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.
Looking in on the Pirates’ players and friends in the Dominican League over the past few days…
Starling Marte went 1-for-4 for Los Aguilas Cibaenas on the 17th. After reaching base on a grounder force out, he scored one of the 4 runs in the 3rd inning. Then Marte singled in a run in the 8th inning, as Los Aguilas beat Escogido 7-2. The next night, Marte grounded out in the 2nd inning, then was removed from the game in the middle of the top of the 4th — no explanation given.
SS Pedro Ciriaco beat out an infield hit in his one plate appearance as a late-inning defensive replacement for Los Toros del Este on the 17th. On Sunday, Ciriaco singled in the 3rd inning, then scored on a triple, as Los Toros beat Los Gigantes 7-3.
Mike Dubee earned the win for Los Gigantes del Cibao on the 19th, beating Los Tigres del Licey 12 – 10. Los Gigantes jumped out to a big lead with a 6-run 1st inning, and they added 4 runs in the 5th and 2 in the 8th. Licey scored 4 runs in both the 4th and 7th, and one run in each of the 5th and the 9th. Dubee came into the game in the 5th with two runners on base and one out. He gave up an RBI single to Indy area native Jake Fox, then ended the inning with a grounder force out and a strikeout. Dubee then pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 6th. Los Gigantes scored 4 runs in the bottom of the 5th, and Dubee was the pitcher of record.
C Jason Jaramillo went 0-for-2 for Los Toros on the 19th. He has not been getting much playing time lately.
Tigres del Licey 7, Gigantes del Cibao 6 – A double, an intentional walk, and an RBI single gave Licey the walk-off win in the bottom of the 11th. Los Gigantes started things with a 5-run 1st inning, on an RBI double, a 2-run homer, and a pair of singles. A sacrifice fly brought in another run in the 5th. Los Tigres caught up with 2 runs in the 1st and one in the 2nd, then a 3-run homer by 1B Jake Fox in the 7th. Unfortunately, that homer came off Mike Dubee, who had just entered the game in relief of Juan Perez. Dubee was charged with a Blown Save.
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.
Sunday’s action for Pirates’ players and friends in the winter leagues.� The Arizona Fall League and the Mesa Solar Sox have the day off.
Tigres de Aragua� 20,� Leones del Caracas� 15 — No, they weren’t playing football.� That’s 35 runs on 38 hits, 17 walks, 10 strikeouts, 4 wild pitches, 2 hit batters, and 2 errors.� LF Lastings Milledge hit a solo homer in the 3rd.� Los Tigres broke the game open in the 4th, which included three homers — a solo homer by RF Alex Romero,� and back-to-back blasts by 1B Hector Gimenez (three runs) and 3B Marquez Smith.� Aragua added 3 more in the 5th and 2 in the 7th, then sent 11 batters to the plate to score 7 runs in the top of the 9th.� Caracas had one run in the bottom of the 2nd, then had a rally in the 6th, scoring 4 runs.� The added one more in the 7th,� Los Leones were trailing 20 – 6 going into the bottom of the 9th, and that’s when they had the biggest inning of the game.� Of the 13 batters who came to the plate, the first seven reached base safely, and after a few more singles and their only homer of the game, Caracas scored 9 runs in the bottom of the 9th.� Still not enough for the win, though.� Milledge went 3-for-5 with 4 runs scored and 2 RBI.� Gimenez was 2-for-5 with 2 runs scored and 3 RBI.� Former Altoona Curve and Indy Indian CF Jorge Cortes also went 2-for-5 with 2 runs scored and 3 RBI.� Another former Curve and Indian C Miguel Perez was the only member of the Aragua starting lineup who did not have a hit or a walk in the game.
Navegantes del Magallanes� 11,� Tiburones de La Guaira� 3� — Former Indy Indian LF Mike Ryan hit for the cycle, going 4-for-5 for Magallanes, who posted 18 total hits.� Ryan starter with a double in the bottom of the 1st.� Los Navegantes scored 7 runs in the 3rd inning, and Ryan contributed a 2-run homer and a single in that inning.� Then he got the hardest part, a triple (and an RBI) in the 5th, and scored moments later.
Bravos de Margarita� 6,� Cardenales de Lara� 4� — “Only” 22 hits in this game.� One belonged to 3B Andy LaRoche, who homered to lead off the 2nd inning and start Los Bravos’ scoring.� Three singles and a double added two more runs for Margarita in the 2nd.� Two singles, a sacrifice bunt, and a sacrifice fly gave them another run in the 4th.� LaRoche was intentionally walked in the 7th inning, when Margarita scored twice more.� Lara scored one run in each of four innings.� Justin Thomas took the mound in relief for Los Bravos in the 6th, with two Cardenales on base and two outs.� He gave up an RBI single, though that run was charged to the previous pitcher.� Thomas started the 7th inning with a strikeout, then a hit batter and a single.� He was relieved, but an RBI grounder brought in the first runner, and this run was charged to Thomas.