Tag: Jean Machi

Two Hits For Cortes, And A New Catcher

The Pirates have added a minor league catcher, Kawika Emsley-Pai, to the fold.  The Washington State native was the Diamondbacks' 10th round pick in the most recent (2010) draft, signed out of University of Texas.  He made his pro debut with the Yakima Bears in the Northwest (short season) league, where he caught a bit more than half of the Bears' games.  In his 42 appearances, Emsley-Pai hit .167, with 3 doubles and 8 RBI.  He made just one error behind the plate and had 8 passed balls.  Base runners had about a 50-50 chance against him -- 17 stolen bases allowed, and 19 runners thrown out.  The 22-year-old was released by the D'backs, but the Pirates think he will be able to fill in, probably either at State College or West Virginia.  

On to the winter league games:
VENEZUELAN LEAGUE
Bravos de Margarita  9,  Leones de Caracas  5  --  
Los Bravos scored 5 runs in the 7th inning, to put them out of reach for Los Leones.  Los Leones scored early, with a 2-run homer in the top of the 1st, and 2 more runs on a single and four walks in the 3rd.  C Carlos Maldonado had an RBI walk in that inning.  Margarita got onto the scoreboard with a run in the bottom of the 3rd, on a single, a triple, and a sacrifice fly.  An error, two singles, and a wild pitch gave Los Bravos 2 more runs in the 5th, to tie the score.  In the 7th, Los Bravos pounded out a double, three singles, and a grand slam to take the lead.  Jean Machi took the mound for Margarita for the final two innings.  He struck out the side in the 8th, then struck out 2 more in the 9th, but also gave up a solo homer, and a single and a walk after the homer.  LF Mike Ryan went 0-for-4 for Caracas.   

Tigres de Aragua  3,  Aguilas de Zulia  2  --  A pair of doubles began the bottom of the 11th for Los Tigres, for the walk-off win.  Neither team had a hit for the first 3 innings of the game.  Zulia scored their 2 runs in the 6th, beginning with a single, a bunt, and an RBI single.  Wil Ledezma came on in relief for Aragua, and he gave up an RBI double, to give Zulia a 2-0 lead.  Los Tigres tied the score in the 7th inning when LF Lastings Milledge reached base on an error, and came in on a 2-run homer.  Both teams threatened in the 8th, but neither scored, and then the bats were mostly quiet until the 11th inning.  CF Jorge Cortes singled into left field in the 5th for Los Tigres, but was out when he tried to reach second base.  Cortes also doubled in the 8th inning, and was replaced by a pinch-runner, who got as far as third base but did not score.  

In the Dominican championship series, Los Toros del Este took a 2-game-to-0 lead with a 3-1 win over Los Estrellas de Oriente.  Two runs in the top of the 8th broke a 1-1 tie and gave Los Toros the win.  The Puerto Rican League had a night off from their playoff series.  The Mexican Pacific League will begin their championship series on Friday.   

AUSTRALIAN LEAGUE
Canberra Cavalry  5,  Sydney Blue Sox  1  (Thursday)  --  
The Cavalry scored 3 runs in the 5th, giving them plenty of insurance over the Blue Sox, who were held to just 3 hits.  Jarryd Sullivan pitched 3 scoreless innings for Sydney, allowing only one hit.  He gave up a double in the 6th, then retired the side in order in the next two innings.

Adelaide Bite  12,  Brisbane Bandits  0  (Friday)  --  The Bite chomped on the Bandits, in a game that ended early, due to a 12-run lead after 6.5 innings.  Back-to-back homers gave the Bite 5 runs in the 2nd inning -- a grand slam by 3B Stan Welch (Mets), then a solo blast.  Another solo homer began the 3rd inning, and another grand slam, by 1B Tom Brice, came in the 4th.  Two singles, a walk, and two RBI ground outs finished the scoring in the 5th.  DH Quincy Latimore went 0-for-3 with a walk for the Bite.  After a dribbly little hit down the third base line by the Bandit's lead-off hitter, Bite starter Brandon Maurer (Mariners) retired the next 21 batters he faced, including 8 strikeouts.  
The Bite finish the season with a double-header against the Bandits on Saturday.  They are currently a half-game behind league-leading Perth Heat in the standings.  The Heat are scheduled to play a double-header against the Melbourne Aces on Saturday.  
 

Tough Outing For Ramos; Latimore Back In Action

The winter league playoffs are winding down.  The Puerto Rican League championship series (best of 7) between Los Criollos de Caguas and Los Leones de Ponce will begin on Wednesday.  The Dominican League championship series will be played between Los Estrellas de Oriente and Los Toros del Este, and that series (best of 9) will also begin on Wednesday.  

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE 
Caribes de Anzoategui  4,  Bravos de Margarita  2  --  Jean Machi pitched a perfect top of the 9th inning for Margarita, but it was too late.  Los Bravos scored first, with a solo homer in the 4th.  Los Caribes tied the score in the 6th with a run on a single and a double.  They added 2 unearned runs in the 7th, started with a fielding error and a bunt.  With two outs, Jhonathan Ramos came on in relief for Margarita, but he gave up a double and a single, each of which drove in a run.  Another solo home run gave Los Caribes an insurance run in the top of the 8th.  Los Bravos rallied in the bottom of the 8th, scoring on three doubles, but the rally ended there, giving Los Caribes the win.

Tigres de Aragua  4,  Aguilas de Zulia  2  --  LF Lastings Milledge started Los Tigres' 3-run rally with a lead-off single in the 2nd inning.  A sacrifice bunt with a throwing error and a single with a fielding error brought in two runs, and a sacrifice fly added the third run.  CF Jorge Cortes also doubled for Aragua in that inning.  Milledge worked the second of two walks in the 5th inning, and an insurance run came in on an RBI single.  Milledge also walked in the 3rd inning.  Zulia scored one run in the 6th on a double, a single, and a sacrifice fly, and they also collected a solo homer in the 8th.  


MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE
Algodoneros de Guasave  8,  Tomateros de Culiacan  2  --  
Guasave had two big innings in their win.  The 5th began with a solo homer, then a hit batter, two singles, and a ground out added 2 more runs.  They scored 4 more in the 7th, after two outs had been recorded.  A hit batter and two singles brought in one run.  Another hit batter loaded the bases, and an RBI single plated a run.  1B Yurendell de Caster drove in 2 more runs with a double.  SS Luis Cruz went 0-for-4 for Culiacan.  The win gives Guasave the series win (4 games to 2) and advances them to the championship round, where they will face Los Yaquis de Obregon, beginning on Friday.


AUSTRALIAN LEAGUE
Adelaide Bite  6,  Brisbane Bandits  1  --  
DH Quincy Latimore was back in action in Australia early on Wednesday morning with the Bite.  He walked in his first at-bat, then in his second trip to the plate, he drove in the Bite's first two runs with an RBI double.  Two walks and a wild pitch had given the Bite two runners in scoring position in the top of the 3rd, ready for Latimore to bring them in.  The Bandits got one run back in the bottom of the 4th.  Adelaide came back with another run on a hit batter, a walk, and a double in the 6th.  The Bite added 3 more runs in the top of the 9th, beginning with a solo homer.  A double, two singles, and a sacrifice fly plated two more runs.  Latimore reached base on an error in the 8th, and was replaced by a pinch-runner.  





Triple For Gonzalez and Homers For House, Gimenez, and Chavez


Cheering for Pirates' players and friends in the few winter league playoff games on Sunday....

DOMINICAN LEAGUE
Gigantes del Cibao  8,  Toros del Este  2 --  
A 7-run 7th inning by Los Gigantes included a 2-run homer and a 3-run homer, and it gave them all the firepower they would need.  Former Indy Indian Tim Harikkala finished the 5th inning after Los Toros scored their runs, then loaded the bases with a double and two walks in the 6th, though another reliever was able to end the inning without a run scoring.  Juan Perez pitched the 8th inning for Los Gigantes and struck out the side.  

PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Leones de Ponce  7,  Gigantes de Carolina   6  --  
2B Benji Gonzalez singled and tripled for Los Gigantes, but Ponce pulled it out with 2 runs in the bottom of the 10th.  Los Gigantes began the game with 3 runs in the top of the 1st.  They added a run in the 6th on a single and Gonzalez's RBI triple.  A double and a single gave them another run in the 7th.  Los Leones scored one run in the 5th, then tied the score with 3 walks and a grand slam in the 7th.  The game went into extra innings, but Carolina quickly scored a run in the top of the 10th with a single and a double.  But in the bottom of the frame, Ponce had a runner reach base on an error, and a 2-run homer gave them the walk-off win.  Gonzalez also singled in the 4th but was caught stealing.  

Senadores de San Juan  8,  Criollos de Caguas  2  --  Another game with 3 runs scored in the top of the 1st, and Los Criollos were chasing Los Senadores for the rest of the game.   Los Criollos scored their runs in the 7th, on a pair of doubles and an RBI single by 3B Ramon Vazquez.  SS Luis Figueroa singled in the 4th, but was left on base.  

Save For Rodriguez, Win For Machi

A few signing notes for former Pirates, all minor league contracts:  
1B Brad Eldred signed with the Giants,  P Ian Snell and INF Ramon Vazquez signed with the Cardinals, and OF Matt Kata signed with the Rangers.  


Cheering for a few Pirates' players and friends in the winter league playoffs....

PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Leones de Ponce  2,  Criollos de Caguas  1  --  
RJ Rodriguez earned his 3rd save of the playoffs with a perfect 9th inning of work.  Los Leones scored their runs in the 4th, on three straight hits -- a single and two doubles.  Los Criollos' only run came in the top of the 6th, on a double, a ground out by SS Luis Figueroa which moved the runner to third, and a RBI single.  3B Ramon Vazquez singled to lead off the 5th for Los Criollos, but he was caught stealing second base.

Gigantes de Carolina  5,  Senadores de San Juan  4  --  Benji Gonzalez made the start at second base for Los Gigantes, and he scored their first run.  In the bottom of the 1st, Gonzalez singled, advanced to third on a throwing error, and scored on a sacrifice fly.  San Juan scored 3 runs in the top of the 2nd, and Los Gigantes countered with a run in the bottom of the 3rd, on 3 singles.  They tied the score in the 7th with a double, a hit batter, and an RBI single.  The tie continued into the top of the 10th, when Los Senadores took the lead with a single and a double.  But four singles in the bottom of the inning drove in 2 runs to give Los Gigantes the win.

Homers For Milledge, Ryan, and Cruz

Cheering for the Pirates' players and friends in winter league playoff action ...

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE
Tigres de Aragua  5,  Bravos de Margarita  4  --  
A double and a single in the top of the 10th gave Los Tigres the winning run.  Los Tigres had started the scoring in the top of the 1st, on three singles, including an RBI single by LF Lastings Milledge.  Los Bravos countered with a 3-run homer in the bottom of the 4th.   Milledge tied the score with a solo home run in the top of the 6th.  With Jean Machi on the mound for Margarita in the top of the 8th, a walk, a sacrifice bunt, and a wild pitch put a Tigres' batter on third base, and he scored on an RBI single.  Machi came back to pitch a quick 1-2-3 inning in the top of the 9th.  Los Bravos tied the score again in the bottom of the 9th on a solo homer.  Los Tigres broke the tie in the top of the 10th, then held off Los Bravos in the bottom of the frame.  Wil Ledezma pitched a perfect 6th inning for Los Tigres, then gave up a 2-out single in the 7th.  C Raul Chavez and 1B Hector Gimenez picked that runner off first base to get Los Tigres out of the inning.  Gimenez went 0-for-4 at the plate, and Chavez went 0-for-2.  Miguel Perez came into the game as a late-inning defensive replacement behind the plate, but did not have a plate appearance.  

Leones del Caracas  10,  Caribes de Anzoategui  6  --  Seven runs in the top of the 1st gave Los Leones an edge that Los Caribes could not overcome.  Los Leones sent 11 batters to the plate in the 1st inning, and the first 6 batters reached base safely:  single, single, walk, grand slam, single, single (by C Carlos Maldonado).  After a pop out, LF Mike Ryan hit a 2-run homer, which was followed by a double, before the inning ended.  Maldonado added another RBI single in the 2nd inning, and Caracas picked up another 2-run homer in the top of the 9th.  Los Caribes scored in all but one of the first 6 innings, but four of those innings brought in just one run, not enough to catch up.

A Win For Machi

The Pirates' mini-camp begins tomorrow in Bradenton....  just 35 days until Spring Training begins,  81 days until major league opening day, and 87 days until the minor league opening day (not that anyone here is counting, of course....)

Meanwhile, the Caribbean leagues continue with their playoffs.  The Mexican Pacific League will begin the semifinal round on Tuesday. 

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE 
Caribes de Anzoategui  5,  Leones del Caracas  4  --  
LF Mike Ryan singled in the bottom of the 1st for Los Leones, and a walk, another single, and an error gave Los Caribes 2 runs in that inning.  They added a solo homer in the 5th, followed by a run on a single, two walks, and a sacrifice fly.  Then Los Caribes roared back at Los Leones in the top of the 6th.  A solo homer opened the inning, then a walk and a strikeout were followed by three singles and 2-RBI double, then a sacrifice fly, for 5 runs total.  C Carlos Maldonado went 0-for-4 for Los Leones.

Bravos de Margarita  4,  Aguilas de Zulia  3  --  Jean Machi was credited with the win, as he was the pitcher of record when Los Bravos won the game with a walk-off single in the bottom of the 9th.  Los Aguilas scored 3 runs in the top of the 4th, with a solo homer, and a 2-RBI single.  Three singles gave Los Bravos their first run in the bottom of the 3rd.  With two outs in the bottom of the 5th, three consecutive singles, a fielding error, and a balk brought in 2 more runs for Margarita to tie the score.  Machi came on to pitch the 8th and 9th innings for Los Bravos.  He faced just 6 batters, allowing a single, but then erasing that runner with a double play.  The bottom of the 9th began with a single, then two bunts, one with a throwing error by the Aguilas' pitcher, put two runners in scoring position.  An intentional walk loaded the bases, and an RBI single ended the game. 


PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Criollos de Caguas  4,  Senadores de San Juan  3  --  
Each team had a 3-run homer -- Los Criollos' came in the 4th inning, and Los Senadores' came in the bottom of the 9th.  The deciding run came in the top of the 6th by Los Criollos.  A double, an intentional walk to 3B Ramon Vazquez, and an RBI single drove in the winning run.  Vazquez walked twice in the game, while SS Luis Figueroa walked once, but neither had a hit.

Strong Innings by Ledezma and Machi

Cheering for Pirates' players (the few who are left) and friends in the winter leagues......

PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Leones de Ponce  6,  Gigantes de Carolina  3  --  
Four runs in the bottom of the 8th gave the game to Los Leones.  Two walks and four singles did the damage in that inning.  Reliever RJ Rodriguez came on to pitch the top of the 9th for Ponce.  He gave up a run on two singles and a sacrifice fly, though it was not enough for Los Gigantes to catch up.

Criollos de Caguas  7,  Senadores de San Juan  3  --  A 5-run 3rd inning made the difference for Los Criollos.  Two singles put runners on the corners, then SS Luis Figueroa drove in the first run with an RBI single.  A triple and a homer added two runs each.  3B Ramon Vazquez walked to begin the Caguas half of the 4th, and two more walks loaded the bases.  Figueroa brought in Vazquez with a sacrifice fly.  Vazquez also contributed an RBI single in the 5th.  Los Senadores posted 13 runs, but left 12 runners on base.

The four teams involved in the Puerto Rican League playoffs are not far apart after one week of the round robin playoff tournament.  Ponce is in first place, with a 4-2 record.  Caguas and San Juan are tied for second with 3-3 records.  Carolina is last, with a 2-4 record.  


VENEZUELAN LEAGUE
The two top teams in this round robin tournament did not play today -- Los Caribes and Los Leones de Caracas are both tied with 4-1 records.  Los Tigres de Aragua has a 3-3 record, Los Aguilas de Zulia are 2-4, and Los Bravos de Margarita won their first playoff game tonight, giving them a 1-4 record.  

Bravos de Margarita  1,  Aguilas de Zulia  0  --  Jean Machi pitched a scoreless 8th inning for Los Bravos, allowing a single, but then erasing that runner in a double play.  The game's only run came in the bottom of the 7th, on a single, a sacrifice bunt, and a RBI single.  

Tigres de Aragua  8,  Caribes de Anzoategui  0  --  Aragua starter Seth Etherton (Dodgers) held Los Caribes to 3 hits and no walks over 8 shutout innings, with 6 strikeouts for the win.  New Blue Jay Wil Ledezma finished the game with a scoreless 9th, working around a lead-off single.  Los Tigres hitters packed in 16 hits, and started their scoring with 2 runs in the 1st.  LF Lastings Milledge had a single in that inning.  Milledge singled in two runs in the 6th, following another single and 1B Hector Gimenez being hit by a pitch.  Gimenez added a 3-run homer in the 7th.  After the homer, Milledge walked, CF Jorge Cortes singled, and a wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position.  Another single up the middle brought in Milledge, but Cortes was thrown out at the plate as he tried to score from second base.  


Gonzalez Gets Playoff Hit

Cheering for Pirates' players and friends in winter league playoff games...

DOMINICAN LEAGUE
Estrellas de Oriente  9,  Gigantes del Cibao  4  --  
A pair of 2-run homers in the first two innings got Los Estrellas off to a good start.  Three singles added two more runs in the 6th for Los Estrellas.  Five singles, including one by Ronny Paulino, and a fielding error by RF Rich Thompson (the second in 2 days) added another 3 runs in the 7th.  By then, Los Gigantes were out of it.  They scored one run in the 1st on a passed ball, a single, and a sacrifice fly.  Los Gigantes rallied for 3 runs in the 8th.  A single and a grounder force out left Thompson on first base.  He advanced to second base on a fielding error, then scored on an RBI double.  Another ground out and a single brought in two more runs.  


PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Senadores de San Juan  2,  Gigantes de Carolina  0  --  
A pitching duel, with each team held to just 4 hits.  2B Benji Gonzalez and CF Luis Matos hit back-to-back singles in the 5th, and that was the closest Los Gigantes came to scoring. Three of Los Senadores' hits were singles in the 3rd inning, and combined with a sacrifice bunt and a throwing error, that brought in their two runs.  


VENEZUELAN LEAGUE
Caribes de Anzoategui  7,  Bravos de Margarita  1  --  
More team-jumping here, this time with reliever Jean Machi and catcher JR House jumping from Los Navegantes del Magallanes to Los Bravos de Margarita (and House had been with Los Gigantes del Cibao in the Dominican League before that).  House went 0-for-3 with a walk for Los Bravos.  The walk led off the top of the 3rd, but he was left on base.  Los Bravos scored their only run in the 5th, on a hit batter, a double, and an RBI ground out.  Los Caribes scored all their runs in the first 4 innings -- 2 in the 1st, a 3-run homer in the 2nd, and 2 more in the 4th.  Machi came on to pitch for Los Bravos in the 7th, and he worked around a lead-off single, keeping any more runs from scoring.   

Bit Hits For House And Thompson

Just a few more days in the winter leagues' regular seasons...

DOMINICAN LEAGUE (round robin playoff series)
Leones del Escogido  6,  Gigantes del Cibao  4  --  
Three runs in the bottom of the 6th gave Los Leones the win, despite being out-hit 13 - 12.  Former Pirate Rich Thompson made his first Dominican League appearance, playing right and center field for Los Gigantes.  He singled twice and walked, and drove in Los Gigantes' first run in the top of the 2nd inning.  

Toros del Este  4,  Estrellas de Oriente  0  --  Los Estrellas also had the better hit totals (8-6) but still lost when they couldn't push any runners across the plate.  DH Ronny Paulino, taken from Los Tigres del Licey in the pre-playoff draft, doubled for Los Estrellas.  

 
PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Leones de Ponce  7,  Gigantes de Carolina  1  (Game 1)  --  
Los Leones scored in each of the last four innings of the 7-inning game, posting 12 hits.  Los Gigantes managed only 4 hits, and scored their only run on a solo homer in the bottom of the 7th.  Eric Krebs came in from the bullpen for Los Gigantes when another reliever was ejected (after hitting a batter).  Krebs threw a wild pitch, moving runners to second and third bases.  A ground out brought in the runner from third base (charged to the previous pitcher), then Krebs ended the inning with a strikeout.

Leones  7,  Gigantes  6  (Game 2)  --  Benji Gonzalez got the start at second base for Los Gigantes.  He doubled to lead off the bottom of the 1st, and scored on a ground out and a fielding error.  Gonzalez walked to load the bases in the 5th, and a sacrifice fly gave Los Gigantes a second run.  Ponce scored 3 runs in the 3rd on two singles and two doubles, then 2 runs in the 5th on a single, a walk, and a 2-RBI triple.  A single and a pair of doubles gave them two more in the top of the 7th, and Los Gigantes were behind 7-2 going into the bottom of the 7th (a 7-inning game).  With RJ Rodriguez on the mound for Los Leones, Los Gigantes rallied in the bottom of 7th.  Gonzalez opened the frame with a walk, then went to second base on a passed ball.  With two outs (both strikeouts), A double plated Gonzalez, then a walk, a wild pitch, and a triple gave Los Gigantes two more runs.  The second wild pitch of the inning brought in the 4th run.  CF Luis Matos was hit by a pitch, but Rodriguez finally got a third strikeout to end the inning and the game.


A Save For Ascanio, Big Hits for Cedeno and Gimenez

The Dominican League has finished regular season play.  The four top teams -- Estrellas de Oriente, Leones del Escogido, Toros del Este, and Gigantes del Cibao -- will begin a round robin playoff tournament on Sunday.  Los Estrellas, Los Leones, and Los Toros all finished the regular season with identical 27-22 records, in a 3-way tie for first place.  In the Dominican League, the four top teams are allowed to "draft" players from the other two teams to help them out during the playoffs.  Los Estrellas drafted C Ronny Paulino from Los Tigres del Licey.  Los Leones drafted Indy area native 1B/OF Jake Fox from Los Tigres.  Los Gigantes drafted OF Kevin Melillo from Los Aguilas Cibaenas.  

The Venezuelan and Puerto Rican Leagues have both Friday and Saturday off, and resume play on Sunday.  The Mexican Pacific League has Friday off, but has a full slate of games scheduled for Christmas evening.

And, a few other minor league contracts signed by former Pirate farmhands:  C Michel Hernandez re-signed with the Orioles, INF Ray Chang signed with the Twins, and P Derek Hankins signed with the Rangers.

OK, on to Thursday night's action for the Pirates' players and friends:

PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Gigantes del Carolina  5,  Indios de Mayaguez  4  --  
Los Gigantes scored 2 runs in the 1st and 4th innings, and a single run in the 3rd, then held off late-inning pushes by Los Indios to get the win.  2B Benji Gonzalez signled in the 2nd inning, but was picked off first base.  

Criollos de Caguas  6,  Senadores de San Juan  3  --  Two walks, a single, a sacrifice fly, and a 2-run triple gave San Juan a 3-run lead in the bottom of the 1st inning, but that was all the scoring they would do.  Los Criollos started their come-back in the 3rd inning, with a walk, a single, and a 2-RBI double by 3B Ramon Vazquez.  A hit batter and a double plated a single run in the 4th, then two errors and an RBI single by Vazquez brought in another run in the 5th.  A 2-run homer added their final runs in the 8th.

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