Checking in on Pirates’ players and friends in Thursday’s winter league action:
Tiburones de La Guaira 4, Leones del Caracas 3
Los Leones’ solo home run in the top of the 9th got them within one run of Los Tiburones, but they could not get any closer. Armando Galarraga made the start for Los Leones and allowed one run in three of the first four innings. Caracas scored 2 runs in the top of the 3rd, briefly tying the score. Los Tiburones scored their final run in the 7th. After a lead-off single and a sacrifice bunt, Justin Thomas came on in relief. He threw a wild pitch, moving the runner to third base. An RBI single brought the run in. Thomas began the 8th inning with a walk, then erased that runner with a double play, then was relieved.
Tigres de Aragua 5, Caribes de Anzoategui 2
Los Tigres scored in each of the first three innings, beginning with a solo home run by 1B Hector Gimenez in the 1st inning. LF Jorge Cortes walked in the 2nd inning rally, and RF Jonel Pacheco drove in that inning’s run with a sacrifice fly. Gimenez also walked and scored the first of two runs in the 3rd. Los Tigres scored again in the 8th inningon two singles and a sacrifice fly by Cortes. SS Ronny Cedeno smacked a fly ball into center field to lead off the 5th, and made it safely as far as second base, but was out trying to make it to third base. Pacheco also singled in the 6th. Los Caribes scored one run in the 5th and another in the 7th. Gorkys Hernandez pinch-hit for Los Caribes in the top of the 9th, but flied out.
Navegantes del Magallanes 10, Aguilas del Zulia 9
Diego Moreno was charged with a Blown Save in this 12-inning marathon. Moreno came on to pitch for Los Aguilas, holding onto a 9-8 lead in the bottom of the 7th inning. He gave up a single and a double, allowing Los Navegantes to tie the score at 9-9. Moreno went on to pitch a 1-2-3 inning in the 8th, and after 4.5 scoreless innings, Los Navegantes scored the winning run in the bottom of the 12th on a single, an error, and an RBI single. Los Navegantes took small bites in the early part of the game, scoring in all but one of the first 7 innings. Their biggest inning was the 6th, when they took advantage of 5 walks by Los Aguilas’ pitchers to score 3 runs. Los Aguilas scored 4 runs in the 4th, on a solo homer, a passed ball, and a 2-run homer by C Carlos Maldonado. Maldonado led off the 7th inning with a single, and was forced in on three consecutive walks. A 2-RBI double and a 2-RBI single gave Los Aguilas 5 runs in that frame. Jean Machi pitched 2 innings for Los Navegantes, allowing one hit and 3 walks.
Tigres del Licey 6, Toros del Este 3
A 4-run 5th inning gave this game to Los Tigres, despite being out-hit by Los Toros, 7-6. SS Pedro Ciriaco went 0-for-4 in the game.
Aguilas Cibaenas 4, Estrellas de Oriente 1
Former Pirate Shane Youman earned his 5th win, allowing one run over 6 innings. Youman gave up 5 hits and one walk, and struck out 5 batters. The only run he allowed, and Los Estrellas’ only run in the game, was a solo home run by LF Jake Fox in the 4th inning. C Dusty Brown went 0-for-4 for Los Estrellas. Los Aguilas scored one run in each of the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 7th innings.
Gigantes del Cibao 5, Leones del Escogido 4
Former Pirate C Robinzon Diaz drove in the winning run for Los Gigantes with a walk-off single in the bottom of the 14th inning, following a single and a wild pitch that put a runner on second base. Diaz also walked in the 2nd inning, singled and scored in the 4th, and singled in the rally in the 6th. Starling Marte singled in the top of the 1st for Los Leones, and doubled on a liner into left field in the top of the 9th after a 2-run homer had tied the game at 4-4.
Sydney Blue Sox 3, Canberra Cavalry 2
A pair of singles followed by a pair of walks drove in the winning run for the Blue Sox in the bottom of the 11th inning. Sydney had tied the score in the bottom of the 9th with 2 runs on two singles, a sacrifice fly, and an RBI single. The Cavalry scored one run in the 5th on two doubles, and one more in the 6th on a double and a single. Travis Scott went 0-for-5 for the Cavalry.
Adelaide Bite 6, Brisbane Bandits 5
Paul Mildren earned his second win for the Bite, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits in 6 innings. He surrendered one run to the Bandits in the bottom of the 1st, then pitched 4 scoreless innings. Only two Cavalry runners reached base during those innings — one on a passed ball and one on a single. Mildren induced a double play to erase the first of those runners, then picked the second one off base. In the bottom of the 6th, Mildren gave up a 2-run homer. The Bite took the lead in the 2nd inning with a 3-run home run, then added a run in the 3rd on a walk, a wild pitch, and an RBI single. Calvin Anderson was hit by a pitch in that inning. He singled in the 5th, following a solo home run, and singled to drive in the Bite’s final run in the 7th inning. Ryan Beckman pitched 2.1 scoreless innings of relief, allowing a walk and a single.