Checking in with Pirates’ players and friends in the Winter Leagues
MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE
Venados de Mazatlan 7, Algodoneros de Guasave 5
Guasave took an early lead with a 4-run bottom of the 1st inning, which included a 3-run inside-the-park home run by 3B Marshall McDougall. Not to be outdone, Mazatlan’s CF Ruben Rivera led off the top of the 2nd with his own inside-the-park home run. A double and a single put two runners into scoring position for Los Venados after the homer. The runner from third scored when RF Rogelio Noris bounced into a double play. Guasave scored again in the 3rd, for a 5-2 lead. Mazatlan crept closer with an over-the-fence homer in the top of the 5th, and got within one run with an unearned run in the top of the 7th. Mazatlan took the final lead in the top of the 8th, on two walks and (what else?) the third inside-the-park home run, this one by LF Jon Weber. Noris went 0-for-5, but he also reached base on a fielder’s choice and stole second. Former Pirate LF Yurendell de Caster singled twice for Guasave, but did not score.
Cardenales de Lara 1, Aguilas del Zulia 0
A pitching duel in the afternoon — Four Zulia pitchers held Los Aguilas to just 4 hits. Los Cardenales did not do much better, with just one run on 5 hits. The lone run came in the 5th inning, on a single, a walk, a grounder force out, and an RBI single. Pirates’ pitcher Diego Moreno pitched a perfect 8th inning for Zulia. Former Pirate Carlos Maldonado did the catching for Zulia, and went 0-for-3 at the plate.
Caribes de Anzoategui 9, Leones del Caracas 3
CF Gorkys Hernandez isn’t letting his facial injury from two days ago (he was hit in the face by a pitch) slow him down. He singled, walked, and scored twice in today’s game. Los Caribes got onto the board with a solo homer by 3B Luis Nunez in the bottom of the 1st. They added 3 runs in the 2nd, when three walks (including Hernandez’s) loaded the bases, and Nunez singled to drive in Hernandez and another runner. Hernandez had the second single of the 7th inning, then moved to third on a bunt and a fielding error. Nunez’s sacrifice fly drove in the runner from third. Hernandez scored on an RBI single, and another single and double drove in 3 more runs. Pirates’ Jose Ascanio pitched the 5th inning for Los Leones. He walked Nunez, then got a fly out that also doubled Nunez off first base. C Ramon Cabrera came in as a defensive replacement behind the plate in the bottom of the 8th, and caught that inning. He grounded out in his plate appearance in the 9th.
Navegantes del Magallanes 7, Tigres de Aragua 6
Former Pirate LF Lastings Milledge smacked a 2-run homer in the top of the 1st and also doubled and scored for Los Tigres in their 3-run 6th inning. Back-to-back solo homers in the bottom of the 6th gave Magallanes a 6-5 lead, then two singles and a double by Aragua tied the score at 6-6 in the top of the 7th. Magallanes broke the tie in the bottom of the 8th with a walk and two singles. Former Indy Indian Jean Machi came on to pitch the top of the 9th, earning a save with three quick outs — and he struck out Milledge to end the game. Former Pirate SS Argenis Diaz went 0-for-3 with a walk for Magallanes, and another former Indy Indian RF Jorge Cortes did the same for Aragua.
Tigres del Licey 4, Leones del Escogido 2
Both teams scored one run in the 4th inning, and both teams scored again in the 7th — but it was one run for Escogido and 3 runs for Licey. Starling Marte went 0-for-3, and was hit by a pitch in the 7th inning rally. He advanced as far as third base but did not score. A single and two doubles gave Licey their runs in the bottom of the frame.