Looking at some Pirates players and friends in Monday’s winter league action:
Caribes de Anzoategui 4, Bravos de Margarita 3
A run in the bottom of the 8th broke a 3-3 tie and gave Los Caribes the win, despite being out-hit by Margarita, 11-8. A walk and a single opened the bottom of the 8th for Los Caribes. CF Gorkys Hernandez dropped down a bunt, which turned into a force out at third base, leaving Hernandez safe at first. Los Bravos brought in Pirate reliever Jhonathan Ramos to pitch. Ramos intentionally walked the only batter he faced, loading the bases. A sacrifice fly brought in the runner from third base with the go-ahead run. Los Bravos scored a run in the top of the 1st with a solo home run. Margarita starter Anthony Claggett kept Los Caribes scoreless until the bottom of the 6th, when two singles and a 3-run homer gave Los Caribes a 3-1 lead. Margarita tied the score in the next inning, with 2 runs on two doubles and three singles. That set up Los Caribes for the win in the bottom of the 8th. Hernandez did not start the game, but came in as a defensive replacement in a double switch in the 7th inning.
Leones del Caracas 7, Tigres de Aragua 2
Jose Ascanio made the start for Los Leones, and pitched into the 5th inning. He gave up the only two runs Los Tigres would score. A double and two ground outs brought in the run in the 1st, and a pair of singles around a stolen base gave Aragua their run in the 2nd. Former Pirates LF Lastings Milledge and 1B Hector Gimenez were both hitless for Los Tigres. Caracas scored 2 runs in the 1st and one run in the 2nd. They added a run in the 6th, then two singles, a sacrifice bunt (RBI) and a 2-run homer gave Los Leones 3 runs in the 8th to seal the win.
Toros del Este 5, Leones del Escogido 4
Another tie-breaking rally in the late innings — this time it was Los Toros who scored a run in the bottom of the 9th to break a 4-4 tie. With one out, a walk and a single gave Los Toros two runners on base, and a passed ball allowed both to advance into scoring position. An intentional walk loaded the bases, then Danny Richar slid a grounder through the hole and into right field, to bring in the lead runner for the walk-off win. Matt Hague started Los Toros rally in the 2nd inning with a single up the middle to his Indy Indians’ teammate CF Starling Marte. A grounder to third forced Hague out at second base but left the batter on first base. Two more singles drove in 2 runs for Los Toros. A walk and a single led off the 3rd inning, bringing up Hague. Hague singled into left field to plate the runner from third, for a 3-0 lead. Escogido came back with a run in the 4th on two singles. Marte singled in the 6th, then scored on a double and a sacrifice fly, cutting Los Toros’ lead to 3-2. A single, a bunt, and a fielder’s choice by Los Toros increased their score to 4-2 in the 7th. Los Toros brought Tim Wood on to pitch the top of the 8th. Wood was greeted by a single, and then a 2-run homer by his former teammate Marte, tying the score. The tie lasted one inning, until Richar gave Los Toros the win in the 9th.