Tag: Lastings Milledge

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.

Milledge and Gimenez Spark Los Tigres; Julio Returns To Pirates

The Pirates finished up a chilly mini-camp in Bradenton, and now there is just a month until pitchers and catchers report for spring training.

A few notes:
Wil Ledezma, who went to the Blue Jays last week (off waivers),  was outrighted to the Blue Jays' minor league system.
Last year's Curve manager, Matt Walbeck, has found a job in the Braves' organization, managing at the A level.  

RHP Jorge Julio has been signed to a minor league contract, but has not been invited to the major league camp for spring training.  The Venezuelan native was first signed by the Expos in 1996.  He reached as high as the A+ level in the Expos organization before being traded to the Orioles at the end of 2000.  Julio made his major league debut with the Orioles and pitched in Baltiore from 2001 to 2005.  In early 2006, he was traded to the Mets (as part of a deal for former Pirate Kris Benson), then subsequently traded to the Diamondbacks, to the Marlins, and to the Rockies.  In January 2008, Julio signed with the Cleveland Indians, and appeared in 15 games, all in relief, in the major league level.  He pitched only 17 innings, with a 5.60 ERA, and was released in early June.  He was signed by the Braves in the same season, and did well for them at both the AAA level (2.04 ERA in 39 innings in 38 appearances) and at the major league level (0.73 ERA in 12 innings in 12 appearances).  Julio split the 2009 season between three organizations:  The Brewers, the Rays, and the Pirates, right here in Indianapolis.  For the Indy Indians, Julio made just 4 relief appearances, allowing 7 runs on 8 hits in 5 innings.  He also made 19 appearances (22 innings) for a 5.96 ERA for the AAA Durham Bulls, and 15 appearances (17 innings) for a 7.79 ERA for the Milwaukee Brewers.  During that time, his walk rate rose while his strikeout rate plummetted.  Julio pitched for Bridgeport in the independent Atlantic League in 2010, and did well there.  In 55 appearances, he pitched 55 innings and allowed only 7 earned runs on 39 hits, with 57 strikeouts, for a 1.15 ERA.  Julio has also had a strong showing in the Venezuelan Winter League over the past few months, with a 1.88 ERA for Los Caribes de Anzoategui.  In 28.2 innings, he allowed 6 runs on 26 hits and 12 walks, with 22 strikeouts, and a 3-3 record and 6 saves.  The Pirates are hoping that Julio, who will turn 32 in March, will be able to continue this trend in the 2011 season.  Not inviting him to the big league camp seems to indicate that they want to see some proof, most likely at the AAA level.

Just a few winter league games on Thursday night  (Click on "Read More")

Win For Uviedo, Appearance For Gonzalez

A few winter league games with Pirates' players and friends...

PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Criollos de Caguas  4,  Leones de Ponce  3  --  
Two runs in the 3rd and another 2 runs in the 6th gave Los Criollos the edge.  SS Luis Figueroa singled and scored a run.  3B Ramon Vazquez drove in a run with a ground out.

Senadores de San Juan  5,  Gigantes de Carolina  4  --  A 5-run 6th inning pushed Los Senadores past Los Gigantes.  That inning included a walk, a fielding error, two singles, and back-to-back triples.  Los Gigantes scored a run in the 4th on an error and a single, then scored 3 more runs in the 5th on two doubles and a triple.  Benji Gonzalez entered the game as a pinch-runner for Los Gigantes in the top of the 8th, but was doubled off second base.  He remained in the game at second base for the bottom of the inning.   

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE
Leones del Caracas  5,  Tigres de Aragua  2  --  
Ronald Uviedo earned the win with 5 innings of work, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits and a walk.  Los Tigres' first run came in the 4th inning on a single, a double by 1B Hector Gimenez, and a sacrifice fly by LF Lastings Milledge.  In the 5th, a pair of singles, including one by C Raul Chavez, plus another sacrifice fly, gave Aragua their second run.  Los Leones scored 2 runs on three singles in the bottom of the 1st.  In the 2nd, a single, a double, and a sacrifice fly brought in a third Caracas run.  Two walks, two singles, a double, and a sacrifice fly gave Los Leones two more runs in the 4th. LF Mike Ryan singled, but the runner from second base was out at the plate, on the throw in from Milledge to Chavez.  

MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE
Tomateros de Culiacan  6,  Algodoneros de Guasave  3  --  
Los Tomateros scored a pair of runs in three different innings, beating Guasave, who scored single runs in three different innings.  SS/LF Luis Cruz led off the bottom of the 8th with a single for Los Tomateros, and he scored on a 2-run homer.  DH Yurendell de Caster walked to lead off the 7th for Guasave, and he came around to score that inning's run on a single, a sacrifice bunt, and a sacrifice fly.  Los Tomateros are leading the 7-game series 2-0.  In the other Mexican League series, Los Caneros de Los Mochis are leading Los Yaquis de Obregon 2 games to none. 

AUSTRALIAN LEAGUE
Sydney Blue Sox  4,  Adelaide Bite  3  --  
Bite starter Paul Mildren had some tough innings against the Blue Sox, and he suffered his 6th loss of the season.  A throwing error, and an RBI single gave the Blue Sox their first run in the bottom of the 1st.  Mildren gave up a walk and a pair of doubles, accounting for 2 runs, in the 2nd inning.  He worked around runners on base in the next three innings, including leaving two runners in scoring position after a walk and a double in the 5th.  He got into more trouble in the 6th, opening the inning with a single, a double, and a sacrifice fly, before being relieved.  Overall, Mildren gave up 4 runs (3 earned) on 8 hits and 2 walks, with 5 strikeouts.  Meanwhile, the Bite were scoring a little, but not keeping up.  They picked up one run on an exciting play in the 4th.  1B Todd Gossage drove a liner into right field, and scrambled around for a triple, and when the Blue Sox' shortstop missed the catch on the throw in from right, Gossage was able to keep running, scoring on the error.  Gossage doubled and came around to score in the 7th inning.  Two singles and a fielding error gave the Bite one more run in the top of the 9th.
 

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.

Ramos Works Out Of A Playoff Jam

Just a few winter league playoff games on Monday night..  The Mexican Pacific and Puerto Rican leagues were off tonight.

DOMINICAN LEAGUE
Gigantes del Cibao  6,  Estrellas de Oriente   5  --  
The game began with a solo home run from the first batter of the game, plus another run in the top of the 1st for Los Estrellas.  Los Gigantes tied the score with 2 runs in the bottom of the 2nd.  Eight scoreless innings followed, until Los Estrellas scored 3 runs in the top of the 11th, all charged to Los Gigantes' Juan Perez, on one hit and 3 walks.  Ronny Paulino pinch-hit in the inning but struck out.  Perez was saved from being charged with the loss when Los Gigantes answered with 4 runs in the bottom of the 11th.  One hit and 5 walks contributed to those 4 runs.


VENEZUELAN LEAGUE  
Leones del Caracas 8,  Aguilas de Zulia   5  --  
These two teams combined for 29 hits, as Los Caracas cut short Los Aguilas' 9th inning rally and held on for the win.  Caracas scored 3 runs in the bottom of the 1st, on a double, two singles, a hit batter, and a sacrifice fly.  They added 3 more runs in the 3rd on three solo homers (not back-to-back), including one by C Carlos Maldonado.  Solo homer number four came in the 5th inning.  Maldonado drove in Los Leones' final run with an RBI double after a single in the 7th.  Los Aguilas scored one run in the 5th and another in the 8th.  They rallied in the top of the 9th with a pair of singles and a 3-run homer, plus a double, but that was all Caracas would allow.  

Tigres de Aragua  4,  Bravos de Margarita  1  --   Los Tigres began the game with 3 runs in the top of the 1st, on two singles and three doubles.  1B Hector Gimenez drove in a run with his RBI single, and LF Lastings Milledge doubled.  Los Tigres went on to record 11 hits.  Milledge singled in the 4th, but was out at second when CF Jorge Cortes bounced into a double play.  A single and a double added another run for Los Tigres in the 8th.  Jhonathan Ramos pitched 2 innings for Los Bravos.  In the 6th, he retired Los Tigres in order.  Ramos began the top of the 7th with two ground outs (Gimenez and Milledge), then gave up a single to Cortes, another single, and hit C Raul Chavez with a pitch to load the bases.  But he ended the inning with a pop out, leaving all three runners on base.  Los Bravos were held to just 3 hits over the first 8 innings.  Two of those hits came in the 4th, when Los Bravos loaded the bases on a hit batter, a walk, and a single.  A sacrifice fly drove in their only run of the game.  Another single loaded the bases again, but a strikeout ended the inning.  Los Bravos threatened again in the bottom of the 9th, loading the bases again on 2 singles and an error.  Los Tigres got out of the jam with a pop out in foul territory and a game-ending double play.  

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.  


Milledge Drives In The Winning Run For Aragua

The Caribbean leagues continue their playoffs, though the Mexican Pacific League has the night off....

PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Leones de Ponce  5,  Senadores de San Juan  2  --  
Reliever JR Rodriguez earned his first playoff save with a perfect 9th inning for Los Leones.  His teammates broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the 7th with a 2-run homer, followed by another run on two singles, a sacrifice bunt, and a wild pitch.

Criollos de Caguas  4,  Gigantes de Carolina  0  --  Los Gigantes were held to just 4 hits, and even with 5 walks, they could not push a run across the plate.  Los Criollos were held to just 3 hits, but they took advantage of 7 walks, 3 hit batters, and 2 errors to score their 4 runs.  Their first run came in the bottom of the 1st, on a hit batter, a sacrifice bunt by SS Luis Figueroa, two walks, and a sacrifice fly.  3B Ramon Vazquez led off the 4th with a single, and he came around to score with help from a bunt, a wild pitch, and a sacrifice fly.  Los Criollos' final two runs scored in the 6th, and with just one hit.  Vazquez reached on a fielding error, then a hit batter, a balk, and a sacrifice fly brought him in.  Figueroa drove in the final run with an RBI double.


DOMINICAN LEAGUE
Gigantes del Cibao  7,  Toros del Este  5  --  
Los Toros began the scoring with 4 runs in the bottom of the 4th -- three singles, and a 3-run homer.  Los Gigantes answered with 4 runs of their own in the top of the 5th, on 5 singles and a sacrifice fly.  One of the singles, which loaded the bases, came off the bat of CF Rich Thompson.  Los Toros scored one more run in the bottom of the 5th, but Los Gigantes scored 3 in the top of the 7th, with 4 singles and a sacrifice fly.  

Leones del Escogido  2,  Estrellas de Oriente  1  --  Ronny Paulino, making a rare appearance playing first base, drove in Los Estrellas only run with an RBI ground out in the 1st inning.  With one out in the 6th, Los Leones popped two singles.  Franquelis Osoria came on to pitch for Los Estrellas, but the only batter he faced hit an RBI single to tie the game.  Another single brought in the go-ahead run.  


Uviedo Wins, Gimenez Homers

Not many winter league playoff games today, but a few player moves:
LHP Wil Ledezma had been DFA'ed right before Christmas, and yesterday he was claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays.
Both INF Delwyn Young and RHP Brian Bass signed minor league contracts with the Phillies today.  
Earlier in the week, RHP Joe Martinez, who had also been DFA'ed by the Pirates shortly before Christmas, was traded to the Blue Jays for cash considerations.


VENEZUELAN LEAGUE
Leones del Caracas  11,  Bravos de Margarita  3  --  
Los Leones posted 14 hits, which was enough to make up for their 3 errors.  Three singles and a Bravos' fielding error gave Los Leones their first 3 runs in the 2nd inning.  In the third, the first six Caracas batters reached base -- a double, two singles, and three walks (including a walk by LF Mike Ryan) -- then a sacrifice fly and another single gave Los Leones 5 runs.  A 3-run homer in the 8th capped their scoring.  Margarita scored one run in the 6th, with the help of one of those errors.  An error by Ryan in left field, plus a walk and two singles (one by C JR House) brought in two more runs in the 9th.  Ronald Uviedo earned the win for Caracas, going 6 innings and allowing only the unearned run in the 6th inning, on 3 hits and a walk, with 5 strikeouts.  

Caribes de Anzoategui  5,  Tigres de Aragua  4  --  New Blue Jay Wil Ledezma came into the game for Los Tigres in the 6th inning with one run in and runners on the corners.  Ledezma gave up a single, which broke a 4-4 tie, and eventually gave the win to Los Caribes.  Ledezma also retired the side in order in the 7th.  Los Caribes started the game with 3 runs in the bottom of the 1st, on a single, a double, an error, and a sacrifice fly.   Los Tigres scored one run in the 2nd, when 1B Hector Gimenez walked, then scored on an RBI double.  Gimenez added a 2-run homer in the 4th, and another homer in the 5th gave Aragua their 4 runs.  LF Lastings Milledge singled and stole second base in the 6th, and advanced to third base on another single, but he got no further.  C Raul Chavez went 0-for-3 for Los Tigres. 

Thompson Boosting Los Gigantes

A few Pirates' players and friends appeared in Wednesday's winter league playoff games:

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE 
Leones del Caracas  2,  Aguilas de Zulia  0  (Game 1)--  
Another pitching duel tonight, with each team posting just 5 hits each.  Los Leones scored a run in the 6th on a single, a bunt, a ground out, and an RBI single.  They added another run in the 7th, on a ground-rule double, a sacrifice bunt by LF Mike Ryan (who was shifted over from Los Navegantes del Magallanes) and an RBI ground out.  Jose Ascanio pitched the top of the 8th for Caracas.  He gave up a lead-off single, but got the next batter to line into a double play at first base, and another line out ended the inning.  

Leones  14,  Aguilas 5  (Game 2)  --  Oh, that's where all the hits went -- to the second game, with 13 hits for each team.  Three Leones' batters collected 3 hits each.  C Carlos Maldonado singled twice and walked, scoring twice for Los Leones.  LF Mike Ryan also scored twice, with a single and a walk.  The 6-run 6th inning pushed Los Leones over the top, and it included 3 walks, a triple, a double, and Maldonado's RBI single.  

Tigres de Aragua  4,  Bravos de Margarita  1  --  Los Tigres' pitchers held Los Bravos to just 3 hits, and the only Margarita run came on two errors and an RBI single in the 5th.  Aragua scored their first run in the 3rd inning on a single and a double.  Four singles, including one by 1B Hector Gimenez, brought in 2 runs in the 5th.  A single, a stolen base, and an error gave Los Tigres their last run in the 8th inning.  LF Lastings Milledge and CF Jorge Cortes also had a single each in the game.   


DOMINICAN LEAGUE
Estrellas de Oriente  2,  Toros del Este  1  --  
A double, a bunt, and an RBI single in the top of the 10th broke a 1-1 tie to give Los Estrellas the win.  A double, a bunt, and an RBI ground out brought in Los Estrellas' first run in the 6th.  A pair of singles around a ground out pushed in a run for Los Toros in the 8th.  DH Ronny Paulino singled twice and walked for Los Estrellas, but was out at second base twice and left on base once.

Gigantes del Cibao  9,  Leones del Escogido  6  --  CF Rich Thompson is looking like a strong addition to Los Gigantes for their playoff drive.  He contributed a single, a double, 2 RBI, and a run in tonight's win.  The game began with Thompson's double, and a bunt and a throwing error allowed the speedy Thompson come around to score.  A ground out and a wild pitch gave Los Gigantes a second run in the top of the 1st.  Los Leones tied the score in the bottom of the inning.  Thompson gave Los Gigantes the lead again in the top of the 2nd, with an RBI ground out that followed 3 singles.  Escogido took the lead back in the bottom of the frame with 3 runs, for a 5-3 score.  Los Gigantes tied the score at 5-5 with two singles and two doubles in the 4th.  Then they recaptured the lead in the 5th, scoring 3 runs on a pair of two-out singles and a pair of fielding errors.  Thompson drove in Los Gigantes' final run in the top of the 7th, with an RBI single following a double.  


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