Tag: Pedro Ciriaco

Pirates Hitting In Venezuela, But Not In The Dominican

Cheering for some Pirates' players and friends in Tuesday's winter league action...�� The Australians are back in action on Thursday, which will be late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning for most of us.

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

Tigres de Aragua� 6,� Bravos de Margarita� 0� -- A Pirate-filled game... 2B/3B Andy LaRoche singled twice and walked for Los Bravos, but his teammates could not get him or anyone else pushed across the plate.� LaRoche singled to lead off the 2nd inning, went to second on a fielding error, and to third on a wild pitch, but he was out at the plate on what seems to have been a wild pitch or passed ball.� LaRoche worked the second of two walks in the 4th inning, but was erased in an inning-ending double play.� Another double play took him off the bases in the 9th, after another lead-off single.� Meanwhile, the Pirates playing for Los Tigres also got off to a frustrating start.� DH Hector Gimenez walked in the 2nd, and LF Lastings Milledge followed by beating out a tapper back to the mound.� But a double play ended that inning without a run scoring.� It got better in the 5th, when Milledge walked, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, then scored on CF Jorge Cortes' RBI double into right field.� A single and a home run by C Wilson Ramos gave Los Tigres 2 more runs in the 6th.� In the 8th, with two on (walk and single) and two outs, Jhonathan Ramos came on to pitch for Los Bravos.� Gimenez was the first batter he faced� -- and he blasted a 3-run over the left field wall, to give Aragua a 6-0 lead.� Ramos got Milledge to ground out to end the inning, and he was relieved for the next inning.� So, one hit each for Gimenez, Milledge, and Cortes, but an 0-for-4 night for SS Ronny Cedeno.

Caribes de Anzoategui� 7,� Tiburones de La Guaira� 1� -- The score was tied at 1-1 going into the bottom of the 8th, when Los Caribes exploded for 6 runs.� After a lead-off double, Adenson Chourio was brought in to pinch-hit.� He was intentionally walked, and a sacrifice bunt put both runners into scoring position.� Another intentional walk loaded the bases, then an unintentional walk forced in the go-ahead run.� An RBI grounder plated Chourio, then back-to-back homers, 3-run and solo, gave Los Caribes all the insurance they would need.

Bass Has A Good Start for Aragua

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

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

Leones del Caracas� 9,� Bravos de Margarita� 2� -- Caracas began the game with 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st, and kept right on rolling, with a run in the 3rd, 2 in the 4th , and 4 in the 5th.� In the 5th, Margarita reliever Jhonathan Ramos enterd the game with one run already scored, a runner on second base, and no outs.� He made a missed catch error while covering first base for the first batter he faced, which allowed the base runner to score.� Then Ramos gave up a double and a single, and two more runs came in.� A double play and a tapper back to the mound ended the inning.� Margarita's first run came in the 4th inning, when LF Frank Diaz tripled, and 3B Andy LaRoche brought him in with a sacrifice fly.� Los Bravos scored again in the 5th inning on a pair of doubles.� LaRoche also walked in the 6th inning, but was earased in a double play.

Navegantes del Magallanes� 5,� Tigres de Aragua� 4� -- Aragua jumped out to a 3-0 start in the top of the 1st.� A lead-off double was followed by a sacrifice bunt by SS Ronny Cedeno, and an RBI single by LF Lastings Milledge. DH Hector Gimenez brought in Milledge with a 2-run homer.� Magallanes brought Corey Hamman on in relief to begin the 3rd inning, and Hamman allowed Aragua only one hit over the next three innings.� He then began the top of the 6th by giving up a double, then a sacrifice bunt by Gimenez.� Hamman was relieved, and one more run scored on a walk and a sacrifice fly.� Then in the bottom of the inning, Magallanes started their come-back.� Brian Bass had pitched 5 scoreless innings for Los Tigres (allowing just 2 hits and 4 walks), and Los Navegantes had to wait until Bass was relieved to start their rallies.� A single, a walk to DH Mike Ryan, then three more walks forced in two runs in the 6th.� A hit batter, another walk to Ryan, a wild pitch, and an RBI ground out got Los Navegantes within one run of Los Tigres.� In the bottom of the 8th, two lead-off singles and a sacrifice bunt put two Navegantes' runners into scoring position.� The next batter dropped another sacrifice bunt, which Aragua reliever Rich Rundles picked up and threw away, allowing two runs to score, to give Magallanes the win.� Aragua CF Jorge Cortes also singled and doubled in the game but didn't score.

Milledge, LaRoche, and Cedeno Rolling In Venezuela

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

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

Aguilas de Zulia� 2,� Caribes de Anzoategui� 1�� (Game 1 and Game 2)� -- No kidding, the same score in both games.� Zulia recorded 6 hits in both games also.� In the first game, Los Caribes were held to just two hits, and their only run scored on a walk, a ground out, and an RBI double in the 2nd inning.� Zulia scored a run in the 1st on a pair of singles and a throwing error.� The tie-breaker scored in the 4th inning on two singles and a double play.� Adenson Chourio came in to pinch run for Los Caribes in the top of the 7th after a walk.� He got as far as third base on a bunt and a ground out, but was left there when the game ended.� The second game began with Los Aguilas scoring 2 runs on two walks and a 2-RBI single in the 1st inning.� Los Caribes had 7 hits in this game, but still scored only one run, again on two singles and a double play.� Chourio made the start at shortstop in this game, but went 0-for-2 at the plate.

Leones del Caracas� 8,� Tiburones de La Guaira� 6� -- A 3-run homer made the difference for Caracas in the 8th inning.� Los Leones scored their first run in the 1st on a walk and an RBI single.� They added 2 more in the 4th, on a double, and two RBI singles, one by C Carlos Maldonado.� Maldonado ended the inning when he was thrown out trying to steal second base -- something that would not surprise Indy Indians' fans.

Navegantes del Magallanes� 4,� Cardenales de Lara� 0� -- Los Cardenales posted just 3 hits in the shutout.� Los Navegantes scored 2 runs in the 4th, on three singles, a walk, and two wild pitches.� They added another pair in the 7th, when they got a single and a walk off Lara reliever Romulo Sanchez.� Sanchez was relieved, but two more singles drove in the 2 runs.� DH Mike Ryan went 0-for-3 for Los Navegantes.

Bravos de Margarita� 6,� Tigres de Aragua� 4� -- Los Tigres got onto the scoreboard first with 3 runs in the 3rd inning.� A walk and a single opened the inning.� SS Ronny Cedeno struck out, but a wild pitch on strike three let the runners advance one base.� LF Lastings Milledge hit a fielder's choice to his Pirate teammate 3B Andy LaRoche, who threw to the plate to get the lead runner out.� But moments later, LaRoche's error at third let a run score, and two mroe runs came in on an RBI single.� Los Bravos came back with 5 runs in the top fo the 4th.� LaRoche hit the middle of three consecutive singles to open the inning, scoring a run.� A walk loaded the bases, and C Henry Blanco cleared them with a grand slam.� Aragua got one run back with a homer in the bottom of the 4th, to make the score 5-4, with Margarita ahead.� Blanco singled in the 9th, and scored again for Margarita, on a fielding error by Cedeno.� Ronald Belisario came on to pitch for Margarita in the 9th inning.� He earned his 5th save, despite giving up two singles, including one to pinch-hitter Hector Gimenez. A double play ended the inning for Belisario.� C Raul Chavez also had a single for Aragua.

Dominican And Puerto Rican Leagues Begin Play; Noris Homers

The Dominican and Puerto Rican winter leagues open their seasons tonight.� So far, many of the teams in those leagues have only partial rosters or no rosters posted.

PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE

Gigantes de Carolina -- SS Benji Gonzalez (West Virginia Power in 2010), and former Indy Indian (2007) OF Luis Matos.

Criollos de Caguas -- former Indy Indian (2004) SS Luis Figueroa and former Pirate INF Ramon Vazquez

tonight's game:

Gigantes de Carolina� 4,� Criollos de Caguas� 0 -- Of these players, Figueroa and Vazquez were the only ones to get into the game.� They went 0-for-9 between them as Caguas was held to just 6 hits in the shutout.

DOMINICAN LEAGUE

Aguilas Cibaenas --� C Luke Carlin (Indy Indians in part of 2010) and OF Starling Marte (Bradenton Marauders in 2010).

Toros del Este -- managed by Dean Treanor, with C Jason Jaramillo and maybe SS Pedro Ciriaco.

Tigres del Licey� -- Three former Pirates: C Ronny Paulino, C Robinzon Diaz, and RHP Denny Bautista.

Gigantes del Cibao� 5,� Aguilas Cibaenas� 1� -- C Luke Carlin started the game behind the plate for Los Aguilas.� He walked to open the top of the 3rd but was out in a double play, then struck out in the 5th.� Los Aguilas managed only 3 hits, and they scored their only run in the 6th inning, aided by two errors and a wild pitch.

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

Bravos de Margarita� 4,� Aguilas de Zulia� 1 -- Margarita took advantage of mistakes by Zulia.� They scored a pair of runs in the 5th on a single, a walk, and an error, then two insurance runs in the 9th on two walks, two wild pitches, and another error.� Andy LaRoche started the game at third base.� In three trips to the plate, he flied out, struck out, and walked -- and was picked off base.� When the next half inning began, LaRoche was removed from the game.� Los Bravos might be getting a little frustrated with LaRoche, who is hitting .100.

The Confusing Case of Matt Walbeck

The confusing case of Matt Walbeck, the Eastern League Manager of the Year, now jobless since the Pirates have declined to renew his contract....� I have no direct knowledge, not being in or around Altoona.

From Corey Giger of the Altoona Mirror:� "It's simple and complicated",�� and� it's going to give Walbeck the opportunity to find a AAA position elsewhere.�� And, "it was a communication issue", and maybe even a personality issue, with some players really liking Walbeck, and others not liking him at all.

From Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:� "not following the prescribed development programs and a lack of communication".

There are two sides to every story -- and there may even be more than two in this instance.� It does seem like there's more to this than we're going to hear about.

****

Brad Lincoln needed 15 pitches (11 strikes) to strike out the side in the bottom of the 7th in last night's Pirates' game against the Marlins.� Joe Martinez pitched 2 innings in relief for Pittsburgh.� He gave up a 2-out double in the 5th, but left the runner on base.� Then he gave up another double and an RBI single in the 6th.

Brandon Moss was 1-for-19 when he entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the 8th, but he added 2 hits in the game -- a slow dribbler down the third base line for an infield single to load the bases.� He came around to score in that inning, then doubled in the 9th, scoring again on Pedro Alvarez's homer.� John Bowker played both right field and first base, and went 1-for-4, with a walk in the 8th to force in a run.� Argenis Diaz also walked to force in the next run in the inning.� Alex Presley came in to play center field in the bottom of the 7th, but he struck out in the both of his plate appearances.� Pedro Ciriaco had a pinch-hit single in the 5th inning.

****

Team USA begins their first game in the Pan American Games/World Cup Qualifying Tournament tomorrow at 7:30 pm in Ponce, Puerto Rico, facing the Puerto Rican team.

The Arizona Fall League, with the Pirates' farmhands playing with the Mesa Solar Sox, begins play in 11 days.

Curve Hold Their Own Against Pettitte, But Lose Game One

Trenton Thunder� 3,� Altoona Curve� 2 ...���� (box)

Curve starter Rudy Owens faced off against National's phenom pitcher Stephen Strasbourg at the beginning of the season, and held his own.� Now he winds down the season by facing off against New York Yankees' rehabbing star Andy Pettitte -- and again, Owens held his own.� Owens and Pettitte each pitched 5 innings in tonight's first game of the Eastern League Championship Series, held in Altoona.� Owens gave up 2 runs; Pettitte gave up 2 runs.� Owens gave up 7 hits and 3 walks; Pettitte gave up 6 hits and 2 walks, and he also threw a wild pitch.� Owens struck out 7; Pettitte struck out 4.

2B Chase d'Arnaud faced Pettitte three times and must not have been very impressed.� He put the first run of the game onto the scoreboard when he led off the bottom of the 1st inning with a solo home run off Pettitte.� In the 3rd inning, d'Arnaud worked a walk, and in the 5th, he singled off Pettitte.

The Curve took d'Arnaud's home run lead into the 3rd inning.� Rudy Owens gave up a walk and a single in the 2nd, but induced a double play to end the inning.� In the 3rd, he gave up three singles, including the RBI single that slipped past first base and down the right field line to tie the score at 1-1.

The Curve came right back in the bottom of the 3rd to take a 2-1 lead.� With one out, DH Yung Chi Chen lined a single into right field.� Pettitte's wild pitch put Chen on second base, and when d'Arnaud walked, ball four got past the Trenton catcher for a passed ball, allowing Chen to advance to third base.� 3B Josh Harrison grounded just out of reach of the Trenton shortstop and into left field for the single that scored Chen.

Owens retired the side in order again in the 4th.� Then he gave up two doubles in the top of the 5th, and Trenton had tied up the game again, at 2-2.

The Curve threatened in the bottom of the 5th.� Chen reached base on a fielding error by the Trenton third baseman.� Back-to-back singles by d'Arnaud and Harrison -- a line drive into right field by d'Arnaud and a bunt single by Harrison -- loaded the bases for Altoona.� But Pettitte got SS Jordy Mercer to bounce back to the mound, where he fired the ball back to the catcher, forcing out Chen at the plate, then on to first base to complete the double play.� A strikeout ended the inning.

Curve and Marauders Both Fall To Big Innings

Harrisburg Senators� 10,� Altoona Curve� 5 ....������ (box)

Two 5-run innings gave the Senators the advantage over the Curve in the first game of their Eastern League playoff series.

The Curve jumped out to the early lead in the bottom of the 1st.� 2B Chase d'Arnaud led off with a walk, and 3B Josh Harrison followed by blasting a home run over the left-center field wall, to give the Curve a 2-0 lead before they even had recorded an out.� Two outs later, LF Andrew Lambo reached base on a fielding error by the Senators' 2B Steve Lombardozzi.� C Hector Gimenez worked a walk, and RF Miles Durham singled into left field to bring in Lambo from second base, and the Curve had a 3-0 lead.

It didn't last long, as the Senators sent 10 batters to the plate and scored 5 runs in the top of the 2nd.� Curve starter Rudy Owens had worked around a walk to Lombardozzi in the 1st inning, but got into trouble quickly in the 2nd.� A walk and a single began the inning, then a grounder to the diving 1B Matt Hague produced a force out at second base.� A double into right-center field brought in both base runners, and the Senators had made it a one-run game, 3-2.� A bunt attempt by the Senators' pitcher, Tom Milone, went right to Owens on the mound, and he turned it into a fielder's choice out at third, leaving Milone on first base.� But Lombardozzi walked again, then a single loaded the bases.� Owens had two outs with those bases loaded, and he got an 0-2 on the next batter -- and another single drove in two more runs, and the Senators had the lead.� That sent Owens to the showers after just 1.2 innings.� Jared Hughes came out of the bullpen, and he loaded the bases again by walking the first batter he faced.� A passed ball by Gimenez allowed the runner in from third base (unearned run, charged to Owens), and when a ground out ended the inning, the Senators had a 5-3 lead.

Milone had the Curve bats under control for the next 6 innings.� D'Arnaud doubled in the 2nd inning, but was left on base when three other Curve batters struck out.� Hughes reached base in the 4th on a fielding error, but was also left stranded. � Durham singled in the 6th, but was also left on base.� Harrisburg's reliever Hassan Pena pitched the 7th inning, and he also retired the Curve in order.

Hughes did even better than Milone over his next 3 innings -- he retired those 9 Harrisburg batters in order.� Bryan Morris was next out of the bullpen.� He retired the side in order in the 6th, and worked his way out of a jam in the 7th.� That inning began with a single, then Lombardozzi reached on fielding error, when his grounder bounced off 3B Harrison's glove.� With two on and none out (instead of one on and one out), Morris got a strikeout.� Another single loaded the bases, then Morris ended the inning with a three-pitch strikeout and a blazing line drive that went straight to Harrison's glove.

Mike Dubee took the mound for the Curve to begin the 8th inning, and he found trouble quickly.� Back-to-back singles opened the inning, then Dubee got a strikeout.� An RBI single followed, then Lombardozzi drove a liner down the right field line and into the bullpen, plating the second run of the inning.� An intentional walk loaded the bases, and a grounder to third yielded a force out at third, but Harrison's throw to first rolled away from 1B Hague, and instead of an inning-ending double play, two more runs scored and the inning continued.� Another single dropped in, in short left field, to drive in the fifth run of the inning.� Craig Hansen relieved Dubee, and he got the pitcher Pena to fly out to end the inning.

Eight Call-Ups Cap The Season

As expected, shortly after the Indianapolis Indians' season ended, the Pirates made the phone call to bring up seven players to the big league club.� Some of the call-ups were expected, but there were surprises too.

IMG_4652Pitchers Brad Lincoln and Justin Thomas, who are already on the Pirates' 40-man roster and have spent time with the Pirates already this season, were both recalled.� Catcher Jason Jaramillo and shortstop Pedro Ciriaco are also on the 40-man roster, and both were expected to be brought up.� Jaramillo spent the first half of the season with the Pirates, while Ciriaco came to the Pirates' organization in a trade from the Diamondbacks at the end of July.� It's the first trip to the majors for Ciricao.

The other four players were not on the 40-man roster and have to be added.� Outfielders Brandon Moss and Alex Presley (photo) did not expect the call up for just that reason -- they didn't think the Pirates would want to bother adding them to the roster and pay them to spend a lot of time on the bench.� But Presley was going to need to be added to the 40-man roster after the season in order to prevent him from being eligible to be taken in the Rule 5 Draft.� The Pirates' outfield is going to be crowded with outfielders looking for a chance to play and hit.� Pitchers Brian Bass and Steven Jackson have both pitched for the Pirates at some point this season, but were removed from the 40-man roster.� Now they are being addd back on, to help bolster the Pirates' bullpen.

In order to make room on the 40-man roster, the Pirates had to make other moves.� Pitcher Ross Ohlendorf and Jeff Clement were both moved to the 60-day disabled list.� Infielder Akinori Iwamura and catcher Erik Kratz were both removed from the 40-man roster and designated for assignment.� The Pirates had been trying to find a spot for Iwamura with another team, but have been unsuccessful.� Kratz was the feel-good story of the summer with his call-up during the All-Star game, but he lost out in the numbers game.

Van Every Homers As Indians Lose Finale

Louisville Bats� 6,� Indianapolis Indians 3 ..�� (box)

The Indianapolis Indians wrapped up the 2010 season at Slugger Field in Louisville, Kentucky this afternoon with a loss to the Bats.� The Tribe finished the season just below .500 with a 71-73 record, and they finished the season series against Louisville with the Bats having a 12-10 game advantage.� The Bats' win, combined with Columbus' 5-2 loss to Toledo, gives the Bats the International League Western Division title.� The Clippers had been in first place in the Western Division for most of the season, but Louisville had a second-half surge and slipped up behind the Clippers for the win at the finish line.� The Clippers will be the Wild Card team in the International League Playoffs, which begin on Wednesday.

NOTES:

The Indians begin the 2011 season on Thursday April 7th, at home at Victory Field, against the Columbus Clippers.� That's just 7 months from tomorrow, and 213 days away.

Go Tribe!

(photos by Nancy)

Moss Takes IL RBI Title As Indians Win

Indianapolis Indians� 5,� Louisville Bats� 3 ..��� (box)

IMG_3223

RF Brandon Moss's (photo) double in the top of the 7th inning gave the Indians the winning run and gave Moss his league-leading 96th RBI at Louisville Slugger Field in Louisville, Kentucky this evening.� RBI #96 secured Moss' win of the International League's RBI title.� The second-place slugger, Durham's Dan Johnson, is now playing in the major leagues, and the third-place slugger, Gwinnett's Freddie Freeman, is also in the majors. Two players are tied for fourth, Lehigh Valley's Andy Tracy and Charlotte's Stefan Gartrell, are both still in this league, but one of them would have to get 16 RBI tomorrow to catch up to Moss.�


Tribe LF Kevin Melillo got down to business with the first pitch of the game, which he ripped on a line drive into right field for a triple.� SS Pedro Ciriaco lined a single into center field, allowing Melillo to score easily from third base.� After a strikeout by CF Alex Presley, Moss lined a single into right field, moving Ciriaco to second base.� Another strikeout to 1B Mitch Jones, then C Erik Kratz singled up the middle, driving in Ciriaco, and the Indians had the early 2-0 lead.

.

IMG_4455Chris Jakubauskas (photo) made the start for the Indians, and he was happy to take the mound with two runs in his pocket.� Jakubauskas buzzed through the first three innings, allowing only a double -- to Bats' pitcher Jeremy Horst -- in the 3rd inning.� Jakubauskas began the 4th inning by giving up a single to SS Zack Cozart and a walk to Danny Dorn, but he retired the next three batters, and the two runners were left standing on base.

The Bats did get to Jakubauskas in the 5th.� Three consecutive singles opened the inning -- by 3B Eric Eymann, 2B Kris Negron, and pinch-hitter Mike Costanzo.� Eymann scored on Costanzo's grounder that just barely got past 2B Brian Friday and into right field. � CF Dave Sappelt followed with a grounder to Friday, who was able to get the force out at second base.� The speedy Sappelt beat out Pedro Ciriaco's relay throw to first base, as Negron scored the tying run from third base.� Zack Cozart grounded to 3B Doug Bernier, who also got the force out of Sappelt at second base, but Friday's thow to first base was not in time to get the out on Cozart.� The inning ended with a pop out by Danny Dorn.

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