Cheering for the Pirates’ players and friends in the winter league playoff games on Saturday night…
Tigres de Aragua 5, Leones de Caracas 2 — The Big Cats had to have a one-game playoff because they finished tied for second place in the round robin tournament. Former Pirate farmhand Ronald Uviedo made the start for Los Leones, and while he made it through the first inning, Los Tigres got to him in the next three innings. DH Hector Gimenez blasted a solo homer in the 2nd inning. A walk, a sacrifice bunt by CF Jorge Cortes, and two RBI’s on a double and a single gave Aragua another 2 runs in the 3rd inning. LF Lastings Milledge started the 4th inning rally with a walk, moved to second on a ground out, and to third on a wild pitch. An RBI single plated Milledge, and sent Uviedo to the showrs. The Caracas reliever gave up a single to Cortes, then another RBI single gave Aragua their final run. Caracas scored their first run on a solo homer by LF Mike Ryan in the 2nd inning. Ryan also singled in the 7th inning, and came around to score from first base on 2B Jose Castillo’s RBI double. Castillo singled in the bottom of the 9th, and C Carlos Maldonado reached base on an error, and was replaced by a pinch-runner. With two outs, Wil Ledezma came on to make the final out, earning a save. Los Tigres will now face Los Caribes in the championship series.
Toros del Este 11, Estrellas de Oriente 2 — Los Toros posted 14 hits as they ran over Los Estrellas, who hurt their own cause with 6 errors. The scoring began with 3 runs in the top of the 1st. SS Pedro Ciriaco began a rally in the 3rd with a lead-off single. He scored on a fielding error and a single, and an RBI ground out brought in another run. A walk, a single, and another error in the 4th made the score 6-0. Los Estrellas got onto the scoreboard with a solo homer in the 6th, and scored again with two singles in the 7th. Los Toros kept going, though, scoring 2 runs in the 7th on yet another error, a walk, and a double. Ciriaco walked in the 8th, and scored on a 3-run homer. Ciriaco singled in the 6th as well. Franquelis Osoria pitched the top of the 9th for Los Estrellas, and worked around his teammates’ 6th error to keep Los Toros from scoring in that inning. Los Toros now lead the championship series 4 games to none, and need one more for the series sweep.
An update on roster moves made by the Pirates over the past few weeks, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The biggest releases: �lefty pitchers Kyle Bloom and Corey Hamman. Bloom started 21 games for the Altoona Curve in 2009, and earned a 6-9 record with a 4.05 ERA, and 71 strikeouts in 104.1 innings. �Hamman made 29 relief appearances for the Curve and 26 relief appearances for the Indianapolis Indians in 2009, with a combined 1-5 record and one save. �He had a 3.68 ERA for the Curve and an 8.01 ERA for the Indians.
Another surprise was reliever RJ Rodriguez, who had a 6-3 record, a league-leading 27 saves, and a 3.08 ERA for the Lynchburg Hillcats in 2009.
Other pitchers released: �Chris Aure, Gerardo Esparza, Brad Clapp, Papiro Juan, Diomedes Garcia, Edgar Gutierrez, Rafael Quintero, Ricardo Paulino, Andres Santos, Edison Barrios, Harrison Bishop, Chris Cullen, Jose R de los Santos, Wilson Ortiz, Nelson Pereira, Moises Robles
Catchers released: �Jesus Aguilera, Daniel Bomback, Billy Killian, Craig Parry,
Infielders released: Carlos Silva, Chris Garcia, Henry Henry,
Outfielders released: Jeff Corsaletti, Gemmy Gonzalez, Ciro Rosero, Edward Garcia
Killian and Chris Garcia were minor league free agents who must not have worked out. �This de los Santos is not the infielder Jose L De Los Santos — he is still in the organization, at Altoona.
Some Latin American signings, none of whom are expected to play in the US this season:
RHPs: �Jeffrey Jaquez, Jonas Corporan, Melvin German, Yhonatan Herrand, Luis Alexis Ortiz, Carlos Ruiz, Luis Campos, Miguel Gerreras; LHP: Christopher Richarson; SS Jose Luis Solano; OF Yefaine Jerald, Malfre Ramirez