After Monday off, the Winter Leagues are back in action, including some Pirates’ players and friends
PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Leones de Ponce 9, Criollos de Caguas 6
SS Benji Gonzalez had one hit for Los Leones, a single which loaded the bases in the 2nd inning (none of them scored). Los Leones scored 4 runs on a pair of 2-run homers in the 3rd inning, then hung on for the win. Former Pirate farmhand RJ Rodriguez earned his 7th save of the winter league season with a scoreless 9th inning — he gave up one single, and struck out the other three batters he faced. Former Indy Indian SS Luis Figueroa had an RBI single for Los Criollos in their 3-run 6th inning. Ponce made two errors in that inning, including a throwing error by Gonzalez.
Gigantes de Carolina 5, Indios de Mayaguez 0
3B Jeremy Farrell went 0-for-3 with 2 strikeouts, dropping his batting average to .208, as Los Indios were held to just 5 hits in the game.
Toros del Este 4, Leones del Escogido 0
Los Toros scored 3 runs in the 5th and added one more in the bottom of the 8th, while their pitching staff held Los Leones to just 2 hits. New Pirate Jose Diaz pitched the top of the 8th for Los Toros and he struck out all three batters he faced. 1B Matt Hague and SS Pedro Ciriaco both went 0-for-3, but Hague contributed a walk and Ciriaco a sacrifice bunt in the 5th inning rally.
Estrellas de Oriente 10, Gigantes del Cibao 5
Los Estrellas posted 14 hits, but also committed 4 errors in this game. New Pirate and Indianapolis area native 1B Jake Fox had one of those hits and scored a run on a sacrifice fly in the 3rd inning. Fox also drove in a run with an RBI grounder in the 8th. Former Pirate C Robinzon Diaz went 0-for-3 for Los Gigantes.
Tiburones de La Guaira 6, Tigres de Aragua 4
Los Tiburones jumped out to an early lead with 3 runs in the top of the 1st, taking advantage of two errors, including a missed catch error by SS Ronny Cedeno. Los Tigres took the lead in the bottom of the 6th, when they scored 4 runs. Former Pirate farmhand 1B Hector Gimenez began the rally with a walk, and after a second walk, Gimenez scored on an RBI single. A hit batter loaded the bases for another former Pirate farmhand CF Jorge Cortes, who drove in two runs with a single through into left field. Cortes scored on Cedeno’s RBI single. But Los Tiburones regained the lead with a triple, a sacrifice fly, and a solo homer in the top of the 9th.
Caribes de Anzoategui 6, Bravos de Margarita 2
CF Gorkys Hernandez helped Los Caribes get started with their 3-run 2nd inning. With a runner on first, Hernandez hit the second of back-to-back doubles, driving in two runs. He scored moments later on an RBI single. Hernandez walked and stole second base in the 4th inning, but was left on base. Los Caribes scored another run in the 5th with a solo homer. Pirates’ Jhonathan Ramos came on to pitch for Los Bravos in the top of the 6th, but Los Caribes touched him up for 2 runs. Ramos walked 2 batters, including Hernandez, and a pair of RBI singles drove the 2 runs in. Los Bravos scored their only runs with a 2-run homer in the bottom of the 6th.
Aguilas del Zulia 8, Leones del Caracas 0
CF Corey Wimberly went 0-for-4 for Los Leones, who were held to just 3 hits in this shut-out. Los Aguilas C Carlos Maldonado walked twice and singled and scored for Los Aguilas. C Ramon Cabrera made the start behind the plate for Los Leones, but he came out of the game after the 1st inning, when Zulia scored 5 runs. No word about the reason for that.
MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE
Yaquis de Obregon 12, Venados de Mazatlan 3
Los Yaquis had the game sewn up when they scored 9 runs in the bottom of the 1st. Former Pirate CF Jeff Salazar led off the inning with a walk, then doubled later in the frame. Former Pirate farmhand SS Alfredo Amezaga singled after Salazar’s walk, and both came around to score. Amezaga then blasted a 2-run homer, bringing in Salazar, for the 8th and 9th runs of the inning. Salazar also singled in the 3rd and led off the 6th with a solo homer. Los Venados managed a solo homer in the 2nd, and 2 runs in the top of the 9th, but it was far from enough. RF Rogelio Noris went 0-for-3 for his hometown Mazatlan, dropping his average to .162.