the second double of the inning.

MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE —

Venados de Mazatlan� 3,� Aguilas de Mexicali� 0 — Mazatlan did all their damage in the 5th inning.� They began the inning by loading the bases on a single by 2B Freddy Sandoval, a walk to RF Rogelios Noris, and a hit batter SS Elliot Johnson.� A wild pitch scored Sandoval and moved Noris and Johnson up one base.� A double scored Noris, and an RBI ground out brought in Johnson.� That was all Los Venados needed.� Noris singled in the top of the 9th, but did not score.� Mexicali was held to just 4 hits in the shutout.

Yaquis de Obregon� 5,� Naranjeros de Hermosillo� 3� — CF Jeff Salazar continued his hot hitting, with a single and a double for Obregon.� He opened the game with a single, moved to second on a wild pitch and to third on a passed ball, then scored on a sacrifice fly in Los Yaquis’ 3-run 1st inning.� Salazar’s double in the 2nd inning drove in another run for Obregon.

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LaRoche’s Bat Is Quiet In Venezuela

A quick look at some winter league games involving Pirates’ players and friends:

VENEZUELAN WINTER LEAGUE

Navegantes del Magallanes� 3,� Bravos de Margarita� 0 — Margarita just couldn’t get anything going in this game.� The only time they had more than one runner on base at a time was in the 1st inning, when CF Frank Diaz and RF Rene Reyes hit a pair of two-out singles.� Diaz had 3 hits in the game.� 3B Andy LaRoche was hitless in 4 trips to the plate, including 3 strikeouts.� Los Navegantes scored 2 of their runs in the 5th, on a walk and four singles.� Former Pirate DH Mike Ryan had one of those singles, and he scored one of the runs.� Jean Machi pitched the 9th inning for Magallanes, earning the save.� He gave up two singles, but got a double play in between then.� Jhonathan Ramos came in to finish up the 5th inning for Margarita, then pitched the 6th.� He gave up a hit but followed it with a double play.

Leones del Caracas� 11,� Tigres de Aragua� 0 — Los Leones devoured Los Tigres, holding Aragua to just 5 hits.� 1B Hector Gimenez had one of the hits, a single in the 7th, but was left stranded. C Raul Chavez also had a single, but he was erased in a double play.� Caracas posted a total of 14 hits, and had two 4-run innings (2nd and 7th).� C Carlos Maldonado doubled, walked, and reached on a fielding error, and scored all three of those times.

MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE

Algodoneros de Guasave� 6,� Venados de Mazatlan� 4 — RF Rogelios Noris doubled and scored for Los Venados, and former Pirate 1B Yurendell de Caster singled and doubled for Guasave.� Noris’ double led off the 3rd inning, and two more doubles gave Mazatlan 2 runs in that inning.� Guasave scored 3 times in the 4th inning, and that tipped the scales in their favor for the rest of the game.� De Caster’s RBI double brought in a run in the 5th, and his single plated another run in the 8th.� Mazatlan’s last run came on a homer in the 6th.

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