Pirates’ players and friends in Sunday’s winter league action:
Caribes de Anzoategui 2, Tigres de Aragua 1
Wil Ledezma took the loss as Los Caribes broke a 1-1 tie with a 7th inning home run. Ledezma also gave up a single in the 6th, but promptly picked that runner off base. LF Jorge Cortes had 2 hits in the game, including an RBI single in the 2nd inning to drive in Los Tigres’ only run. He also singled in the 7th inning. SS Ronny Cedeno, 1B Hector Gimenez, and CF Jonel Pacheco were all hitless in the game.
Leones del Caracas 5, Cardenales de Lara 4
Ramon Cabrera lined an RBI into center field to drive in a run for Los Leones in the bottom of the 4th inning. Los Leones added one more run, which would turn out to be the winning run in the 6th, on two singles with a sacrifice bunt. Corey Wimberly played both second base and left field, and went 1-for-3 at the plate.
Aguilas del Zulia 7, Bravos de Margarita 3
Los Aguilas posted 13 hits on their way to 7 runs, but they were also helped out by walks — three walks, a single, and a double to bring in 2 runs in the 6th, and two walks, two singles, and a triple for 3 runs in the 7th. Former Pirate C Carlos Maldonado doubled in the 5th for Zulia but did not score. Diego Moreno pitched the bottom of the 9th for Los Aguilas, and retired all three batters he faced in order.
Tigres del Licey 5, Leones del Escogido 2
CF Starling Marte was back on the field today for Los Leones, though he went 0-for-3 at the plate. 3B Andy Marte was also hitless for Escogido. Los Leones scored one run on two singles and a wild pitch in the 4th, and a second run on a triple and an RBI single in the 6th, to temporarily give them a 2-1 lead. Los Tigres came right back with five singles and a double to score 3 runs in the top of the 7th, and added another insurance run in the 8th on three walks and a sacrifice fly.
Toros del Este 5, Estrellas de Oriente 2
Los Toros scored first with a run in each of the first two innings. 1B Matt Hague was hit by a pitch in the 1st inning, but did not score. 2B Pedro Ciriaco led off the 2nd with a double into left field, moved to third on a wild pitch, then scored on a ground out. Los Estrellas tied the score on four singles in the 6th inning. Los Toros took the lead back again in the 7th. Two batters, including Ciriaco reached on a throwing error. A wild pitch drove in one run. A single into right field and a fielding error brought Ciriaco around from first base, but Los Estrellas’ C Jake Fox handled the throw in from the outfield and tagged Ciriaco out at the plate. Another single drove in the second run of the inning. Hague singled in the bottom of the 8th and scored on an RBI triple for Los Toros’ final run of the game. Fox went 0-for-3 with a walk for Los Estrellas.
PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Leones de Ponce 6, Indios de Mayaguez 4
Los Leones broke a 4-4 tie with 2 runs in the top of the 9th. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases, then a single drove in both runs. Former Pirate farmhand RJ Rodriguez took the mound in the bottom of the 9th, and earned his 8th Save for Los Leones. He gave up a single, but erased that runner with a double play. Benji Gonzalez got into the game in the middle of the 7th, taking over when Los Leones’ shortstop and manager (Pat Listach) were both ejected. He was replaced by a pinch-hitter in the top of the 9th.