Looking in on Pirates’ players and friends in Wednesday’s winter league action:
Toros del Este 13, Gigantes del Cibao 4
Los Toros bulldozed Los Gigantes, beginning with a 7-run top of the 1st. Three consecutive singles opened the game and drove in the first run. After a throwing error, another single drove in two runs. 1B Matt Hague doubled, then scored on another double. SS Pedro Ciriaco struck out, but strike three was a wild pitch, allowing the seventh run of the inning to cross the plate, and leaving Ciriaco on first. In the 2nd inning, a walk and a double put two runners into scoring position for Hague, who pushed them both in with a single into center field. Ciriaco hit the third of three singles in a row in the 5th inning, picking up an RBI. A double and a throwing error added 3 more runs in the inning. Former Pirate Juan Perez pitched a scoreless top of the 9th for Los Gigantes, retiring the side in order.
Estrellas del Oriente 6, Tigres del Licey 5
Jake Fox was behind the plate for Los Estrellas tonight, and he also smacked the RBI single that won the game for Los Estrellas. Licey scored 2 runs on back-to-back homers in the 1st inning, then added a 2-run homer in the 4th. Los Estrellas tied the game with 4 runs in the bottom of the 6th. A walk, a single, and an error brought in one run, then Fox doubled in the second run of the inning. Two more singles delivered two more runs, including Fox. Los Tigres took the lead right back in the top of the 7th with one run. With two outs in the bottom of the 9th, three singles and a throwing error tied the score again. That brought Fox to the plate, and a single up the middle allowed the winning run to score from third.
Aguilas Cibaenas 7, Leones del Escogido 6
A run scored on a passed ball in the top of the 12th inning let Los Aguilas break a 6-6 tie, then hold off a rally by Los Leones in the bottom of the frame for the win. Escogido tied the score at 4-4 in the bottom of the 6th, when they scored 3 runs. RF Starling Marte singled to load the bases with one out. A wild pitch allowed one run to score, then a line drive single brought in two more runs for the tie. Marte singled again in the bottom of the 8th and stole second base. Two more singles gave Los Leones a 6-4 lead. A triple and two singles by Los Aguilas tied the score again in the top of the 9th. That sent the game into extra innings, and set up Los Aguilas for the win.
PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Leones de Ponce 3, Criollos De Caguas 1
Nelson Figueroa made his second start for Caguas, but suffered his first loss. He pitched 7 innings and allowed all 3 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks, with 5 strikeouts. Figueroa worked around base runners in each of the first three innings. In the 5th, he gave up a run on two hits, and in the 7th, a single and a 2-run homer gave Los Leones the rest of their runs. Los Criollos scored their only run in the 1st, also on two singles. Former Pirate farmhand RJ Rodriguez pitched the 9th inning for Los Leones, earning his 9th Save.
Indios de Mayaguez 4, Gigantes de Carolina 1
3B Jeremy Farrell did not add to Los Indios’ total of 11 hits, but he was hit by a pitch twice. Los Indios scored one run in the 1st on a sacrifice fly, after a walk, a single, and a hit batter (someone other than Farrell) loaded the bases. A walk and two singles gave Los Indios their second run in the 5th. Carolina scored their run in the top of the 8th, but Los Indios came back with 2 more insurance runs in the bottom of the frame. Three singles scored one run, then a walk and hitting Farrell loaded the bases. Another single drove in the second run of the inning.
Tigres de Aragua 6, Leones del Caracas 4
This game began with a triple and a single by 2B Corey Wimberly, scoring a run for Los Leones. SS Ronny Cedeno reached base on an error by Wimberly in the bottom of the inning, and he came around to score for Los Tigres, tying the game. Los Leones scored 2 more in the top of the 2nd, and Los Tigres came back with one run in the bottom — a walk by CF Lastings Milledge, who stole second base and then advanced to third on a throwing error. He scored on an RBI ground out. Hector Gimenez tied the score when he led off the bottom of the 4th with a solo home run for Aragua. Another walk for Milledge followed the homer. He moved around to third base, then scored on a wild pitch. Moments later, another wild pitch brought in the third run to give Los Tigres a 5-3 win. Wimberly was hit by a pitch in the 5th, then advanced to third base on a single and scored on a sacrifice fly. A walk by Gimenez and two singles gave Los Tigres their final run in the 8th. Milledge was also hit by a pitch in that inning.
Caribes de Anzoategui 4, Navegantes del Magallanes 1
Trailing 1-0, CF Gorkys Hernandez started a 6th inning rally for Los Caribes with a single into left field. A double and two singles scored both Hernandez and a second run, to give Los Caribes the lead. Two insurance runs came in during the 7th inning, on a fielding error and two singles.
Bravos de Margarita 12, Aguilas de Zulia 5
Los Bravos sent 10 batters to the plate in the 3rd inning, when they hit five consecutive singles, followed by a triple, scoring 6 runs. Zulia scored 4 runs in the 5th inning, in a rally started with a single by former Pirate Carlos Maldonado. Margarita got those 4 runs back over the 7th and 8th innings. Three Pirates’ pitchers got into the game: Jhonathan Ramos entered the game in the bottom of the 6th for Los Bravos. He struck out a Zulia batter to end the 6th, then got a ground out to begin the 7th, before being relieved. Anthony Claggett took over on the mound for Los Bravos in the 9th. He gave up one run on three singles. Diego Moreno came on in relief for Los Aguilas in the top of the 7th. He gave up a single, which allowed two runs to score (charged to the previous pitcher), then gave up a 2-run homer in the 8th.
Melbourne Aces 4, Adelaide Bite 4
The Bite proved to be toothless, managing only 4 hits — and three of those were by CF Denny Almonte (Mariners), who had two doubles and a single. 1B Calvin Anderson went 0-for-4. The Aces scored 3 of their runs in the 6th on a 3-run homer.