Cheering for Pirates’ players and friends in Thursday’s winter league action….
PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Gigantes de Carolina 5, Senadores de San Juan 4 — Los Gigantes plated a run in the bottom of the 11th inning for the walk-off win. Carolina posted 15 hits, and 3 of those were by LF/RF Luis Matos. Benji Gonzalez came into the game to pinch-hit in the 8th inning, when he put down a sacrifice bunt in the rally that tied the game and eventually sent it into extra innings. Gonzalez remained in the game to play second base. He struck out in his only other plate appearance.
Bravos de Margarita 2, Tigres de Aragua 1 — A solo home run by Margarita’s DH Frank Diaz in the bottom of the 9th gave the win to Los Bravos. Los Tigres scored their only run in the 6th inning, when C Raul Chavez singled and came around to score on an RBI double. Margarita tied the score in the 7th with an RBI single. Chavez had a pair of singles in the game. LF Lastings Milledge and CF Jorge Cortes each had a single in the game. 1B Hector Gimenez was 0-for-4. Ronny Cedeno came in to pinch-run for Chavez after his single in the 8th, but did not score. Miguel Perez took over behind the plate for the rest of the game. Margarita’s Andy LaRoche did not get into the game.
Winter league action with the Pirates’ players and friends on Wednesday…
Tigres de Aragua� 6,� Bravos de Margarita� 0� (Game 1) — SS Ronny Cedeno’s 3-run homer in the 4th inning put the game away for Los Tigres.� Aragua scored one run in each of the first three innings.� A single, a sacrifice bunt by Cedeno, and an RBI single by DH Hector Gimenez plated the run in the 1st inning.� A walk, a single by CF Jorge Cortes, and an RBI ground out brought in the run in the 2nd.� Gimenez also drove in the run in the 3rd with another RBI single.� LF/RF Lastings Milledge was hitless in this game, as was Margarita’s 3B Andy LaRoche. Los Bravos were held to just 3 hits.
Tigres de Aragua� 2,� Bravos de Margarita� 0� (Game 2)� – RF Lastings Milledge blasted a solo homer over the left field wall in the top of the 1st, and that was all the scoring Los Tigres needed.� Milledge added another RBI in the 7th inning with a single to give Aragua some insurance, and he also walked in the 3rd inning.� Los Tigres needed only 5 hits in the game, with 1B Hector Gimenez getting one of those.� CF Jorge Cortes walked in three trips to the plate, but SS Cedeno and C Raul Chavez were both hitless.� 3B Andy LaRoche singled to lead off the 2nd inning for Margarita, but did not score.
Aguilas de Zulia� 5,� Navegantes del Magallanes� 1� — DH Mike Ryan scored Magallanes’ only run, which came in the 6th inning, when he singled, then scored on an RBI double.� Ryan also singled in the 1st inning.� Zulia scored one run in both the 1st and 2nd innings, then 2 more in the 6th, and one in the 7th.� Corey Hamman took the mound in relief in the 7th, with two outs and a runner on 2nd base.� He gave up an RBI single to the only batter he faced, though the run was charged to the previous pitcher.
Cheering for some Pirates’ players and friends in Tuesday’s winter league action…�� The Australians are back in action on Thursday, which will be late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning for most of us.
Tigres de Aragua� 6,� Bravos de Margarita� 0� — A Pirate-filled game… 2B/3B Andy LaRoche singled twice and walked for Los Bravos, but his teammates could not get him or anyone else pushed across the plate.� LaRoche singled to lead off the 2nd inning, went to second on a fielding error, and to third on a wild pitch, but he was out at the plate on what seems to have been a wild pitch or passed ball.� LaRoche worked the second of two walks in the 4th inning, but was erased in an inning-ending double play.� Another double play took him off the bases in the 9th, after another lead-off single.� Meanwhile, the Pirates playing for Los Tigres also got off to a frustrating start.� DH Hector Gimenez walked in the 2nd, and LF Lastings Milledge followed by beating out a tapper back to the mound.� But a double play ended that inning without a run scoring.� It got better in the 5th, when Milledge walked, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, then scored on CF Jorge Cortes’ RBI double into right field.� A single and a home run by C Wilson Ramos gave Los Tigres 2 more runs in the 6th.� In the 8th, with two on (walk and single) and two outs, Jhonathan Ramos came on to pitch for Los Bravos.� Gimenez was the first batter he faced� — and he blasted a 3-run over the left field wall, to give Aragua a 6-0 lead.� Ramos got Milledge to ground out to end the inning, and he was relieved for the next inning.� So, one hit each for Gimenez, Milledge, and Cortes, but an 0-for-4 night for SS Ronny Cedeno.
Caribes de Anzoategui� 7,� Tiburones de La Guaira� 1� — The score was tied at 1-1 going into the bottom of the 8th, when Los Caribes exploded for 6 runs.� After a lead-off double, Adenson Chourio was brought in to pinch-hit.� He was intentionally walked, and a sacrifice bunt put both runners into scoring position.� Another intentional walk loaded the bases, then an unintentional walk forced in the go-ahead run.� An RBI grounder plated Chourio, then back-to-back homers, 3-run and solo, gave Los Caribes all the insurance they would need.
The Pirates have signed reliever Justin Thomas to a minor league contract for the 2011 season.� Thomas was removed from the Pirates’ 40-man roster at the end of the 2010 season.� He has been pitching for Los Bravos de Margarita, where he has made 5 appearances, for 12.1 innings.� He has a 0-2 record with a 6.57 ERA.
AFL:� Scottsdale Scorpions� 8,� Mesa Solar Sox� 3
The Solar Sox scored their runs on 3B Brandon Wood’s 3-run homer in the 7th inning, and that was all the scoring they managed, despite having at least one runner on base in all but one inning.� The Solar Sox threatened in the 4th inning when C Tony Sanchez walked and RF Andrew Lambo singled, but neither came around to score.�� The Scorpions did their scoring early, with 2 runs in the 2nd and 3 runs in the 3rd all off starter Robert Carson (Mets), who surrendered 8 hits.� The Scorpions added another 3 runs in the 4th inning off reliever Eric Niesen (Mets), on a homer, a walk, a single, a double, and a sacrifice fly.� David Cales (Cubs) finished the 4th and pitched a scoreless 5th for Mesa.� Nicholas Carr (Mets) threw 2 scoreless innings, and Brian Leach followed with a scoreless 8th, with one walk.� Robert Fish (Angels) wrapped things up for Mesa with a scoreless 9th.
Toros del Este� 8,� Leones del Escogido� 1 — C Jason Jaramillo singled and doubled for Los Toros, and the double drove in a run for Los Toros in the 6th inning.� SS Pedro Ciriaco was hitless in 5 trips to the plate.� He committed one of Los Toros’ 4 errors, though his error did not lead to Los Leones’ run.
Tigres del Licey� 7,� Aguilas Cibaenas� 5� — C Luke Carlin and CF Starling Marte each had one hit for Los Aguilas, who could not stand up to Los Tigres’ 3 runs over the final two inning of the game.� Carlin walked and Marte reached on a fielding error in the 2nd inning, and in the 4th, Carlin singled and Marte bunted him to second base, but they did not score in either of those innings.� Marte doubled to lead off the 6th inning, and he came around to score in that inning.� C Robinzon Diaz doubled to lead off the 5th inning for Los Tigres, and he scored on two singles and a ground out.
Estrellas de Oriente� 7,� Gigantes del Cibao� 5� — Franquelis Osoria had the win for Los Estrellas, as he was the pitcher of record when his teammates scored 4 runs in the top of the 9th.� Mike Dubee pitched a total of 2 innings for Los Gigantes.� He entered the game in the 6th inning with one on and one out, then ended the inning by picking the runner of first and then striking out the next batter.� Dubee retired the side in the 7th, then began the 8th with a ground out and a hit batter, before being relieved.� (That runner did not score.)
PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Gigantes de Carolina� 3,� Criollos de Caguas� 0� — 2B Benji Gonzalez had two singles for Los Gigantes, though he was not involved with the scoring.� The only runs of the game came in the top of the 5th, on a 3-run homer for Los Gigantes.� SS Luis Figueroa had one hit, and 3B Ramon Vazquez collected 2 singles for Los Criollos.
Cheering for Pirates’ players and friends in Sunday’s winter league games…
Leones del Caracas� 9,� Bravos de Margarita� 2� — Caracas began the game with 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st, and kept right on rolling, with a run in the 3rd, 2 in the 4th , and 4 in the 5th.� In the 5th, Margarita reliever Jhonathan Ramos enterd the game with one run already scored, a runner on second base, and no outs.� He made a missed catch error while covering first base for the first batter he faced, which allowed the base runner to score.� Then Ramos gave up a double and a single, and two more runs came in.� A double play and a tapper back to the mound ended the inning.� Margarita’s first run came in the 4th inning, when LF Frank Diaz tripled, and 3B Andy LaRoche brought him in with a sacrifice fly.� Los Bravos scored again in the 5th inning on a pair of doubles.� LaRoche also walked in the 6th inning, but was earased in a double play.
Navegantes del Magallanes� 5,� Tigres de Aragua� 4� — Aragua jumped out to a 3-0 start in the top of the 1st.� A lead-off double was followed by a sacrifice bunt by SS Ronny Cedeno, and an RBI single by LF Lastings Milledge. DH Hector Gimenez brought in Milledge with a 2-run homer.� Magallanes brought Corey Hamman on in relief to begin the 3rd inning, and Hamman allowed Aragua only one hit over the next three innings.� He then began the top of the 6th by giving up a double, then a sacrifice bunt by Gimenez.� Hamman was relieved, and one more run scored on a walk and a sacrifice fly.� Then in the bottom of the inning, Magallanes started their come-back.� Brian Bass had pitched 5 scoreless innings for Los Tigres (allowing just 2 hits and 4 walks), and Los Navegantes had to wait until Bass was relieved to start their rallies.� A single, a walk to DH Mike Ryan, then three more walks forced in two runs in the 6th.� A hit batter, another walk to Ryan, a wild pitch, and an RBI ground out got Los Navegantes within one run of Los Tigres.� In the bottom of the 8th, two lead-off singles and a sacrifice bunt put two Navegantes’ runners into scoring position.� The next batter dropped another sacrifice bunt, which Aragua reliever Rich Rundles picked up and threw away, allowing two runs to score, to give Magallanes the win.� Aragua CF Jorge Cortes also singled and doubled in the game but didn’t score.