Cheering for some Pirates' players and friends in Friday's winter league action:

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE
Leones del Caracas  6,  Tigres de Aragua  4  --  
Caracas won this battle of the Big Cats.  Los Leones scored first with a solo homer in the top of the 1st.  Los Tigres tied it up in the 2nd inning.  Two singles, including one by 1B Hector Gimenez, and a throwing error put runners on second and third bases.  LF  Lastings Milledge drove in the run with a ground out to third.  Caracas took the lead again in the top of the 3rd, with a walk, a ground out, and an RBI single.  The batter was out at second as he tried to advance on the throw to the plate:  CF Jorge Cortes to C Raul Chavez to SS Ronny Cedeno, who tagged the runner out.  Aragua took a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the 3rd, with a 3-run homer, after Chavez reached on a fielding error, a single, and Cedeno's sacrifice bunt.  But Los Leones came right back with their own homer for 2 runs in the top of the 4th, then took the lead with another run on two singles.  They added an insurance run in the top of the 9th, on two singles and a throwing error.  Los Tigres did not score again, though Milledge singled in the 4th, Cedeno singled in the 5th, and Cortes singled in the 7th.

PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Gigantes de Carolina  8,  Criollos de Caguas  3  --  
Los Criollos managed only 5 hits, and two of those were by SS Luis Figueroa.  Figueroa singled in the 3rd, and along with two more singles and two walks, Los Criollos scored 2 runs.  Figueroa also reached on an error in the 4th, and that allowed Los Criollos' remaining run to score.  He also singled in the 9th.  3B Ramon Vazquez went 0-for-4 for Caguas.  Los Gigantes scored 2 runs in the 2nd and 4th innings, then added 4 runs in the 7th inning.   



DOMINICAN LEAGUE
Aguilas Cibaenas  10,  Tigres del Licey  3  --  
Los Tigres posted 10 hits but left 11 runners on base, scoring only 3 times.  Licey scored a run in the 3rd on two singles and a sacrifice fly.  LF Jake Fox and two others singled in the 7th, and one run scored when C Robinzon Diaz bounced into a double play.  A single and a double gave Los Tigres their last run in the 8th.  Diaz singled for Los Tigres in the 2nd inning, but DH Ronny Paulino (who just signed a contract with the Mets) went 0-for-3 with a walk.  Los Aguilas put up their first run in the 4th, tying the game on two singles, a walk, and a wild pitch.  Then they put the game out of reach with 4 runs in the 6th and 3 runs in the 7th.  Denny Bautista came on to pitch for Licey in the 7th, and he gave up a walk and a 2-RBI double.  Starling Marte scored one of those runs, since he had just come in to pinch-run.  Marte remained in the game to play right field.  He batted again in the 9th, and reached base on a fielding error, though was out on a force play at second.  A walk and a single brought in two more Aguilas' runs in the 9th.  LF Kevin Melillo went 0-for-3 for Los Aguilas.    

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