Tag: Rogelios Noris

Two Hits Each For Latimore, Snyder, Rubinstein, And Power

All of the Pirates' minor league affiliates lost their season openers on Thursday night:

Erie SeaWolves  3,  Altoona Curve 2

One run in the bottom of the 9th made the difference, as the Curve lost in Erie, PA.  The SeaWolves were first onto the scoreboard with a pair of runs in the 5th inning.  Curve starter Bryan Morris had already escaped from two jams in the early innings.  In the 2nd, RF Brad Chalk threw out a runner who was trying to stretch a double into a triple, then Chalk ended the inning when he threw to C Tony Sanchez to nail a runner who was trying to score from second base on a single.  Morris loaded the bases in the 4th with a single and two walks, but a timely double play, 3B Jeremy Farrell to 2B Brock Holt, to 1B Miles Durham, ended that inning without a run scoring.  Morris' luck ran out in the 5th, though, when a walk and a 2-run homer gave Erie a 2-0 lead.  

The Curve missed a scoring opportunity in the top of the 2nd, when Sanchez singled into left field, and LF Quincy Latimore lined a double just out of the reach of the Erie left fielder.  But with runners on second and third, Erie starter Jacob Turner struck out both Farrell and DH Eric Fryer to end the inning.  Turner allowed only two base runners for the next 4 innings -- he walked Holt, and he hit Sanchez with a pitch.  (Sanchez has got to stop being a magnet for opposing pitchers' pitches.)  After Turner left the game, the Curve were able to put men on base again.  Farrell singled and Fryer walked in the 7th, though they didn't score.  The 8th inning began with back-to-back walks to Holt and CF Starling Marte.  SS Jordy Mercer bunted them over to second and third, then another walk to Sanchez loaded the bases.  Latimore came through again, with another double off the left field wall, missing a grand slam by inches, to plate both Holt and Marte and tie the game at 2-2.  

Reliever Anthony Claggett finished the 5th inning for Morris with a strikeout and a pickoff of one of the runners Morris had put on base.  Aaron Pribanic and Jared Hughes each pitched a perfect inning, with one strikeout for Pribanic and two for Hughes.  Michael Dubee struck out the side in the 8th inning to preserve the tie.  The Curve batters could not get anything going in the top of the 9th, though, and Dubee came back out to pitch the bottom of the 9th.  With one out, a single and a stolen base put a runner in scoring position, and a ground out moved him to third base.  Then a sinking line drive, just inches away from the diving Latimore's glove, fell in for a hit, scoring the runner from third base for the walk-off win.  
Dubee was charged with the loss.  Morris got a no-decision, with 2 runs on 4 hits and 5 walks, plus 3 strikeouts, in 4.1 innings.  The Curve had just 4 hits, two of them doubles by Latimore.  


2011 Prospect Watching: Noris and Irvine

Continuing to look at Pirates' minor league outfielders:

Rogelios Noris --  R/R,  6' 2",  192 lbs
Noris is a 21-year-old Mexican native, who made his US debut with the GCL Pirates in 2009.  He was promoted to A level West Virginia for 2010, where he hit .236, a little lower than the .250 he'd achieved in the GCL.  Noris blasted 15 homers and had 57 RBI for West Virginia, and he has the potential to be a power hitter.  His big drawback, though, is his high strikeout rate -- he struck out 144 times in 111 games (35%).  Combined with very few walks (15), Noris needs to work on his approach at the plate this season.  He did show some improvement in that regard in his second winter season with his hometown Venados de Mazatlan.  Noris appeared in 49 games in the winter league, hitting .246 with 2 homers and 10 RBI.  He walked 12 times, and struck out 34 times, which was a drop to 27%.  He could go back to West Virginia for 2011, but there are going to be a lot of outfielders at that level, so Noris could be pushed on up to A+ Bradenton.

Pat Irvine  --  Bats L / Throws R,  6' 0",  197 lbs
Though Irvine is listed as an outfielder, he has also played some third base and has also done some catching.  Irvine was the Pirates' 33rd round pick in the 2009 draft.  He played third base and left field at State College in 2009, then began the 2010 season in West Virginia as a catcher.  Unfortunately, the opponents' base runners took Irvine's presence behind the plate as their free ticket to the next base.  In 10 games, 19 batters stole on him (he threw out one), and he had 3 passed balls.  He also struggled at the plate, hitting .212.  Irvine was sent back to State College, where he proved again that catching was not his future.  He returned to the outfield, where he was ok but not spectacular.  Irvine hit .271 in July, with 7 RBI, but sagged to .227 in August, with 6 more RBI.  He did draw 25 walks in 39 games, but that alone is not going to be enough to get the 25-year-old back to West Virginia for 2011, and he is getting "old" for those lower levels.

Other notes:
Remember infielder Tony Mansolino?  He was the Pirates' 26th round pick in the 2005 draft, but was released in June 2008.  He played in the Northern League in 2009 and in the American Association in both 2009 and 2010.  Last week he was signed to a minor league contract by the Cleveland Indians.  
C Miguel Perez, who played for the Curve and the Indy Indians in 2008 -09, signed a minor league deal with the Nationals.  

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.  


Winter League Season Ends

The Venezuelan, Mexican Pacific, and Puerto Rican Leagues wrap up their regular season play today.  Everyone is off for New Year's Eve, and playoff games begin soon after.  A few of the Pirates' players and friends in tonight's action:

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE
Caribes  de Anzoategui  2,  Navegantes del Magallanes  1  --  
C JR House had the second of three consecutive singles to lead off the top of the 7th for Los Navegantes, when they scored their only run of the game.  That run tied the game at 1-1, after Los Caribes had scored one run in the 5th on a fielding error and a double.  But Los Caribes broke the tie in the bottom of the 7th with a pair of doubles, and took the win.

Aguilas de Zulia   8,  Cardenales de Lara  7  --  Los Aguilas posted 16 hits and piled up their runs in the middle innings, and were leading 8-1 going into the top of the 9th.  Romulo Sanchez pitched the top of the 9th for Lara, and retired the side in order.  Then in the bottom of the inning. Los Cardenales rallied with three singles, two doubles, and a 2-run homer, scoring 6 runs.  But with two runners still on base, a fly out ended the game, and Los Cardenales fell one run short of catching up.

 
DOMINICAN LEAGUE (Round Robin Playoff Series)
Toros del Este  2,  Leones del Escogido  1  --  
A pitching duel, with each team posting only 5 hits.  Los Toros scored 2 runs in the 4th on two consecutive fielding errors, a single, a walk to force in one run, and an RBI ground out.  Two singles and a ground out gave Los Leones their only run in the top of the 9th.  SS Pedro Ciriaco went 0-for-3, plus he reached on a fielding error in the 3rd and stole second base.  

Estrellas de Oriente   9,  Gigantes del Cibao  0  --  DH Ronny Paulino was Los Estrellas' heavy hitter for the second night in a row.  He went 3-for-3, walked, scored twice, and drove in a run.  He singled to lead off the 2nd inning, though did not score.  He singled again to lead off the 4th, moved to third on a double, and scored on a sacrifice fly.  Another run came in on two more singles and a walk.  Paulino singled for the third time in the 5th inning, but was left on base.  Los Estrellas rallied for 6 runs in the 6th inning.  A walk, a single, and a hit batter loaded the bases, then Paulino picked up his RBI when he walked to force in a run.  A single and a wild pitch each brought in a run.  A ground out scored Paulino, and one more single drove in 2 runs.  A solo homer gave Los Estrellas their final run in the 7th.  Los Gigantes were held to just 6 hits, and two of those were by RF Rich Thompson.  He singled to open the 5th, but was out at second on a force play.  Thompson doubled in the 7th inning, and was left on base.  

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.


Wins For Ascanio And Ledezma, Loss For Nieve

Looking in on Pirates' players and friend in Monday's winter league action:

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE
Leones del Caracas  6,  Cardenales de Lara  5  --  
Two runs in the bottom of the 9th gave Los Leones and Jose Ascanio the win.  Los Cardenales were leading 5-4 in the top of the 8th, when Ascanio came in from the bullpen with one out and a runner on first base.  Ascanio's catcher picked the runner off first base, recorded as a caught stealing, then Ascanio got a ground out to end the inning.  He gave up a single in the top of the 9th, but kept Los Cardenales from scoring.  Then in the bottom of the 9th, with Ray Sadler coming in to play center field for Lara, Los Leones eked out a single and a walk.  A passed ball on ball four put runners on the corners for Los Leones.  A single into center field drove n the run from third, for the walk-off win.  Ascanio was the pitcher of record, so was credited with his first Venezuelan League win.  

Bravos de Margarita  4,  Caribes de Anzoategui  0  --  LF Jose Tabata went 0-for-3 with a walk for Los Caribes, who recorded 8 hits, but could not push any of their base runners across the plate.  They left a total of 11 runners on base and were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position.  Los Bravos scored 3 runs in the 5th, on a double, two singles, a walk, and a fielding error.  A solo homer added a fourth run in the 6th.  Jhonathan Ramos came on to pitch for Margarita in the 7th, with two outs.  He loaded the bases with a single and two walks, then was relieved, but due to Los Caribes' lack of luck, another reliever got Tabata to fly out to end the inning, leaving three runners on base.

Aguilas de Zulia  6,  Navegantes del Magallanes  3  --  Fernando Nieve struggled through 2.2 innings and was eventually charged with the loss for Magallanes.  He gave up a solo homer to the second batter of the game, then gave up two runs in the 2nd on two singles and a double.  Three singles and a double steal brought in two more runs for Zulia in the 3rd, and that was all for Nieve -- 5 runs on 8 hits, no walks, with 4 strikeouts.  Two more singles added another run for Los Aguilas in the top of the 7th.  Los Navegantes started their scoring in the bottom of the 7th.  Former Pirate farmhand JR House, who made the jump over from the Dominican League, came into the game as a pinch-runner after a 2-out single.  A walk and an RBI single allowed House to score Magallanes' first run.  House remained in the game to play first base, and he flied out in the 9th.  A walk, a double, and a fielding error gave Los Navegantes 2 runs in the bottom of the 8th.  

Tigres de Aragua  7,  Tiburones de La Guaira  3  --  Wil Ledezma also earned his first Venezuelan League win with 1.2 hitless and scoreless innings of work.  Los Tigres started scoring in the bottom of the 1st, when SS Ronny Cedeno reached base on a fielding error, then scored on a double.  C Raul Chavez blasted a 2-run homer in the 2nd, to give Aragua a 3-0 lead.  Los Tiburones scored 2 runs in the top of the 3rd on three singles and two walks, then tied the score in the top of the 4th on a double, a bunt, and an RBI ground out.  Ledezma came in from the bullpen in the 4th, and ended the 4th, then retired the side in order in the 5th.  He was still the pitcher of record when Los Tigres scored 3 runs in the bottom of the 5th.  Chavez walked, and moved to second base on CF Jorge Cortes' sacrifice bunt.  Cedeno singled, putting runners on the corners, then a sacrifice fly plated Chavez.  A 2-run homer by DH Wilson Ramos brought in Cedeno.  1B Hector Gimenez also doubled after the homer.  Three walks, including one by Gimenez, and a wild pitch gave Los Tigres an insurance run in the 8th.  

Dominican Playoffs Begin

Back in action.... cheering for some Pirates' players and friends in Sunday's winter league action:

DOMINICAN LEAGUE
Gigantes del Cibao  11,  Toros del Este  7  --  
The Dominican League's round robin playoff series began this evening, and Los Gigantes took their first game with a 6-run 8th inning.   Los Toros scored 4 runs in the 1st and 3 runs in the 6th, but it wasn't enough.  SS Pedro Ciriaco went 0-for-4 for Los Toros, and he also reached base on a fielding error in the 6th, which allowed a run to score.  Former Pirate Juan Perez pitched to one batter for Los Gigantes, finishing the 6th inning after Los Toros' runs had scored.


PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Senadores de San Juan  3,  Gigantes de Carolina  1  --  
2B Benji Gonzalez and CF Luis Matos were both hitless for Los Gigantes, who scored their only run in the 8th inning, on a single and a double.  Former Pirate farmhand Eric Krebs came on to pitch the bottom of the 5th for Los Gigantes, which he began with a ground out.  But a walk, a single, and Krebs' own throwing error on a pick-off attempt brought in one run for San Juan.  A wild pitch and another fielding error added a second run, and Krebs was relieved.  Los Senadores scored again in the 6th on a walk, a stolen base, and an RBI single.


MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE
Venados de Mazatlan  9,  Caneros de los Mochis  6  --  
Los Venados scored 5 runs in the first two innings,a nd did not give up their lead, as they posted a total of 15 hits.  Rogelios Noris entered the game as a defensive replacement in the bottom of the 6th, to play right field.  He had one plate appearance, in which he struck out.  Then in the bottom of the 9th, Noris moved to the infield to play second base -- something he hasn't done for at least 2 season, if he played there at all in the VSL.  He's not a natural there -- he made a throwing error which extended the game, though no runs scored because of it.


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.

Personnel Shuffles; Loss For Nieve

Several moves, shuffling personnel around:

RHP Joe Martinez, who came to the Pirates from the Giants (with John Bowker) in July, was removed from the Pirates' 40-man roster and designated for assignment.  That frees up a roster spot for newly signed starter Kevin Correia.  Martinez joined the Indy Indians after coming to the Pirate organization, and made 4 starts and 3 relief appearances for the Indians.  In 28 innings, he earned a 1-2 record and a 5.72 ERA.  Then he pitched 8.2 innings over 5 games for the Pirates, for a 3.12 ERA.  

Spring Training invitations for the big league camp were extended to pitchers Rudy Owens and Justin Wilson, both of whom pitched in Altoona in 2010.  Tyler Yates, working his way back from elbow surgery, was signed to a minor league contract and also invited to major league spring training. Infielder Jeff Clement was also invited to big league camp.   

The Pirates have announced the new managers for their minor league teams:  Dean Treanor, who was the pitching coach in Indianapolis in 2010, will now be managing the Indians.  Frank Kremblas, who has managed in Indianapolis for two years, will move into the role of minor league field/instructional coordinator.  PJ Forbes, who managed the Bradenton Marauders in 2010, will manage the Altoona Curve in 2011.  Carlos Garcia will move from coaching first base for the Pirates to managing the Marauders.  Gary Robinson is moving up from managing the State College Spikes to managing the West Virginia Power, and Dave Turgeon, former coach at Virginia Tech, will become the manager at State College.   

And, some winter league action for some Pirates' players and friends:

PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Gigantes de Carolina  4,  Indios de Mayaguez  2  --  
For the second night in a row, Benji Gonzalez came into the game as a pinch-hitter for Los Gigantes, then remained in the game on defense.  Gonzalez flied out in the top of the 6th, then played second base for one inning, and shortstop for 3 innings.  He also grounded out in the 9th.  Los Gigantes scored one run in the 2nd, 2 in the 4th, and one more in the 5th, while a triple and a double contributed to Los Indios' 2 runs in the 7th.

Criollos de Caguas  7,  Senadores de San Juan  2  --  Former Indy Indian SS Luis Figueroa had another big night, going 4-for-5 with 3 doubles, a homer, and 4 RBI.  Figueroa flied out in the bottom of the 1st, and that was the only time he was retired.  His ground-rule double drive in Los Criollos' first run in the 3rd.  He doubled again (the conventional way) in the 4th, driving in 2 of that inning's 3 runs.  Then he homered to lead off the bottom of the 6th.  He also doubled in the 8th, but was left on base.  Los Criollos scored 2 runs in the 5th, without Figueroa's help:  three walks, including one by 3B Ramon Vazquez,  loaded the bases, then a double brought in two runs.  Vazquez also walked in the 2nd inning, but did not score.

Big Day For Milledge, Cortes, And Tabata; Loss For Ascanio

Cheering for Pirates' players and friends in Sunday's winter league action...
The Dominican League's last regular season games will be on Tuesday. 

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE 
Tigres de Aragua  8,  Leones de Caracas  3  (Game 1) --  
Los Tigres won this battle of the big cats with a 6-run 3rd inning.  CF Jorge Cortes led off the inning with a single, was bunted to second base, and scored on an RBI single.  SS Ronny Cedeno lined out, but the next two batters singled, driving in a run.  1B Hector Gimenez was hit by a pitch, then LF Lastings Milledge brought in two runs with his RBI single.  A triple added two more runs.  Cortes walked in his second at-bat in the inning, but a fly out ended the rally.  Los Tigres added another run in the 5th on a single, Gimenez's ground rule double, and Milledge's sacrifice fly -- his third RBI of the game.  Milledge singled again in a rally in the 7th, when Aragua slipped in their 8th run.  Caracas did all their scoring in the bottom of the 7th, leading off the inning with two singles and a 3-run homer.  

Tigres  6,  Leones  5  (Game 2)  --  
It was Cortes who had 3 hits in the night-cap, while Cedeno, Gimenez, and C Raul Chavez were hitless.  Wil Ledezma made the start for Los Tigres, and pitched 2 innings, allowing a run in the 1st.  Aragua tied the score in the 2nd with a walk, a single by Milledge, and an RBI single by Cortes.  Ledezma was relieved to begin the 3rd, and that was when Caracas scored 2 more runs on a walk, a single, and a triple.  Another triple and a sacrifice fly gave Los Leones a 4-1 lead in the 5th.  Los Tigres came roaring back in the top of the 6th, to take the lead.  The inning began with 3 consecutive walks, including on Milledge and Gimenez.  A triple cleared the bases, then Cortes' double gave Aragua a 5-4 lead.  Another single and a walk loaded the bases for Aragua, but a double play ended the inning and the rally.  Caracas tied the score again in the bottom of the 7th, sending the game into extra innings.  Jose Ascanio took the mound for Caracas in the top of the 7th, when he retired the side in order.  In the bottom of the 8th, pinch-hitter Miguel Perez led off with a single, and Cortes bunted him to second base.  A single drove in the speedy Perez from second base with the go-ahead run.

Navegantes del Magallanes  8,  Tiburones de La Guaira  2  --  
Los Tiburones had the early lead, but Los Navegantes scored 7 of their runs in the final three innings, including a 4-run 8th.  Jean Machi earned his 7th save with 1.1 scoreless innings, allowing only one hit.

Caribes de Anzoategui  8,  Cardenales de Lara  7  (Game 1)  --  Six runs in the 2nd inning gave Los Caribes enough runs to outlast Lara's late-inning rallies.  DH Jose Tabata singled and scored on a 2-run homer in the top of the 1st.  Los Cardenales got one of the runs back in the bottom of the inning, but Los Caribes had their big 2nd inning.  With one out, a walk and four straight singles, including Tabata's second single, brought in two runs, then a grand slam by LF Juan Camacho gave Los Caribes an 8-1 lead.  

Caribes  4,  Cardenales  2  (Game 2) --  
Four runs in the 6th inning gave Los Caribes what they needed.  The inning began with a double and a single, then Jose Tabata lined another single into center field, bringing in one run.  Three more singles and a sacrifice fly added 3 more runs.  Los Cardenales scored one run in the 2nd on a walk, a single, and an RBI ground out.  A double, a wild pitch, and a single gave Lara their second run in the 4th.  CF Ray Sadler went 0-for-3 for Lara.



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