Pirates’ Pitchers Busy In Winter Leagues; Morton’s Debut

Wednesday’s winter league games with Pirates’ players and friends…

VENZUELAN LEAGUE

Bravos de Margarita� 6,� Leones del Caracas� 4 — Margarita starter Justin Thomas gave up 2 runs in the 2nd inning on a walk and a home run.� He zipped through the 3rd inning, then allowed a single and a walk in the 4th before being relieved, though both of those runners were left stranded.� Caracas scored 2 more runs in the 5th on three walks, a single, and an error.� Los Bravos had been scoreless for the first 4 innings, then exploded for 6 runs in the bottom of the 5th.� 3B Andy LaRoche followed a lead-off single with an RBI double.� Three consecutive walks by a new Caracas pitcher forced in LaRoche with the second run of the inning, leaving the bases loaded.� Another new Caracas pitcher was greeted by LF Frank Diaz’s grand slam, to give Margarita a 6-4 lead.� Former Pirate farmhand Ronald Belisario pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 9th to earn the save.

Navegantes del Magallanes� 2,� Cardinales de Lara� 1 — Los Cardenales were held to just 4 hits in this game, while Los Navegantes posted 11 hits.� Magallanes scored their first run in the 3rd inning, on an RBI single by 1B Mark Trumbo (Angels).� Their starter Anthony Lerew (Royals) pitched 6 innings and allowed the 4 hits, one of which was a solo home run in the 6th inning, to tie the score and make Lerew ineligible for the win.� Corey Hamman came on in relief, and pitched a perfect 7th inning.� Jean Machi followed with a perfect 8th, and Yoel Hernandez retired the side in order in the 9th.� In the top of the 8th, DH Mike Ryan broke the tie with a solo home run, which became the game-winner.� That gave Hamman the win and Hernandez his 2nd save.� Ryan went 3-for-4 in the game, raising his batting average to .389.� SS Argenis Diaz went 1-for-4 for Magallanes.

Caribes de Anzoategui� 3,� Tigres de Aragua� 2� –� Brian Bass gave up 2 runs on 2 hits in his start for Los Tigres, and he was lucky that it wasn’t more runs, because he walked 5 batters.� He gave a free pass to 2 batters in each of the 1st and 2nd innings, and both times left them on base.� In the 3rd, he gave up a 2-out walk, and the next batter smacked a 2-run homer.� He gave up a single in the 5th, and was relieved after getting a ground out.� Aragua tied the game in the 5th inning when former Indy Indian LF Jorge Cortes walked, then a hit batter and a ground out pushed Cortes to third.� he scored on an RBI single.� The score remained tied until the bottom of the 10th, when Los Caribes got a lead-off single.� Adenson Chourio came in as a pinch-runner, and he stole second base.� A walk-off double plated Chourio with the winning run.� 1B Hector Gimenez singled and walked twice for Los Tigres, and C Raul Chavez singled and walked, but neither scored.

PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE

Criollos de Caguas� 2,� Senadores de San Juan 1 — San Juan scored one run in the top of the 1st on a walk, a stolen base, an error, and an RBI ground out.� Then they had only 4 hits for the rest of the game.� Caguas tied the score in the 5th inning on a walk, a single, and an RBI single by former Indy Indian SS Luis Figueroa.� A solo home run by DH Omir Santos gave Los Criollos the winning run in the 7th inning.� Figueroa had 2 more hits in the game — a double to lead off the bottom of the 1st inning, and a single after the homer in the 7th.� 3B Ramon Vazquez singled twice in the game, in the 6th and the 8th innings.

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A Bit Of Winter League Action For Gonzalez

Cheering for Pirates’ players and friends in the winter leagues:

PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE

Gigantes de Carolina� 10,� Indios de Mayaguez� 8 — SS Benji Gonzalez got into this game as a late-inning defensive replacement in the 7th inning.� He got one at-bat, but popped out to second base.� Los Gigantes scored 2 runs in the 1st, and 3 in the 4th, but their biggest inning was the 2nd, when they plated 5 runs on 4 singles and 2 doubles.

Senadores de San Juan� 4,� Leones de Ponce� 3� — San Juan had a 4-0 lead going into the bottom of the 8th.� Ponce used 3 consecutive singles and a double to score 3 runs in that inning, but could not catch up.� Former Pirate farmhand RJ Rodriguez pitched a scoreless top of the 9th for Ponce, though he allowed 2 singles.

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

Tiburones de La Guaira� 9,� Navegantes del Magallanes� 7 — Los Tiburones scored 6 runs in the 1st inning, but Los Navegantes kept chipping away, until they had a 7-6 lead going into the bottom of the 8th.� Los Tiburones would not stand for that, though — they scored 3 more runs in the bottom of the 8th to retake the lead and get the win.� SS Argenis Diaz did not have a hit in the game, for Magallanes, but he reached on a fielding error in the 6th inning, giving him an RBI.� DH Mike Ryan had an RBI ground out for Magallanes in the 1st inning, and drove in the tying and go-ahead runs in the top of the 8th with a double.

MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE

Venados de Mazatlan� 7,� Yaquis de Obregon� 5 – Los Venados scored one run in each of the 1st, 3rd, and 5th innings, and had a 3-1 lead over Obregon.� Los Yaquis’ run came in the 3rd, on an RBI single by CF Jeff Salazar.� Obregon burst out with 4 runs in the 5th, starting the inning with 4 straight singles, then a wild pitch, two more singles, and a walk by Salazar.� Mazatlan answered with 4 runs in the top of the 9th, on two doubled and four singles, to take the win.� RF Rogelios Noris had a single in the 6th inning, but did not score.

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Hamman Earns A Save In Venezuela

A busy Sunday afternoon and evening in the winter leagues… the Arizona Fall League has the day off on Sundays.

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

Navegantes del Magallanes� 2,� Caribes de Anzoategui� 0� –� Corey Hamman earned his first save of the winter season for Magallanes.� Hamman entered the game in the top of the 8th, with pinch-runner Adenson Chourio on first and no outs.� He got a ground out to first to end the inning, then came back out in the 9th, w hen he worked around a lead-off walk for a scoreless inning.� Los Caribes were held to just 4 hits in the game, and Los Navegantes did not hit much better — only 5 hits.� Magallanes scored one run in the top of the 1st on a walk, a ground out by DH Mike Ryan which moved the runner over, and an RBI single.� A walk and a double brought in the run in the 5th.� Ryan also singled in the 8th, but was left on base.

Leones del Caracas� 14,� Tiburones de La Guaira� 5� — The Sharks were clawed up by the Tigers this afternoon, as every member of the Caracas lineup had at least one hit.� La Guaira scored 2 runs in the 3rd inning, but Caracas scored in each of the last 5 innings, including 4-run innings in the 8th and 9th.� C Carlos Maldonado singled in the 2nd inning, but did not factor into any of the late scoring.

Bravos de Margarita� 5,� Aguilas de Zulia� 0 — Los Bravos did all their scoring in the 7th (3 runs) and 8th (2 runs), and held Los Aguilas’ hitters to just 5 hits.� Andy LaRoche did not get into the game.

Tigres de Aragua� 5,� Cardinales de Lara� 3 — DH Raul Chavez, C Miguel Perez, and pinch-hitter Hector Gimenez all went hitless in the game, but Chavez was hit by a pitch and scored in the 2-run 1st inning for Aragua.� A walk and four singles gave Los Tigres 3 more runs in the 3rd.� Lara also had a walk and four singles, plus an Aragua throwing error, in the top of the 5th, when they also scored 3 runs.

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