Milledge, LaRoche, and Cedeno Rolling In Venezuela

A few winter league games with Pirates’ players and friends on Saturday…

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

Aguilas de Zulia� 2,� Caribes de Anzoategui� 1�� (Game 1 and Game 2)� – No kidding, the same score in both games.� Zulia recorded 6 hits in both games also.� In the first game, Los Caribes were held to just two hits, and their only run scored on a walk, a ground out, and an RBI double in the 2nd inning.� Zulia scored a run in the 1st on a pair of singles and a throwing error.� The tie-breaker scored in the 4th inning on two singles and a double play.� Adenson Chourio came in to pinch run for Los Caribes in the top of the 7th after a walk.� He got as far as third base on a bunt and a ground out, but was left there when the game ended.� The second game began with Los Aguilas scoring 2 runs on two walks and a 2-RBI single in the 1st inning.� Los Caribes had 7 hits in this game, but still scored only one run, again on two singles and a double play.� Chourio made the start at shortstop in this game, but went 0-for-2 at the plate.

Leones del Caracas� 8,� Tiburones de La Guaira� 6� — A 3-run homer made the difference for Caracas in the 8th inning.� Los Leones scored their first run in the 1st on a walk and an RBI single.� They added 2 more in the 4th, on a double, and two RBI singles, one by C Carlos Maldonado.� Maldonado ended the inning when he was thrown out trying to steal second base — something that would not surprise Indy Indians’ fans.

Navegantes del Magallanes� 4,� Cardenales de Lara� 0� — Los Cardenales posted just 3 hits in the shutout.� Los Navegantes scored 2 runs in the 4th, on three singles, a walk, and two wild pitches.� They added another pair in the 7th, when they got a single and a walk off Lara reliever Romulo Sanchez.� Sanchez was relieved, but two more singles drove in the 2 runs.� DH Mike Ryan went 0-for-3 for Los Navegantes.

Bravos de Margarita� 6,� Tigres de Aragua� 4� — Los Tigres got onto the scoreboard first with 3 runs in the 3rd inning.� A walk and a single opened the inning.� SS Ronny Cedeno struck out, but a wild pitch on strike three let the runners advance one base.� LF Lastings Milledge hit a fielder’s choice to his Pirate teammate 3B Andy LaRoche, who threw to the plate to get the lead runner out.� But moments later, LaRoche’s error at third let a run score, and two mroe runs came in on an RBI single.� Los Bravos came back with 5 runs in the top fo the 4th.� LaRoche hit the middle of three consecutive singles to open the inning, scoring a run.� A walk loaded the bases, and C Henry Blanco cleared them with a grand slam.� Aragua got one run back with a homer in the bottom of the 4th, to make the score 5-4, with Margarita ahead.� Blanco singled in the 9th, and scored again for Margarita, on a fielding error by Cedeno.� Ronald Belisario came on to pitch for Margarita in the 9th inning.� He earned his 5th save, despite giving up two singles, including one to pinch-hitter Hector Gimenez. A double play ended the inning for Belisario.� C Raul Chavez also had a single for Aragua.

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Australians’ New League; Cedeno and Milledge Do Some Hitting

The Australians are beginning their third iteration of the Australian Baseball League this weekend.� The Aussies have had two leagues before — both had to shut down due to financial issues.� This time, the ABL is going to be a partnership between MLB and the Australian Baseball Federation.� MLB has been sponsoring the Australian Academy Program since 2001, and several Pirates’ farmhands (Jarryd Sullivan, Mitch Fienemann) have participated.� This academy works with young Australian and Asian players, similar to the work done by the Dominican and other Caribbean academies.

The new ABL has six teams:� the Adelaide Bite (think: shark), the Brisbane Bandits, the Canberra Cavalry, the Melbourne Aces, the Perth Heat, and the Sydney Blue Sox.� The season will run into January, with each team playing 40 games.� Of course Australian players will be featured, but there are some other “imports” as well.� Here’s the official ABL site, and you can see the resemblance to many other US minor league sites.

The good news:� some Pirates’ farmhands are going to be playing

Adelaide Bite:� RHP Mitch Fienemann, LHP Paul Mildren (former Altoona Curve), C Dylan Child, OF Quincy Latimore;� the team manager is Pirate international scout Tony Harris.� Also on the team is a second baseman named Dayle Child…. I’m guessing he’s Dylan’s brother, but I’ve not confirmed it.� The Bite play their first game on Thursday.

Canberra Cavalry: LHP Rinku Singh

Sydney Blue Sox: RHP Jarryd Sullivan

The Calvalry and Blue Sox open on Saturday Nov 6th at 7:30 AEST in Sydney… which is 4:30 am EST in the US, as best as I can tell.� (I will not be up.)

And on to Friday evening’s winter league games:

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Cedeno Joins In, Machi Earns Save #3

Cheering for the Pirates’ players and friends in winter league action on Thursday…

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

Tigres de Aragua� 6,� Bravos de Margarita� 0� — Los Bravos were held to just 2 hits — a single in the 7th, and another to lead off the 9th inning.� 3B Andy LaRoche worked a walk to open the 2nd inning, but was erased in a double play.� Margarita got another walk in the 4th inning, and those were the only two Bravos batters to reach base in the first six innings.� Los Tigres scored their first run in the 1st inning, on a double, a single by SS Ronny Cedeno (in his Tigres’ debut), a fielders’ choce by CF Lastings Milledge, and an RBI single.� They added 2 more runs in the 4th, on a 2-run homer.� C Raul Chavez doubled after the homer, and Hector Gimenez reached on a fielder’s choice, but Chavez was out at third.� Cedeno also doubled in the 5th, then had the second single of the 7th inning.� Milledge moved Cedeno up to second base on a ground out, and an intentional walk loaded the bases.� A sacrifice fly plated the first run of the inning.� Chavez and Gimenez each drove in a run with an RBI single.� Jorge Cortes made a pinch-hitting appearance for Los Tigres and worked a walk in the 8th, but was left on base.

Navegantes del Magallanes� 3,� Tiburones de La Guaira� 1� — Los Tiburones put up half of their 6 hits in the 4th inning, when they scored their only run — back-to-back doubles and a single to begin the inning.� Los Navegantes scored one run in the 1st inning on a fielding error, a stolen base, and a double.� After Los Tiburones tied the score in the top of the 4th, Magallanes came back in the bottom of the frame to take the lead with a single, a walk, a wild pitch, and a 2-RBI single.� DH Mike Ryan was hitless in 4 trips to the plate for Magallanes.� Jean Machi pitched the top of the 9th for Magallanes and gave up a walk but struck out 2 batters to keep Los Tiburones from scoring.� Machi earned his 3rd save of the winter league season.

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Bass Earns First Venezuelan Win

Limited winter league action on Monday night…� but back to full strength on Tuesday� (Go Vote!)

Tigres de Aragua� 6,� Leones del Caracas� 4� (Venezuelan League)� — Starter Brian Bass won his first game for Los Tigres tonight.� He allowed 2 runs in the 1st inning on a single, a triple and an RBI ground out by Caracas’ C Carlos Maldonado.�� Then Bass scattered 3 hits and 2 walks over the next four innings.� He started the 6th with a double and a line out before being relieved.

Los Tigres threatened in their half of the 1st, loading the bases on a single, a double, and a walk, but leaving the bases loaded.� C Raul Chavez was the only Aragua batter to reach base over the next four innings� — he walked to lead off the 2nd inning, but was out in a double play.� He also led off the 5th with a single, but was again forced out at second base.

Aragua got going again in the 6th, starting with a double by CF Lastings Milledge. A walk and another double drove in two runs to tie the score, and Chavez’s sacrifice fly brought in the third run for the lead.� A walk, a throwing error, and a wild pitch increased the lead to 4-2 in the 7th inning.

Chavez continued on a roll in the 8th inning, when his solo homer followed LF Luis Maza’s homer, for a 6-2 lead.� Caracas got 2 runs back in the bottom of the 8th, on a double and two singles, but got no further, and Aragua had the win for Bass.

Milledge went 2-for-5 with a single and a double; Chavez went 2-for-2 with a single and a homer, a walk, and a hit-by-pitch, plus 2 RBI.

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Milledge, Gimenez, and LaRoche Homer; Ryan Hits For The Cycle

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.

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

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.

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