Checking in on some Pirates’ players and friends in Friday night’s winter league games:
Navegantes del Magallanes 7, Bravos de Margarita 5 — Jean Machi pitched a perfect 9th inning to earn his 6th Save for Los Navegantes. His teammates took a 5-1 lead in the bottom of the 6th with a two-out rally, scoring 5 runs on two doubles, four singles, and a walk. They added 2 more runs in the 7th on four more singles. Los Bravos put their first run on the board in the 3rd with three singles. A grand slam by CF Frank Diaz in the top of the 8th brought Los Bravos closer, but Machi held them off in the 9th. Just released SS Argenis Diaz came into the game to play shortstop in the top of the 9th, and he scooped the grounder that was Machi’s first out.
Tigres de Aragua 8, Aguilas de Zulia 1 — Two Pirates’ teammates on Los Tigres…. one tendered a contract, one not… SS Ronny Cedeno was hit by a pitch in the top of the 1st, stole second base, then scored on a 2-run homer. C Raul Chavez’s home run in the 2nd inning gave Los Tigres a 3-0 lead. In the 5th, a throwing error and a single put two runners on base. Cedeno bunted them both into scoring position, then CF Lastings Milledge drove in one run with an RBI single into right field. Los Tigres capped their scoring with 4 runs in the 6th. A single and two walks loaded the bases. Chavez was hit by a pitch, forcing in the first run. A single brought in the second run, and Cedeno’s ground out plated the third run. A walk to Milledge loaded the bases again, and another walk forced in Chavez with the fourth run of the inning. Chavez had an embarrassing moment in the 5th — with runners on first and second bases, Chavez lined right to the Zulia third baseman, who started a triple play.
PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Criollos de Caguas 4, Gigantes de Carolina 3 — Los Gigantes had the early lead, starting with a run in the 1st, when former Indy Indian LF Luis Matos doubled and scored. In the 2nd, a ground-rule double, a walk, a fielding error by 3B Ramon Vazquez, and a single gave them a 3-0 lead. An RBI single by SS Luis Figueroa drove in Los Criollos’ first run in the 5th. Then a single, a triple, and a 3-run homer in the 6th gave Los Criollos the win. Figueroa also singled in the 1st, and Vazquez singled in the 3rd.
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 Wednesday’s winter league action (the new minor league free agents did not get into the games):
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Criollos de Caguas 2, Leones de Ponce 1 — Not a lot of hitting or scoring here. Ponce scored one run in the 3rd inning on a pair of doubles. Los Criollos tied it up in the 6th with a walk, a single, and a throwing error. 3B Ramon Vazquez walked, then another single brought in the winning run. SS Luis Figueroa singled in the 1st inning, but was left on base.
Caribes de Anzoategui 2, Navegantes del Magallanes 1 — Same thing in this game, not much offense. The difference is that Los Caribes scored one run in two different innings — a homer in the 2nd, and a double, a single, and an RBI grounder in the 7th. Los Navegantes scored on a double and two wild pitches in the 6th. Reliever Jean Machi pitched a perfect bottom of the 8th for Los Navegantes: two strikeouts and a ground out.
Tiburones de La Guaira 5, Aguilas del Zulia 4 — This first game of a double-header was supposed to be only 7 innings, but the score was tied at 1-1 from the 5th through the 7th. Los Tiburones scored 2 in the top of the 8th on a 2-run homer. With Chris Hernandez on the mound for La Guaira, Los Aguilas responded with a 2-run homer in the bottom of the 8th, and Hernandez was charged with a Blown Save. Then three singles gave La Guaira the go-ahead run again in the top of the 9th. An error and a wild pitch added an insurance run, which they would need. Zulia scored a run in the bottom of the inning on three singles, but their rally was cut short, and Los Tiburones held on for the win, credited to Hernandez.
Estrellas de Oriente 5, Tigres del Licey 4 — Los Tigres started the scoring in the 4th inning, on a single, a wild pitch, and an RBI single by Jake Fox. Fox moved to second on an error on a pick-off attempt, then scored on an RBI single. Robinzon Diaz also singled in the inning. Diaz also singled in the 8th after a walk, and two errors on the play brought the run in. A home run in the 6th gave Los Tigres one more run. Los Estrellas scored one run in the 4th, and collected a 2-run homer in the 5th. They took the lead in the bottom of the 8th on four singles.
Toros del Este 10, Aguilas Cibaenas 1 — Los Aguilas scored one run on a triple and a sacrifice bunt in the 2nd inning, then gave up 10 unanswered runs, including 6 Toros’ runs in the 8th inning. SS Pedro Ciriaco walked in the 3rd inning but was out in a force play at second base. He was 0-for-3 for the rest of the night.
MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE
Tomateros de Culiacan 2, Venados de Mazatlan 1 — Los Venados were held to just 2 hits, and scored their only run in the 5th, on a walk, a stolen base, and an RBI ground out. Culiacan’s 2-run homer in the 2nd inning was all the scoring they needed. LF Rogelios Noris came into the game as a late-inning defensive replacement, and struck out in his only plate appearance.
The game between the Adelaide Bite and the Canberra Cavalry had to be postponed. They will try for a double-header on Friday (early Friday morning for most of us). The two teams are already scheduled to play a double-header on Saturday.
The Bite are reporting that the Pirates have signed reliever Jackson Lodge to a contract. Lodge is a product of the Australian Baseball Academy, where he had a 2-3 record and a 2.03 ERA in 40 innings last year. Lodge has pitched in 4 games for the Bite so far this season, with mixed results. On Nov 13th, he pitched the 8th inning of the Bite’s 8-3 win over Melbourne. After striking out the first batter, Lodge gave up two doubles and two singles, for 2 runs. On the 18th, he pitched to 4 batters in the Bite’s win over Perth, and retired all four, including one strikeout. Two days later, he earned a “Hold” in another victory over Perth, but he faced only two batters — a ground out and a single, and that runner eventually came around to score. On the 26th, Lodge came on in relief in the 4th when the starting pitcher had to leave the game due to an arm injury. Lodge hit the first batter he faced, then ended the inning with a ground out. But he got into trouble in the 5th, giving up 2 runs on a walk, three singles, and a sacrifice fly. He retired two batters in the 6th, then was relieved. It will be interesting to see where Lodge is assigned in the US — the Pirates will surely be watching his progress in the ABL.
After having a Monday off, the winter leagues are back to action on Tuesday night, as we cheer on the Pirates’ players and friends:
PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Leones de Ponce 1, Gigantes de Carolina 0 — After 10.5 scoreless innings, the only run of the game came in the bottom of the 11th. A fielding error, a double, and and intentional walk loaded the bases for Los Leones, then a balk forced in the winning run. Former Pirate farmhand RJ Rodriguez was the winning pitcher. He threw two scoreless innings (9th and 10th) and was the pitcher of record when his teammates scored the winning run. Los Gigantes was held to just 2 hits and 3 walks. The hits were both singles, in the 1st and 2nd innings.
Criollos de Caguas 3, Senadores de San Juan 1 — Former Indy Indian SS Luis Figueroa got the scoring started with a solo home run in the top of the 1st. Figueroa led off the 4th with a single, then scored on an RBI double. A single and two doubles added Caguas’ third run in the 6th. Figueroa collected his third hit of the game with a lead-off single in the 8th. 3B Ramon Vazquez went 0-for-4 for Los Criollos.
Aguilas Cibaenas 5, Toros del Este 3 — SS Pedro Ciriaco had 2 of Los Toros’ 8 hits. He led off the bottom of the 6th with a single, then came around to score on a passed ball, a ground out, and an RBI single. Los Toros added 2 more runs in the 7th, the first on a walk, a single, and a sacrifice fly. Then Ciriaco drove in another run with his second single. Los Aguilas scored 2 runs in each of the 4th and 5th, then one more in the 9th for the win.
Tigres del Licey 6, Estrellas de Oriente 5 — Los Tigres were behind 5-0 going into the bottom of the 6th inning, when Indy area native DH Jake Fox put them onto the scoreboard with a 2-run homer. C Robinzon Diaz led off the bottom of the 7th with a single, and two more runs scored that inning on another single and two errors. Then Fox gave Los Tigres the win with another 2-run homer in the bottom of the 8th.
MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE
Venados de Mazatlan 5, Tomateros de Culiacan 3 — Los Venados held off late-inning rallies by Los Tomateros for the win. LF Rogelios Noris singled in the game, but did not score.
Not sure why the Venezuelan League info is not coming up. Maybe more of that in the morning too. — 7 am — nope, still no info. Odd.
Looking in on the Pirates’ players and friends in Saturday’s winter league action…
PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Criollos de Caguas 2, Gigantes de Carolina 1 — A low-hitting game, and Caguas scored their 2 runs in the bottom of the 7th on two singles and some mistakes by Los Gigantes. With the first two batters on base, SS Luis Figueroa bunted both into scoring position. That put the runner on third base in position to score on a wild pitch. Ramon Vazquez reached base on a fielding error at second base, which let the second run score. Another wild pitch and a walk put two runners on base again, but no more runs scored. Los Criollos also loaded the bases in the 3rd, on singles by Figueroa and Vazquez and a walk, and a walk and two more singles loaded the bases in the 6th, but both times the bases were left loaded. Vazquez also walked in the 1st inning. Los Gigantes’ only run came in the 5th, on a single, a double by Luis Matos, and a sacrifice fly.
Navegantes del Magallanes 4, Tigres de Aragua 0 — Los Tigres could not score despite 7 hits and 2 walks. RF Alex Romero had 3 of those 7 hits, and 1B Hector Gimenez had a single. SS Ronny Cedeno, CF Jorge Cortes, and C Raul Chavez were all hitless in the game. Los Navegantes scored all 4 of their runs in the top of the 2nd, on a solo homer, followed by four singles. Corey Hamman pitched to one batter in the 6th, and gave up a single. Two more walks loaded the bases for Magallanes, but the runners were left stranded. Jean Machi pitched the 9th inning for Magallanes and gave up the single to Gimenez, but a double play erased Gimenez and ended the game.
Bravos de Margarita 6, Aguilas del Zulia 4 — Anthony Claggett earned his first Venezuelan League win with 1.1 scoreless innings for Margarita. Los Bravos scored first, with a run in the bottom of the 1st, and Los Aguilas tied the score with one run in the top of the 2nd. Zulia scored 2 more runs in the top of the 3rd on two walks and three singles, and Claggett was brought into the game with 2 runs in, one out, and the bases loaded. he faced just one batter, and got the double play to end the inning. Los Bravos’ batters responded with 4 runs in the bottom of the 4th, on 4 singles, a walk, and a bases-clearing 3-RBI double. That gave Los Bravos the lead, which they would not give up, and Claggett was the pitcher of record. He began the top of the 4th with two outs, then a throwing error and a single put two runners on for Los Aguilas. Claggett was relieved at that point, but those runners did not score. Ronald Belisario earned his 9th save for Margarita.