Many Familiar Winter League Pitchers

Lots of Pirates and former Pirates pitching in Friday’s winter league action… This is the last week of regular season play for the Dominican and Puerto Rican leagues.

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE
Caribes de Anzoategui  8,  Tiburones de La Guaira  5  – (Game 1) 
A 5-run 6th inning gave Los Caribes the edge in the first game of the double header.  Los Caribes started the game with 3 runs in the top of the 1st, on a single, a walk by DH Jose Tabata, and a 3-run homer.  The 6th inning began with a double, a hit batter, and a walk to load the bases.  Two sacrifice flies, an RBI single, and a sacrifice bunt aided by a throwing error by Los Tiburones’ pitcher added four more runs.  Tabata also singled in the inning.  La Guaira scored 2 runs in the 4th and rallied for 3 in the bottom of the 7th, but could not catch up.

Tiburones   9,  Caribes  2  – (Game 2)  Ryan Vogelsong earned his 6th win for Los Tiburones.  He allowed 2 runs on 5 hits and a walk over 6 innings.  Tabata did not get into the night-cap.

Leones de Caracas  6,  Aguilas de Zulia  2  –  Another former Pirate pitcher earned the win —  Ronald Uviedo also pitched 6 innings and allowed 2 runs.  He gave up 8 hits and a walk.  Los Leones scored one run in the 1st, two in the 2nd, and 3 in the 5th.  C Carlos Maldonado singled twice and walked, and scored one run.  

Bravos de Margarita  9,  Cardenales de Lara  –  Both teams put up big innings and posted a total of 12 hits each.  Lara had a 5-run 3rd inning, which began with CF Ray Sadler  being hit by a pitch.  Three singles and a throwing error brought in 2 runs, a sacrifice fly plated a third run, and a 2-run homer made it 5 runs.  Three consecutive doubles, including one by Sadler, plus a sacrifice fly gave Los Cardenales 3 runs in the 4th.  Los Bravos began their scoring with a run in the 2nd, then 3 runs in the 3rd on three singles, an error, and a wild pitch.  They added 4 more in the next inning, on three singles and three walks.  After the bottom of the 4th, the score was tied at 8-8.  Los Bravos scored what would turn out to be the winning run in the top of the 5th, on a walk, a double, and an RBI ground out.  Romulo Sanchez pitched to three batters and got three outs in the top of the 9th for Los Cardenales.  Anthony Claggett took the mound for Los Bravos in the bottom of the 6th, with two on and one out.  He got two outs to end the inning, then pitched the next two innings, allowing only one walk, no hits, with three strikeouts.  Ronald Belisario earned his 14th save with a scoreless 9th inning for Los Bravos.  

Tigres de Aragua  7,  Navegantes del Magallanes  5  –  New Pirate Fernando Nieve made the start for Los Navegantes and pitched 4.2 innings, allowing 4 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks.  A double and an RBI single by CF Jorge Cortes gave Los Tigres their first run in the 2nd inning.  Nieve gave up a 2-run homer to 1B Hector Gimenez in the 3rd inning.  Gimenez got to him again in the 5th, with an RBI single that followed a lead-off double.  Los Tigres scored 3 more runs after Nieve departed.  Cortes walked to lead off the 6th, then scored on a bunt and an RBI single.  Two runs scored in the 7th.  A double, Gimenez’s third hit of the game, a wild pitch, and LF Lasting Milledge’s sacrifice fly plated the runs.  Los Navegantes also scored one run in the 2nd inning, when LF Mike Ryan led off with a walk, moved to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a throwing error.  Magallanes scored 3 runs in the 5th, on a pair of singles, a double, and a fielding error by Milledge.  Reliever Wil Ledezma took the mound in relief for Aragua after those three runs had scored, and he worked around another error to get two outs and prevent further runs from scoring.  

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Win #3 For Ramos

Lots of talking and speculating at the Winter Meetings, but no action yet.
And not much action in the winter leagues on Monday, though that is not unusual for a Monday.

Venezuelan League:
Bravos de Margarita  9,  Leones del Caracas  7  –  
Pirates’ farmhand Jhonathan Ramos earned his third win for Los Bravos.  Ramos entered the game in the 6th inning with the score tied at 4-4, one out, and a runner on first base.  A fielding error put a second runner on base, and an RBI single with another error brought in the go-ahead run.  With a runner on third base, the next batter tapped a ball back to the mound, where Ramos scooped it up and fired to the shortstop covering second, hoping to start a double play.  They only got the runner coming into second base, though, and the second run of the inning scored.  Ramos got a strikeout to end the inning, but Los Leones had taken a 6-4 lead.  Los Bravos came right back in the top of the 7th.  A walk, a single, a passed ball by Leones’ C Carlos Maldonado, and a sacrifice fly brought in one run.  Then a hit batter and a 3-run homer gave Los Bravos an 8-6 lead.  Ramos started the bottom of the 7th, and gave up a solo home run.  Los Bravos got that run back with two singles and a sacrifice fly in the top of the 8th.  Ronald Belisario earned his 12th save for Los Bravos with a 1-2-3 9th inning.  Maldonado went 0-for-4 for Los Leones.  

Puerto Rican League:
Leones de Ponce  3,  Criollos de Caguas  2  –  
Former Pirate farmhand RJ Rodriguez earned his 8th save for Los Leones with a scoreless final inning, even though he gave up 2 singles.  Ponce scored a run in the 1st and 2 more in the 2nd.  Caguas scored one run in the 2nd, then took advantage of a bases-loaded walk to score again in the 3rd.  

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Claggett Wins Again; Singh Reappears

A few signing notes for some former Pirates — LHP Phil Dumatrait has signed a minor league contract with the Twins, and LHP Neal Cotts has signed a minor league contract with the Yankees.  OF Rajai Davis was traded from the A’s to the Blue Jays.  

Sunday’s winter league action involving a few Pirates’ players and friends:

DOMINICAN LEAGUE
Aguilas Cibaenas  12,  Tigres del Licey  1 —  
A 6-run 1st inning put the game into Los Aguilas’ pocket right from the start.  Starling Marte came into the game in the 5th inning as a pinch runner (he didn’t score), then remained in the game in left field.  He flied out in the 7th, then hit an RBI single in the 8th.  Denny Bautista was one of the few Licey pitchers who held Los Aguilas scoreless, as he threw a perfect top of the 9th for Los Tigres.  Indy area native Jake Fox went 0-for-4 for Los Tigres.

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE
Tiburones de La Guaira  6,  Tigres de Aragua  2 —  
Los Tiburones scored 5 runs over the first 3 innings, and Los Tigres could only manage 2 runs.  In the top of the 1st, SS Ronny Cedeno followed a lead-off single with a sacrifice bunt, then another single brought in the first Aragua run.  Their second run came in the 6th inning, when Cedeno led off with a double into left field, and a few minutes later, 1B Hector Gimenez doubled into right field, bringing in Cedeno.  C Miguel Perez came in as a defensive replacement behind the plate, but flied out in his only plate appearance.  CF Jorge Cortes went 0-for-3 with a walk.  Former Pirate pitcher Chris Hernandez pitched the top of the 9th for La Guaira.  He gave up a walk, but then got Cortes to bounce into a double play to end the game.  

Cardenales de Lara  7,  Navegantes del Magallanes  2  –  Los Navegantes were also only able to put up 2 runs, one in the 2nd, and one in the 7th.  SS Argenis Diaz contributed one of Los Navegantes’ 5 hits, but he did not score.  Corey Hamman pitched the 7th inning for Magallanes, and he gave up a solo home run.

Bravos de Margarita  2,  Aguilas de Zulia  1 —  Anthony Claggett won his second game in two days for Los Bravos, this time with one scoreless inning of work (it was 1.1 innings yesterday).  Los Bravos scored one run in the bottom of the 4th on a double, a single, and a grounder.  Los Aguilas tied the score in the top of the 6th, also with a single and a double.  Claggett took the mound to begin the 7th.  He gave up a lead-off single, then retired the next three batters he faced.  In the bottom of the inning, Los Bravos scored the go-ahead run on a single, a bunt, a wild pitch, and a sacrifice fly.  That made Claggett the pitcher of record.  Ronald Belisario pitched a perfect 9th inning for Margarita to collect his 10th save of the season.  

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Claggett Takes A Loss; Homers For Cedeno And Gimenez

Happy Thanksgiving to all!  
Everyone has probably seen that Zach Duke has been traded to Arizona for a player to be named later.
Also, former Pirate Bryan Bullington, who was removed from the Kansas City Royals’ 40-man roster last week, was released by the Royals yesterday.  Then Bullington signed a contract to play in Japan for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp for 2011.

Cheering for Pirates’ players and friends in the winter leagues on Wednesday….. 

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE
Tiburones de La Guaira  4,  Bravos de Margarita  1  (Game 1)  –  
This was supposed to be a 7-inning game, but the score was still tied at 1-1 after 7.  A bases-loaded walk forced in Los Bravos’ run in the bottom of the 1st.  Los Tiburones tied the score with a run on a single, a ground out, and another single in the 3rd.  Anthony Claggett had pitched a scoreless 7th inning — he gave up a single, but then picked the base runner off first.  But he started the top of the 8th with a single and a sacrifice bunt, and was then relieved.  The next pitcher loaded the bases with a pair of walks, then he was relieved too.  Two singles and a sacrifice fly brought in 3 runs for Los Tiburones, with the first one charged to Claggett, making him responsible for the loss.  Margarita won the second game 3-0, holding Los Tiburones to just 3 hits in the 7-inning game.  Former Pirate farmhand Ronald Belisario allowed one of the hits along with a walk in the 7th inning, earning his 8th save.

Tigres de Aragua  7,  Navegantes del Magallanes  5  –  Both SS Ronny Cedeno and 1B Hector Gimenez hit 2-run homers for Los Tigres in this win.  Gimenez’s blast got Aragua going in their 4-run 1st inning, and Cedeno’s homer made the score 6-1 in the 2nd inning.  Gimenez also doubled in the game.  CF Jorge Cortes walked and scored for Los Tigres, and C Raul Chavez was 0-for-3 at the plate.  

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Two Hits For Marte In The Dominican League

Cheering for the Pirates’ players and friends in Tuesday’s winter league action…
I’ll be going on the road for a few days… catch up with everyone at the beginning of next week.

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

Cardenales de Lara  6,  Tigres de Aragua  2  –  Los Tigres were held to 5 hits.  They scored their 2 runs in the 7th inning on a walk, a triple, and a single.  Aragua also had two singles in the 3rd inning but didn’t score, and 3 walks in the 6th, but a double play and a pop out ended that inning without a run scoring.  Los Tigres’ only other hit in the game was a double by 1B Hector Gimenez to lead off the 9th inning.  Raul Chavez pinch hit in the 9th, but popped out to end the game.  Lastings Milledge started the game in left field, and popped out to end the 2nd inning (with no runners on base).  He was removed from the game as the bottom half of the inning began, but no explanation was given.  CF Jorge Cortes went 0-for-3 for Los Tigres.  Former Indy Indian C Alex Delgado had an RBI single in the 4th for Lara, and doubled and scored on a 2-run homer in the 6th. 

Bravos de Margarita  2,  Navegantes del Magallanes  1  –  Pitching ruled for the first 6 innings of this game.  Margarita scored a run in the 7th on two singles and added another run in the 8th on a walk and two more singles.  Los Navegantes scored just one run, which came in the bottom of the 9th, on a walk and a double.  Justin Thomas took the mound in relief for Los Bravos to begin the bottom of the 5th.  He worked around a lead-off single for a scoreless 5th, then loaded the bases on two singles, a sacrifice bunt, and an intentional walk to begin the 6th inning.  Edgar Martinez relieved Thomas and got a strikeout and pop out to end the inning with the bases still loaded.  Ronald Belisario earned his 7th save for Margarita, even though he was responsible for Los Navegantes’ run in the 9th.  

Leones del Caracas  5,  Caribes del Anzoategui  4  –  Four runs in the top of the 9th were not enough for Los Caribes to catch up to Los Leones.  Adenson Chourio came into the game to pinch-run in the 9th, with the bases loaded and one run already walked in.  A double lined into center field scored the runners from second and third, but Chourio was out at the plate on the throw in from center field.  C Carlos Maldonado was the one who tagged out Chourio.  Maldonado’s lead-off homer in the 8th gave Caracas what turned out to be the winning run.  He also singled in the 2nd and walked in the 6th.   

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