Checking in on some Pirates’ players and friends in Friday night’s winter league games:
Navegantes del Magallanes 7, Bravos de Margarita 5 — Jean Machi pitched a perfect 9th inning to earn his 6th Save for Los Navegantes. His teammates took a 5-1 lead in the bottom of the 6th with a two-out rally, scoring 5 runs on two doubles, four singles, and a walk. They added 2 more runs in the 7th on four more singles. Los Bravos put their first run on the board in the 3rd with three singles. A grand slam by CF Frank Diaz in the top of the 8th brought Los Bravos closer, but Machi held them off in the 9th. Just released SS Argenis Diaz came into the game to play shortstop in the top of the 9th, and he scooped the grounder that was Machi’s first out.
Tigres de Aragua 8, Aguilas de Zulia 1 — Two Pirates’ teammates on Los Tigres…. one tendered a contract, one not… SS Ronny Cedeno was hit by a pitch in the top of the 1st, stole second base, then scored on a 2-run homer. C Raul Chavez’s home run in the 2nd inning gave Los Tigres a 3-0 lead. In the 5th, a throwing error and a single put two runners on base. Cedeno bunted them both into scoring position, then CF Lastings Milledge drove in one run with an RBI single into right field. Los Tigres capped their scoring with 4 runs in the 6th. A single and two walks loaded the bases. Chavez was hit by a pitch, forcing in the first run. A single brought in the second run, and Cedeno’s ground out plated the third run. A walk to Milledge loaded the bases again, and another walk forced in Chavez with the fourth run of the inning. Chavez had an embarrassing moment in the 5th — with runners on first and second bases, Chavez lined right to the Zulia third baseman, who started a triple play.
PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Criollos de Caguas 4, Gigantes de Carolina 3 — Los Gigantes had the early lead, starting with a run in the 1st, when former Indy Indian LF Luis Matos doubled and scored. In the 2nd, a ground-rule double, a walk, a fielding error by 3B Ramon Vazquez, and a single gave them a 3-0 lead. An RBI single by SS Luis Figueroa drove in Los Criollos’ first run in the 5th. Then a single, a triple, and a 3-run homer in the 6th gave Los Criollos the win. Figueroa also singled in the 1st, and Vazquez singled in the 3rd.
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.
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.
Winter league action with the Pirates’ players and friends on Wednesday…
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.