Cheering for Pirates’ players and friends in the Winter Leagues on Thursday…
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.
The Dominican and Puerto Rican winter leagues open their seasons tonight.� So far, many of the teams in those leagues have only partial rosters or no rosters posted.
PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Gigantes de Carolina — SS Benji Gonzalez (West Virginia Power in 2010), and former Indy Indian (2007) OF Luis Matos.
Criollos de Caguas — former Indy Indian (2004) SS Luis Figueroa and former Pirate INF Ramon Vazquez
Gigantes de Carolina� 4,� Criollos de Caguas� 0 — Of these players, Figueroa and Vazquez were the only ones to get into the game.� They went 0-for-9 between them as Caguas was held to just 6 hits in the shutout.
Aguilas Cibaenas –� C Luke Carlin (Indy Indians in part of 2010) and OF Starling Marte (Bradenton Marauders in 2010).
Toros del Este — managed by Dean Treanor, with C Jason Jaramillo and maybe SS Pedro Ciriaco.
Tigres del Licey� — Three former Pirates: C Ronny Paulino, C Robinzon Diaz, and RHP Denny Bautista.
Gigantes del Cibao� 5,� Aguilas Cibaenas� 1� — C Luke Carlin started the game behind the plate for Los Aguilas.� He walked to open the top of the 3rd but was out in a double play, then struck out in the 5th.� Los Aguilas managed only 3 hits, and they scored their only run in the 6th inning, aided by two errors and a wild pitch.
Bravos de Margarita� 4,� Aguilas de Zulia� 1 – Margarita took advantage of mistakes by Zulia.� They scored a pair of runs in the 5th on a single, a walk, and an error, then two insurance runs in the 9th on two walks, two wild pitches, and another error.� Andy LaRoche started the game at third base.� In three trips to the plate, he flied out, struck out, and walked — and was picked off base.� When the next half inning began, LaRoche was removed from the game.� Los Bravos might be getting a little frustrated with LaRoche, who is hitting .100.
The Arizona Fall League begins play today, with seven Pirates’ farmhands on the roster for the Mesa Solar Sox.� Players from the Los Angeles Angels, the Philadelphia Phillies, the Chicago Cubs, and the New York Mets will round out the Solar Sox’ roster. � Pitchers Brian Leach, Aaron Pribanic, and Justin Wilson are all participating, and all are expected to pitch in relief, as other pitchers have the priority for starting roles.� Team USA’s Justin De Fratus (Phillies) is also on the roster, so he must be planning to join the Solar Sox later in the week after the Pan Am tournament wraps up.
Behind the plate, look for C Tony Sanchez, who is trying to make up time after missing much of the regular season due to a fractured jaw.� Sanchez has also been asked by MLB to keep a blog of his experiences in the Arizona Fall League.� (He hasn’t started it yet — stay tuned.)� Phillies’ pitcher Josh Zeid and Angels pitcher Ryan Brasier, both slated as starters for the Solar Sox, have also been asked to write blogs.
Altoona infielders Josh Harrison and Jordy Mercer will be sharing some infield time with six other infielders, including Josh Vitters of the Cubs.� Their Curve teammate Andrew Lambo will be sharing outfield duties with four other outfielders, including Phillies’ John Mayberry.
Mexican Pacific League
Los Venados de Mazatlan is the hometown team of OF Rogelios Noris. He got in a little playing time last year as a rookie, and was a bit of a surprise, with some home runs and some very good pinch-hit appearances. The 21-year-old hit .236 with the West Virginia Power during the 2010 season.
Also listed on one Mazatlan roster (but not all) is LHP Jovany Lopez. Lopez is a 19 year old from Los Mochis, who has spent two seasons with the Pirates Venezuelan Summer League team.� This season, he made 18 relief appearances (27.2 innings) and had a 5-0 record with a 3.90 ERA.� He gave up 30 hits and 12 earned runs, but allowed only 5 walks and struck out 21.
Three former Pirates are also playing in the Mexican Pacific League:� Inf/Of Yurendell de Caster is with Los Algodoneros de Guasave, C Humberto Cota is on the roster of Los Naranjeros de Hermosillo, and OF Jeff Salazar will be in center field for Los Yaquis de Obregon.
The Indy Indians lost today, as did all of the other affiliates who were playing — the Power also won, splitting a double header.
Tomorrow MLB will hold the 2010 Draft… stay tuned!
New Hampshire Fisher Cats �5, �Altoona Curve �3 (box)
Like yesterday, the Curve had an early 3-run inning to take the lead, but also like yesterday, they gave up runs in the late innings and lost to the Fisher Cats. �And like the Indy Indians today, the Curve faced a former teammate — Ronald Uviedo, who was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays last week, made the start for the Fisher Cats. �Uviedo was a reliever while pitching for the Curve, so he will need to get stretched out — he was limited to just 3 innings today. �Uviedo retired his old mates in order in the 1st inning, but gave up two walks, to LF Alex Presley and DH Jim Negrych in the 2nd. �The walks were followed by a booming home run by RF Miles Durham, to give the Curve 3 runs. �Uviedo also walked 3B Josh Harrison in the 3rd inning, but left him on base.
Jared Hughes had the start for the Curve. �He begin the bottom of the 1st inning with three straight singled, loading the bases with no outs. �A grounder to short for a force out at second brought in one run, but they did not get a double play. �Instead, Hughes struck out the next batter and ended the inning with an easy grounder to first.
That 3-1 score held for the next 5 innings. �Counting those three outs after the three singles in the 1st, Hughes retired 17 Fisher Cats batters in order, taking him to the 6th inning with two outs. �That’s when he loaded the bases again, on a single, a walk, and a single, before bearing down to get out of the jam with a fly out.
After Uviedo finished the 3rd inning, the Curve got a walk by C Hector Gimenez in the 4th, and SS Chase d’Arnaud was hit by a pitch in the 5th, but neither scored. �They came close in the 6th, when Josh Harrison led off with a double. �A passed ball had Harrison moving, but he was caught in a run-down on the third base line, and eventually tagged out.
New Hampshire added a run in the bottom of the 7th off reliever Tony Watson. A double and two ground outs did the trick, and the Curve lead was cut to 3-2. �The Curve got the run back right away, when d’Arnaud led off the top of the 8th with a triple, then scored on a wild pitch. �Two more Curve batters got on base in the inning, with a walk to CF Gorkys Hernandez and 1B Matt Hague being hit by a pitch, but a double play ended the inning without further runs scoring.
The Fisher Cats did their damage in the bottom of the 8th. �With Watson still on the mound, a double and a ground out put a base runner on third. �Jimmy Barthmaier relieved Watson, but he walked the only batter he faced. �Danny Moskos came on next, and he gave up an RBI single to tie the game. �A throwing error on the play moved the runners to second and third base. �Another single drove in both runners to give the Fisher Cats the winning run plus an insurance run. �The Curve tried to rally in the 9th, when Gimenez walked and Negrych singled, but two strikeouts ended the game.
Curve pitcher Tim Alderson was named the Eastern League’s Pitcher Of The Week, for the week of May 24 – 30. �Alderson won two starts during that week, on the 24th and the 29th. �In 13 innings of work, he gave up only one run on 8 hits and 3 walks, with a total of 10 strikeouts. �His ERA for the two games was 0.69. �Overall, Alderson has a 4-2 record and a 4.75 ERA in 10 starts for the Curve.
Reliever Ronald Uviedo, who has made 16 appearances for the Curve this season, was traded today to the Blue Jays in return for starter Dana Eveland, who will be joining the Pirates’ rotation. �Uviedo was on the Pirates’ 40-man roster, so trading him opens up a space on the 40-man roster for Eveland. �Uviedo has an 0-2 record with the Curve, no saves, and a 3.22 ERA in 22.1 innings. �He has allowed 13 hits, 8 runs (3 homers), and 12 walks, while striking out 28 batters.
Altoona Curve �4, �New Britain Rock Cats �1 (box)
Jared Hughes pitched 7 strong innings, allowing only one run on 5 hits and a walk, while striking out 6 batters, to earn his Eastern League-leading 8th win of the season. �Hughes gave up the run in the 1st inning. �A lead-off single, a stolen base, a sacrifice fly, and an RBI ground out gave the Rock Cats their only tally of the game. �Hughes gave up a double in each of the next two innings, and a single in the 4th, but each time worked around the base runner to keep the Rock Cats from scoring. �The last single plus the walk came in the 6th inning, but again Hughes bore down and ended the inning with the runners still standing there. �He finished off his night with two strikeouts in the 7th inning.
The Curve put runners on base in each of the first 4 innings, but could not push them around to score. �Two singles by CF Gorkys Hernandez, walks by 1B Matt Hague and RF Miles Durham, and a double by LF Alex Presley were not enough to bring in any runs. �Finally in the 3rd, the Curve tied the score at 1-1 when C Kris Watts led off with a double, moved to third on SS Chase d’Arnaud’s single, and scored on Hernandez’s sacrifice fly. �A walk to DH Jim Negrych and a single by Hague loaded the bases, but all three were left on base when the inning ended.
D’Arnaud got the go-ahead RBI in the 6th. �Presley and Durham led off with back-to-back singles. �A bunt by Watts went a little awry, and Durham was out at second, but Presley made it safely to third and Watts was safe on first. �That set up d’Arnaud, who lined a double into left field, scoring Presley, for the 2-1 lead.
The Curve tacked on two insurance runs in the top of the 9th. �Negrych reached second base on a throwing error by the Rock Cats’ third baseman Juan Portes. �Hague walked, then 2B Jordy Mercer grounded to third base. �Portes made the force out of Negrych at third, but then made a throwing error, and Hague ended up on third, with Mercer safe on second. �A wild pitch allowed Hague to score, and a single by 3B Josh Harrison brought in Mercer.
Jeff Sues pitched a scoreless 8th inning for the Curve, retiring the side in order. �Danny Moskos finished things off by striking out the side in the 9th, earning his 12th save of the season.
The Curve have a school-day special in New Britain tomorrow, with the game beginning at 10:30 am.