Cheering for the Pirates’ players and friends in winter league action on Thursday…
Tigres de Aragua� 6,� Bravos de Margarita� 0� — Los Bravos were held to just 2 hits — a single in the 7th, and another to lead off the 9th inning.� 3B Andy LaRoche worked a walk to open the 2nd inning, but was erased in a double play.� Margarita got another walk in the 4th inning, and those were the only two Bravos batters to reach base in the first six innings.� Los Tigres scored their first run in the 1st inning, on a double, a single by SS Ronny Cedeno (in his Tigres’ debut), a fielders’ choce by CF Lastings Milledge, and an RBI single.� They added 2 more runs in the 4th, on a 2-run homer.� C Raul Chavez doubled after the homer, and Hector Gimenez reached on a fielder’s choice, but Chavez was out at third.� Cedeno also doubled in the 5th, then had the second single of the 7th inning.� Milledge moved Cedeno up to second base on a ground out, and an intentional walk loaded the bases.� A sacrifice fly plated the first run of the inning.� Chavez and Gimenez each drove in a run with an RBI single.� Jorge Cortes made a pinch-hitting appearance for Los Tigres and worked a walk in the 8th, but was left on base.
Navegantes del Magallanes� 3,� Tiburones de La Guaira� 1� — Los Tiburones put up half of their 6 hits in the 4th inning, when they scored their only run — back-to-back doubles and a single to begin the inning.� Los Navegantes scored one run in the 1st inning on a fielding error, a stolen base, and a double.� After Los Tiburones tied the score in the top of the 4th, Magallanes came back in the bottom of the frame to take the lead with a single, a walk, a wild pitch, and a 2-RBI single.� DH Mike Ryan was hitless in 4 trips to the plate for Magallanes.� Jean Machi pitched the top of the 9th for Magallanes and gave up a walk but struck out 2 batters to keep Los Tiburones from scoring.� Machi earned his 3rd save of the winter league season.
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.