Tag Archives: Luis Figueroa
Cheering for the Pirates’ players and friends in winter league playoff action …
Tigres de Aragua 5, Bravos de Margarita 4 – A double and a single in the top of the 10th gave Los Tigres the winning run. Los Tigres had started the scoring in the top of the 1st, on three singles, including an RBI single by LF Lastings Milledge. Los Bravos countered with a 3-run homer in the bottom of the 4th. Milledge tied the score with a solo home run in the top of the 6th. With Jean Machi on the mound for Margarita in the top of the 8th, a walk, a sacrifice bunt, and a wild pitch put a Tigres’ batter on third base, and he scored on an RBI single. Machi came back to pitch a quick 1-2-3 inning in the top of the 9th. Los Bravos tied the score again in the bottom of the 9th on a solo homer. Los Tigres broke the tie in the top of the 10th, then held off Los Bravos in the bottom of the frame. Wil Ledezma pitched a perfect 6th inning for Los Tigres, then gave up a 2-out single in the 7th. C Raul Chavez and 1B Hector Gimenez picked that runner off first base to get Los Tigres out of the inning. Gimenez went 0-for-4 at the plate, and Chavez went 0-for-2. Miguel Perez came into the game as a late-inning defensive replacement behind the plate, but did not have a plate appearance.
Leones del Caracas 10, Caribes de Anzoategui 6 – Seven runs in the top of the 1st gave Los Leones an edge that Los Caribes could not overcome. Los Leones sent 11 batters to the plate in the 1st inning, and the first 6 batters reached base safely: single, single, walk, grand slam, single, single (by C Carlos Maldonado). After a pop out, LF Mike Ryan hit a 2-run homer, which was followed by a double, before the inning ended. Maldonado added another RBI single in the 2nd inning, and Caracas picked up another 2-run homer in the top of the 9th. Los Caribes scored in all but one of the first 6 innings, but four of those innings brought in just one run, not enough to catch up.
The Pirates’ mini-camp begins tomorrow in Bradenton…. just 35 days until Spring Training begins, 81 days until major league opening day, and 87 days until the minor league opening day (not that anyone here is counting, of course….)
Meanwhile, the Caribbean leagues continue with their playoffs. The Mexican Pacific League will begin the semifinal round on Tuesday.
Caribes de Anzoategui 5, Leones del Caracas 4 – LF Mike Ryan singled in the bottom of the 1st for Los Leones, and a walk, another single, and an error gave Los Caribes 2 runs in that inning. They added a solo homer in the 5th, followed by a run on a single, two walks, and a sacrifice fly. Then Los Caribes roared back at Los Leones in the top of the 6th. A solo homer opened the inning, then a walk and a strikeout were followed by three singles and 2-RBI double, then a sacrifice fly, for 5 runs total. C Carlos Maldonado went 0-for-4 for Los Leones.
Bravos de Margarita 4, Aguilas de Zulia 3 – Jean Machi was credited with the win, as he was the pitcher of record when Los Bravos won the game with a walk-off single in the bottom of the 9th. Los Aguilas scored 3 runs in the top of the 4th, with a solo homer, and a 2-RBI single. Three singles gave Los Bravos their first run in the bottom of the 3rd. With two outs in the bottom of the 5th, three consecutive singles, a fielding error, and a balk brought in 2 more runs for Margarita to tie the score. Machi came on to pitch the 8th and 9th innings for Los Bravos. He faced just 6 batters, allowing a single, but then erasing that runner with a double play. The bottom of the 9th began with a single, then two bunts, one with a throwing error by the Aguilas’ pitcher, put two runners in scoring position. An intentional walk loaded the bases, and an RBI single ended the game.
PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Criollos de Caguas 4, Senadores de San Juan 3 – Each team had a 3-run homer — Los Criollos’ came in the 4th inning, and Los Senadores’ came in the bottom of the 9th. The deciding run came in the top of the 6th by Los Criollos. A double, an intentional walk to 3B Ramon Vazquez, and an RBI single drove in the winning run. Vazquez walked twice in the game, while SS Luis Figueroa walked once, but neither had a hit.
Cheering for Pirates’ players (the few who are left) and friends in the winter leagues……
PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Leones de Ponce 6, Gigantes de Carolina 3 – Four runs in the bottom of the 8th gave the game to Los Leones. Two walks and four singles did the damage in that inning. Reliever RJ Rodriguez came on to pitch the top of the 9th for Ponce. He gave up a run on two singles and a sacrifice fly, though it was not enough for Los Gigantes to catch up.
Criollos de Caguas 7, Senadores de San Juan 3 – A 5-run 3rd inning made the difference for Los Criollos. Two singles put runners on the corners, then SS Luis Figueroa drove in the first run with an RBI single. A triple and a homer added two runs each. 3B Ramon Vazquez walked to begin the Caguas half of the 4th, and two more walks loaded the bases. Figueroa brought in Vazquez with a sacrifice fly. Vazquez also contributed an RBI single in the 5th. Los Senadores posted 13 runs, but left 12 runners on base.
The four teams involved in the Puerto Rican League playoffs are not far apart after one week of the round robin playoff tournament. Ponce is in first place, with a 4-2 record. Caguas and San Juan are tied for second with 3-3 records. Carolina is last, with a 2-4 record.
The two top teams in this round robin tournament did not play today — Los Caribes and Los Leones de Caracas are both tied with 4-1 records. Los Tigres de Aragua has a 3-3 record, Los Aguilas de Zulia are 2-4, and Los Bravos de Margarita won their first playoff game tonight, giving them a 1-4 record.
Bravos de Margarita 1, Aguilas de Zulia 0 – Jean Machi pitched a scoreless 8th inning for Los Bravos, allowing a single, but then erasing that runner in a double play. The game’s only run came in the bottom of the 7th, on a single, a sacrifice bunt, and a RBI single.
Tigres de Aragua 8, Caribes de Anzoategui 0 – Aragua starter Seth Etherton (Dodgers) held Los Caribes to 3 hits and no walks over 8 shutout innings, with 6 strikeouts for the win. New Blue Jay Wil Ledezma finished the game with a scoreless 9th, working around a lead-off single. Los Tigres hitters packed in 16 hits, and started their scoring with 2 runs in the 1st. LF Lastings Milledge had a single in that inning. Milledge singled in two runs in the 6th, following another single and 1B Hector Gimenez being hit by a pitch. Gimenez added a 3-run homer in the 7th. After the homer, Milledge walked, CF Jorge Cortes singled, and a wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position. Another single up the middle brought in Milledge, but Cortes was thrown out at the plate as he tried to score from second base.
The Caribbean leagues continue their playoffs, though the Mexican Pacific League has the night off….
PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Leones de Ponce 5, Senadores de San Juan 2 – Reliever JR Rodriguez earned his first playoff save with a perfect 9th inning for Los Leones. His teammates broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the 7th with a 2-run homer, followed by another run on two singles, a sacrifice bunt, and a wild pitch.
Criollos de Caguas 4, Gigantes de Carolina 0 – Los Gigantes were held to just 4 hits, and even with 5 walks, they could not push a run across the plate. Los Criollos were held to just 3 hits, but they took advantage of 7 walks, 3 hit batters, and 2 errors to score their 4 runs. Their first run came in the bottom of the 1st, on a hit batter, a sacrifice bunt by SS Luis Figueroa, two walks, and a sacrifice fly. 3B Ramon Vazquez led off the 4th with a single, and he came around to score with help from a bunt, a wild pitch, and a sacrifice fly. Los Criollos’ final two runs scored in the 6th, and with just one hit. Vazquez reached on a fielding error, then a hit batter, a balk, and a sacrifice fly brought him in. Figueroa drove in the final run with an RBI double.
Gigantes del Cibao 7, Toros del Este 5 – Los Toros began the scoring with 4 runs in the bottom of the 4th — three singles, and a 3-run homer. Los Gigantes answered with 4 runs of their own in the top of the 5th, on 5 singles and a sacrifice fly. One of the singles, which loaded the bases, came off the bat of CF Rich Thompson. Los Toros scored one more run in the bottom of the 5th, but Los Gigantes scored 3 in the top of the 7th, with 4 singles and a sacrifice fly.
Leones del Escogido 2, Estrellas de Oriente 1 – Ronny Paulino, making a rare appearance playing first base, drove in Los Estrellas only run with an RBI ground out in the 1st inning. With one out in the 6th, Los Leones popped two singles. Franquelis Osoria came on to pitch for Los Estrellas, but the only batter he faced hit an RBI single to tie the game. Another single brought in the go-ahead run.
The Pirates got the new year started by signing Brian Burres to a minor league contract. He will be at the major league spring training camp, competing for a position on the big league club.
The Caribbean winter leagues continue their playoffs, and we continue to cheer for the Pirates’ players and friends who are involved…
Toros del Este 8, Gigantes del Cibao 1 – Los Gigantes scored a run on two singles and a throwing error in the 1st inning. After that, it was all Los Toros. Los Toros scored 2 in the 4th, 4 in the 7th, and 2 in the 8th, as they posted a total of 14 hits. RF Rich Thompson singled for Los Gigantes in the 2nd inning, and he made a fielding error in the 4th.
Leones del Escogido 3, Estrellas de Oriente 0 – Los Estrellas recorded 5 hits, including a pair of singles by DH Ronny Paulino, but could not push any of their runners across the plate. Los Leones had just 4 hits. They used one, plus a hit batter and a fielding error, to score one run in the 5th. Two more runs came in in the 6th inning, on a pair of walks, a sacrifice bunt, a balk, and a fielder’s choice.
PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Senadores de San Juan 4, Criollos de Caguas 1 – Los Senadores’ 3-run 7th inning broke a 1-1 tie and earned them the win. A single, two doubles, and three walks were responsible for the 3 runs. Neither SS Luis Figueroa nor 3B Ramon Vazquez had a hit for Los Criollos.
Gigantes de Carolina 9, Leones de Ponce 8 – Finally, in the bottom of the 15th, a walk and two singles gave Los Gigantes the winning run. Los Leones were leading 8-5 going into the bottom of the 9th. Ponce reliever RJ Rodriguez had gotten out of a bases-loaded jam in the 8th with two pop outs. He started the 9th with two ground outs, then gave up a single and a wild pitch, putting a runner on third base. A double drove in that runner, then a walk and two singles tied the score, sending the game into extras, and putting Rodriguez on the hook for a Blown Save. Each team had at least one runner on base in each of the next three innings, and Los Gigantes collected 3 walks to load the bases in the 11th, but no one scored. Both teams went down in order in the 13th, then both teams continued to put runners on base, until Los Gigantes finished it off in the 15th. Benji Gonzalez pinch-ran for Los Gigantes in the 8th, but was left on base. He played second base for an inning, then was lifted for a pinch-hitter.
Cheering for the Pirates’ players and friends in Sunday’s winter league play…
PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE (playoffs)
Criollos de Caguas 5, Gigantes de Carolina 0 – Caguas’ starter Dylan Owen (Mets) pitched 7 no-hit innings, and two relievers finished the deal with a string of 6 consecutive ground outs. Owen walked 2 Carolina batters, one to lead off the 2nd, and one to lead off the 7th. Los Criollos scored one run in the 4th. The bottom of the 5th began with a walk by 3B Ramon Vazquez, then a bunt and a throwing error put runners on the corners, and a walk loaded the bases. SS Luis Figueroa bounced into a double play, but that let Vazquez score from third base. Two RBI singles brought in two more runs. A walk and two throwing errors (5 total errors for Los Gigantes) gave Caguas their final run in the 7th.
Leones de Ponce 5, Senadores de San Juan 4 – Los Leones were leading 4-2 going into the top of the 8th, which opened with a walk. Los Leones brought in RJ Rodriguez to pitch, but he gave up a walk and made a throwing error, with allowed a run to come in. A hit batter and an RBI grounder tied the score, and Rodriguez was charged with a Blown Save. Rodriguez retired the side on three ground outs in the top of the 9th, and in the bottom of the 9th, he was saved. A hit batter, a double, and a walk-off single gave Ponce and Rodriguez the win.
DOMINICAN LEAGUE (playoffs)
Estrellas de Oriente 2, Leones del Escogido 1 – Not a lot of hits in this game either. Los Leones were held to 3 hits, and scored one run in the 1st, on a single a walk, and a wild pitch. Los Estrellas tied the score with a solo homer in the 3rd. They took the lead in the 6th on back-to-back doubles, the first by DH Ronny Paulino. Franquelis Osoria pitched to one batter in the 4th for Los Estrellas. He threw a wild pitch, but got a strikeout.
Cheering for Pirates’ players and friends (some from the way-back machine) in Wednesday’s winter league action:
DOMINICAN LEAGUE (Round robin playoff series)
Leones del Escogido 4, Gigantes del Cibao 2 – A 2-run homer in the top of the 7th made the difference for Los Leones. LF/RF Rich Thompson went 0-for-2 for Los Gigantes, with a walk. He also dropped down a sacrifice bunt following a single in the bottom of the 9th, moving the runner to second base. Another single brought in Los Gigantes’ run in that inning. Former Indy Indian (2000 – 02) Tim Harikkala pitched 2.2 innings for Los Gigantes. He finished the 4th inning, then pitched two scoreless innings, but gave up the 2-run homer in the 7th.
Estrellas de Oriente 9, Toros del Este 2 - DH Ronny Paulino had 3 hits and an RBI for Los Estrellas. The RBI came with a single in the bottom of the 1st inning, following two other singles. He singled again in the 3rd, and tried to score on a double, but Paulino never was the fastest runner, and he was out at the plate. Paulino led off the 6th inning with a single, which started a 5-run rally, including a 2-run homer.
PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Leones de Ponce 8, Senadores de San Juan 6 – A 4-run rally in the 8th was not enough for Los Senadores to catch up. Then they had to deal with RJ Rodriguez in the 9th. Rodriguez picked up his 13th save of the season for Los Leones, with a 1-2-3 inning.
Criollos de Caguas 8, Indios de Mayaguez 2 – Eight runs in the 3rd inning were all Los Criollos needed. They recorded 5 singles, 4 walks, a triple, and a sacrifice fly (by SS Luis Figueroa) as 13 batters came to the plate in the inning.
Caribes de Anzoategui 9, Navegantes del Magallanes 2 – Los Caribes capped their scoring with a 4-run 8th inning, and Los Navegantes could not keep up. C JR House had two hits and a walk for Los Navegantes, but did not get to score. He walked in the top of the 1st but was left stranded. He doubled in the 3rd, but runners were left on second and third bases in that inning, and in the 9th, he singled and was again left on base.
Adelaide Bite 4, Canberra Cavalry 0 – Former Altoona Curve Paul Mildren pitched 8 stellar innings for the Bite, allowing only 2 hits and no walks, while striking out 9 Canberra batters. Mildren worked around a 2-out single and a batter reaching base on an error in the 2nd inning, then allowed a lead-off single in the 4th. Then he finished his night by retiring 15 straight batters. The Bite scored 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st, on a walk, a double, and a 2-RBI single by LF Quincy Latimore. A 2-run homer gave them some insurance in the 2nd inning, and that was all the scoring there would be in the game. Latimore singled again in the 5th inning, but was left on base.
Looking in on Pirates’ players and friend in Monday’s winter league action:
Leones del Caracas 6, Cardenales de Lara 5 – Two runs in the bottom of the 9th gave Los Leones and Jose Ascanio the win. Los Cardenales were leading 5-4 in the top of the 8th, when Ascanio came in from the bullpen with one out and a runner on first base. Ascanio’s catcher picked the runner off first base, recorded as a caught stealing, then Ascanio got a ground out to end the inning. He gave up a single in the top of the 9th, but kept Los Cardenales from scoring. Then in the bottom of the 9th, with Ray Sadler coming in to play center field for Lara, Los Leones eked out a single and a walk. A passed ball on ball four put runners on the corners for Los Leones. A single into center field drove n the run from third, for the walk-off win. Ascanio was the pitcher of record, so was credited with his first Venezuelan League win.
Bravos de Margarita 4, Caribes de Anzoategui 0 – LF Jose Tabata went 0-for-3 with a walk for Los Caribes, who recorded 8 hits, but could not push any of their base runners across the plate. They left a total of 11 runners on base and were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position. Los Bravos scored 3 runs in the 5th, on a double, two singles, a walk, and a fielding error. A solo homer added a fourth run in the 6th. Jhonathan Ramos came on to pitch for Margarita in the 7th, with two outs. He loaded the bases with a single and two walks, then was relieved, but due to Los Caribes’ lack of luck, another reliever got Tabata to fly out to end the inning, leaving three runners on base.
Aguilas de Zulia 6, Navegantes del Magallanes 3 – Fernando Nieve struggled through 2.2 innings and was eventually charged with the loss for Magallanes. He gave up a solo homer to the second batter of the game, then gave up two runs in the 2nd on two singles and a double. Three singles and a double steal brought in two more runs for Zulia in the 3rd, and that was all for Nieve — 5 runs on 8 hits, no walks, with 4 strikeouts. Two more singles added another run for Los Aguilas in the top of the 7th. Los Navegantes started their scoring in the bottom of the 7th. Former Pirate farmhand JR House, who made the jump over from the Dominican League, came into the game as a pinch-runner after a 2-out single. A walk and an RBI single allowed House to score Magallanes’ first run. House remained in the game to play first base, and he flied out in the 9th. A walk, a double, and a fielding error gave Los Navegantes 2 runs in the bottom of the 8th.
Tigres de Aragua 7, Tiburones de La Guaira 3 – Wil Ledezma also earned his first Venezuelan League win with 1.2 hitless and scoreless innings of work. Los Tigres started scoring in the bottom of the 1st, when SS Ronny Cedeno reached base on a fielding error, then scored on a double. C Raul Chavez blasted a 2-run homer in the 2nd, to give Aragua a 3-0 lead. Los Tiburones scored 2 runs in the top of the 3rd on three singles and two walks, then tied the score in the top of the 4th on a double, a bunt, and an RBI ground out. Ledezma came in from the bullpen in the 4th, and ended the 4th, then retired the side in order in the 5th. He was still the pitcher of record when Los Tigres scored 3 runs in the bottom of the 5th. Chavez walked, and moved to second base on CF Jorge Cortes’ sacrifice bunt. Cedeno singled, putting runners on the corners, then a sacrifice fly plated Chavez. A 2-run homer by DH Wilson Ramos brought in Cedeno. 1B Hector Gimenez also doubled after the homer. Three walks, including one by Gimenez, and a wild pitch gave Los Tigres an insurance run in the 8th.
Several moves, shuffling personnel around:
RHP Joe Martinez, who came to the Pirates from the Giants (with John Bowker) in July, was removed from the Pirates’ 40-man roster and designated for assignment. That frees up a roster spot for newly signed starter Kevin Correia. Martinez joined the Indy Indians after coming to the Pirate organization, and made 4 starts and 3 relief appearances for the Indians. In 28 innings, he earned a 1-2 record and a 5.72 ERA. Then he pitched 8.2 innings over 5 games for the Pirates, for a 3.12 ERA.
Spring Training invitations for the big league camp were extended to pitchers Rudy Owens and Justin Wilson, both of whom pitched in Altoona in 2010. Tyler Yates, working his way back from elbow surgery, was signed to a minor league contract and also invited to major league spring training. Infielder Jeff Clement was also invited to big league camp.
The Pirates have announced the new managers for their minor league teams: Dean Treanor, who was the pitching coach in Indianapolis in 2010, will now be managing the Indians. Frank Kremblas, who has managed in Indianapolis for two years, will move into the role of minor league field/instructional coordinator. PJ Forbes, who managed the Bradenton Marauders in 2010, will manage the Altoona Curve in 2011. Carlos Garcia will move from coaching first base for the Pirates to managing the Marauders. Gary Robinson is moving up from managing the State College Spikes to managing the West Virginia Power, and Dave Turgeon, former coach at Virginia Tech, will become the manager at State College.
And, some winter league action for some Pirates’ players and friends:
PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Gigantes de Carolina 4, Indios de Mayaguez 2 – For the second night in a row, Benji Gonzalez came into the game as a pinch-hitter for Los Gigantes, then remained in the game on defense. Gonzalez flied out in the top of the 6th, then played second base for one inning, and shortstop for 3 innings. He also grounded out in the 9th. Los Gigantes scored one run in the 2nd, 2 in the 4th, and one more in the 5th, while a triple and a double contributed to Los Indios’ 2 runs in the 7th.
Criollos de Caguas 7, Senadores de San Juan 2 – Former Indy Indian SS Luis Figueroa had another big night, going 4-for-5 with 3 doubles, a homer, and 4 RBI. Figueroa flied out in the bottom of the 1st, and that was the only time he was retired. His ground-rule double drive in Los Criollos’ first run in the 3rd. He doubled again (the conventional way) in the 4th, driving in 2 of that inning’s 3 runs. Then he homered to lead off the bottom of the 6th. He also doubled in the 8th, but was left on base. Los Criollos scored 2 runs in the 5th, without Figueroa’s help: three walks, including one by 3B Ramon Vazquez, loaded the bases, then a double brought in two runs. Vazquez also walked in the 2nd inning, but did not score.
Cheering for Pirates’ players and friends in Sunday’s winter league action…
The Dominican League’s last regular season games will be on Tuesday.
Tigres de Aragua 8, Leones de Caracas 3 (Game 1) — Los Tigres won this battle of the big cats with a 6-run 3rd inning. CF Jorge Cortes led off the inning with a single, was bunted to second base, and scored on an RBI single. SS Ronny Cedeno lined out, but the next two batters singled, driving in a run. 1B Hector Gimenez was hit by a pitch, then LF Lastings Milledge brought in two runs with his RBI single. A triple added two more runs. Cortes walked in his second at-bat in the inning, but a fly out ended the rally. Los Tigres added another run in the 5th on a single, Gimenez’s ground rule double, and Milledge’s sacrifice fly — his third RBI of the game. Milledge singled again in a rally in the 7th, when Aragua slipped in their 8th run. Caracas did all their scoring in the bottom of the 7th, leading off the inning with two singles and a 3-run homer.
Tigres 6, Leones 5 (Game 2) – It was Cortes who had 3 hits in the night-cap, while Cedeno, Gimenez, and C Raul Chavez were hitless. Wil Ledezma made the start for Los Tigres, and pitched 2 innings, allowing a run in the 1st. Aragua tied the score in the 2nd with a walk, a single by Milledge, and an RBI single by Cortes. Ledezma was relieved to begin the 3rd, and that was when Caracas scored 2 more runs on a walk, a single, and a triple. Another triple and a sacrifice fly gave Los Leones a 4-1 lead in the 5th. Los Tigres came roaring back in the top of the 6th, to take the lead. The inning began with 3 consecutive walks, including on Milledge and Gimenez. A triple cleared the bases, then Cortes’ double gave Aragua a 5-4 lead. Another single and a walk loaded the bases for Aragua, but a double play ended the inning and the rally. Caracas tied the score again in the bottom of the 7th, sending the game into extra innings. Jose Ascanio took the mound for Caracas in the top of the 7th, when he retired the side in order. In the bottom of the 8th, pinch-hitter Miguel Perez led off with a single, and Cortes bunted him to second base. A single drove in the speedy Perez from second base with the go-ahead run.
Navegantes del Magallanes 8, Tiburones de La Guaira 2 – Los Tiburones had the early lead, but Los Navegantes scored 7 of their runs in the final three innings, including a 4-run 8th. Jean Machi earned his 7th save with 1.1 scoreless innings, allowing only one hit.
Caribes de Anzoategui 8, Cardenales de Lara 7 (Game 1) – Six runs in the 2nd inning gave Los Caribes enough runs to outlast Lara’s late-inning rallies. DH Jose Tabata singled and scored on a 2-run homer in the top of the 1st. Los Cardenales got one of the runs back in the bottom of the inning, but Los Caribes had their big 2nd inning. With one out, a walk and four straight singles, including Tabata’s second single, brought in two runs, then a grand slam by LF Juan Camacho gave Los Caribes an 8-1 lead.
Caribes 4, Cardenales 2 (Game 2) — Four runs in the 6th inning gave Los Caribes what they needed. The inning began with a double and a single, then Jose Tabata lined another single into center field, bringing in one run. Three more singles and a sacrifice fly added 3 more runs. Los Cardenales scored one run in the 2nd on a walk, a single, and an RBI ground out. A double, a wild pitch, and a single gave Lara their second run in the 4th. CF Ray Sadler went 0-for-3 for Lara.