The Venezuelan, Mexican Pacific, and Puerto Rican Leagues wrap up their regular season play today.  Everyone is off for New Year's Eve, and playoff games begin soon after.  A few of the Pirates' players and friends in tonight's action:

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE
Caribes  de Anzoategui  2,  Navegantes del Magallanes  1  --  
C JR House had the second of three consecutive singles to lead off the top of the 7th for Los Navegantes, when they scored their only run of the game.  That run tied the game at 1-1, after Los Caribes had scored one run in the 5th on a fielding error and a double.  But Los Caribes broke the tie in the bottom of the 7th with a pair of doubles, and took the win.

Aguilas de Zulia   8,  Cardenales de Lara  7  --  Los Aguilas posted 16 hits and piled up their runs in the middle innings, and were leading 8-1 going into the top of the 9th.  Romulo Sanchez pitched the top of the 9th for Lara, and retired the side in order.  Then in the bottom of the inning. Los Cardenales rallied with three singles, two doubles, and a 2-run homer, scoring 6 runs.  But with two runners still on base, a fly out ended the game, and Los Cardenales fell one run short of catching up.

 
DOMINICAN LEAGUE (Round Robin Playoff Series)
Toros del Este  2,  Leones del Escogido  1  --  
A pitching duel, with each team posting only 5 hits.  Los Toros scored 2 runs in the 4th on two consecutive fielding errors, a single, a walk to force in one run, and an RBI ground out.  Two singles and a ground out gave Los Leones their only run in the top of the 9th.  SS Pedro Ciriaco went 0-for-3, plus he reached on a fielding error in the 3rd and stole second base.  

Estrellas de Oriente   9,  Gigantes del Cibao  0  --  DH Ronny Paulino was Los Estrellas' heavy hitter for the second night in a row.  He went 3-for-3, walked, scored twice, and drove in a run.  He singled to lead off the 2nd inning, though did not score.  He singled again to lead off the 4th, moved to third on a double, and scored on a sacrifice fly.  Another run came in on two more singles and a walk.  Paulino singled for the third time in the 5th inning, but was left on base.  Los Estrellas rallied for 6 runs in the 6th inning.  A walk, a single, and a hit batter loaded the bases, then Paulino picked up his RBI when he walked to force in a run.  A single and a wild pitch each brought in a run.  A ground out scored Paulino, and one more single drove in 2 runs.  A solo homer gave Los Estrellas their final run in the 7th.  Los Gigantes were held to just 6 hits, and two of those were by RF Rich Thompson.  He singled to open the 5th, but was out at second on a force play.  Thompson doubled in the 7th inning, and was left on base.  

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