Noris Homers, MIlledge Hitting Well

Saturday’s winter league action for the Pirates’ players and friends.� The Puerto Rican League had their Ponce/Caguas game postponed.

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

Bravos de Margarita� 11,� Cardenales de Lara� 1� — Despite 10 hits, Los Cardenales were able to score just one run, which came in the 3rd inning.� Los Bravos piled up 12 hits and 11 runs, with two big innings.� Margarita began with one run in the 1st, then added another in the 2nd.� With all of the hits Lara was collecting, the Margarita starter, Will Savage, was relieved in the 5th inning, with one on and one out.� Jhonathan Ramos came in for Savage, and ended the inning by getting a double play.� He only pitched to one batter, but with the Bravos’ rally in the bottom of the inning, Ramos was awarded his second win of the season.� Margarita scored 4 runs in the 5th.� 3B Andy LaRoche singled and stole second base in the inning, then scored on a later RBI single.� LaRoche also walked in the 7th, and scored on another RBI single, for the first run of what would be a 5-run inning.

Navegantes del Magallanes� 6,� Tigres de Aragua� 3� — LF Lastings Milledge singled twice and walked once for Aragua, but it wasn’t enough for a win.� Milledge led off the bottom of the 4th with a single, and a fielding error, a single, and a grounder force out gave Aragua 2 runs, for a 3-1 lead.� Milledge also singled to lead off the 6th and stole second base, but was left on base when Corey Hamman came on in relief for Magallanes and struck out the only batter he faced.� Another pitcher relieved Hamman and ended the inning with Milledge still on third base.� Milledge also reached third base in the 8th, when he walked, and advanced to third on a single.� Magallanes scored 3 runs in the 6th inning, then two more in the 7th, to take the lead and the win.� Jean Machi earned his 2nd win for Magallanes when he struck out the side (all swinging) in the 9th inning. � LF Mike Ryan went 0-for-4 for Magallanes.� C Hector Gimenez went 0-for-4 for Aragua.

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LaRoche Homers In Venezuela

Friday’s winter league action for Pirates’ players and friends:

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

Bravos de Margarita� 3,� Cardinales de Lara� 0� — 3B Andy LaRoche got Los Bravos onto the scoreboard with a solo homer in the 4th inning — his first home run in the Venezuelan League.� LaRoche also walked in the 5th inning, when Margarita used two singles, two wild pitches, and another walk to score 2 more runs.� LaRoche also walked in the 7th inning, but didn’t score.� Lara was held to just 4 hits in the shutout.� Jhonathan Ramos pitched to three batters in the 7th inning — a double, a fielding error, and a strikeout.� Ronald Belisario pitched a perfect 9th inning to earn his 2nd save.

Tiburones de La Guaira� 7,� Tigres de Aragua� 4� — Los Tiburones scored 5 runs in the late innings to overcome Los Tigres.� Aragua scored 2 runs in the top of the 1st, when 3B Luis Maza led off with a double (the first of 3 hits for him in the game), 1B Hector Gimenez walked, and LF Lastings Milledge plated the first run with an RBI single.� Another single brought in Gimenez.� La Guaira tied the score with a 2-run homer in the 2nd inning.� A triple and a single gave Aragua the lead in the 4th, and a double, a throwing error and a single added a run in the 7th.� La Guaira scored 3 runs in the 6th and 2 more in the 8th.� Milledge and Gimenez both went 1-for-3 with a walk.� C Raul Chavez was hitless in 4 at-bats.

MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE

Caneros de Los Mochis� 6,� Venados de Mazatlan� 3� — Los Caneros also scored 5 runs in the late innings, to overcome Los Venados.� Mazatlan scored their first run in the 2nd inning on a throwing error and a double by 1B Roberto Saucedo.� Saucedo drove in the second run in the 4th inning with a bases-loaded single.� Los Caneros got one run back in the bottom of the 4th, then scored 2 runs in the 6th inning with a home run.� 2B Freddy Sandoval homered for Los Venados in the 8th inning, to tie the score, but Los Caneros responded with another 2-run homer and another insurance run in the bottom of the inning.� LF Rogelios Noris singled in the 6th inning for his hometown Mazatlan, but was left on base.

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Diaz and Fox Continue Hitting In Venezuela; Milledge Joins In

Cheering for Pirates’ players and friends in the Winter Leagues on Thursday…

DOMINICAN LEAGUE

Tigres del Licey� 6,� Gigantes del Cibao� 3 — C Robinzon Diaz singled and doubled, and Indy area native 1B Jake Fox went 3-for-3 with 3 RBI as Licey posted 14 hits.� Licey scored one run in the 2nd, and another run in the 3rd (including a single by Fox).� Fox also hit the second of two doubles in the 7th inning, giving Los Tigres another run.� Licey plated 3 runs in the 8th, on four singles, including one by Diaz, a hit batter, and Fox’s sacrifice fly.� Diaz’s double came in the 9th inning.

Estrellas de Oriente� 6,� Aguilas Cibaenas� 3� — CF Starling Marte went 0-for-4 as Los Aguilas were held to just 4 hits.� They scored one run in the 7th inning when a bases-loaded walk forced in a run.� That inning ended when Los Estrellas’ Franquelis Osoria got pinch-hitter Luke Carlin to ground out.� A double added 2 runs for Los Aguilas in the 8th, but it wasn’t enough to catch up the Los Estrellas.

Leones del Escogido� 4,� Toros del Este 3� — Los Toros scored their runs all in the 5th inning, on an RBI double and a 2-run homer.� Escogido caught up with 2 runs in the 7th and one mor in the 8th to tie the score.� In the bottom of the 9th, two singles and a sacrifice fly by SS Pedro Lopez brought in the winning run.� Lopez had only a walk in his previous 3 plate appearances for Los Leones.� Jason Jaramillo singled in the 6th for Los Toros, but he was out on an unusual double play — the runner who had been on first base was thrown out at third on the throw in from right field, and when Jaramillo tried to get to second on the throw, he was also thrown out.� Jaramillo also walked in the 9th inning.

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Presley Makes First Major League Start

IMG_3974Outfielder Alex Presley (photo) made his first major league start this afternoon, manning right field for the Pirates in their 3-1 win over the Reds in Cincinnati.� Presley, who just turned 25 this week, appeared in his third major league game.� He had pinch-hit and played right field on Wednesday, his birthday, and picked up his first major league hit.� He pinch-ran on Friday, but was forced out at second base on the subsequent play.� Today, Presley singled with two outs in the top of the 8th, on a sharp grounder that got past Reds’ 2B Brandon Phillips.� He then advanced to second when Neil Walker walked.� Unfortunately both were left on base.� Presley was 1-for-4 overall, with a walk, and he nearly beat out an infield single in the top of the 1st.� There was only ball hit near him in right field — he was unable to come up with the ball on a diving attempt on Joey Votto’s double in the 4th inning.

Walker walked twice, and he did beat out the infield single in the top of the 1st, extending his hitting streak to 18 games.� John Bowker also made the start, at first base for the Pirates.� He went 0-for-3 at the plate, but he began the 9th inning rally with a walk.� C Ryan Doumit followed the walk with a single, and he was replaced by pinch-runner Pedro Ciriaco. LF Lastings Milledge bunted, but the Reds turned it into a force out, getting Bowker at third.� With runners on first and second, pinch-hitter Garrett Jones singled, loading the bases.� Then another pinch-hitter, Jose Tabata grounded to first base, and Reds’ 1B Votto was able to fire to the plate, forcing out Ciriaco, but leaving the bases loaded still.� Then CF Andrew McCutchen lined a double into left field, clearing the bases for 3 runs, and the Pirates had the 3-1 lead, and very soon after, the win.

The Altoona Curve and the Trenton Thunder (Yankees) will begin the championship round of the Eastern League playoffs on Tuesday in Altoona.

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