Pirates’ players and friends in a bit of winter league action on Wednesday and early Thursday:
Bravos de Margarita 5, Cardenales de Lara 3 (Game 1)
Anthony Claggett made the start for Los Bravos, and pitched 4 0f the 7 innings in this shortened game. Claggett retired the first 6 batters he faced, then gave up 2 runs in the 3rd inning on a walk, a double, an RBI ground out, and an RBI single. A single and a double added another run for Lara in the 4th inning. Claggett gave up a single to begin the bottom of the 5th, and at that point he was relieved by Jhonathan Ramos. Ramos got two grounders, one for a double play, to get out of the inning without a run scoring. He also retired the first two batters in the 6th, then was relieved. Meanwhile, Los Bravos scored one run in the top of the 1st on two singles, an error, and a sacrifice fly. Another sacrifice fly gave Los Bravos their second run in the 5th inning. They took the win with 3 runs in the top of the 7th, beginning with 4 consecutive singles for one run. Former Pirate Romulo Sanchez came on to pitch with the bases loaded, and he let another run score on a wild pitch. The final run scored on another sacrifice fly. Mike Crotta pitched the top of the 6th for Los Cardenales. He gave up a 2-out double, then a single, but a on-target throw in from right field resulted in the lead runner being tagged out at the plate to end the inning.
Los Bravos 1, Los Cardenales 0 (Game 2)
Los Bravos had scored 15 hits in the first game, but were held to just 6 hits in Game 2, while Los Cardenales posted 10 hits in the night cap. Unfortunately for Los Cardenales, 12 runners left on base added up to no runs scored. Los Bravos scored their run in the 6th on two singles, an intentional walk, and an RBI ground out. Former Pirate Ronald Belisario earned his 5th Save with a scoreless 7th inning for Los Bravos.
Caribes de Anzoategui 11, Tigres de Aragua 0
Carlos Zambrano made his first appearance for Los Caribes since being hit in the head with a line drive. He made the start and threw 4 no-hit innings, allowing only one walk. Los Caribes’ two relievers combined for another 5 scoreless innings, allowing Los Tigres only 3 hits. LF Jorge Cortes had one of the hits, but C Raul Chavez and 1B Hector Gimenez were both hitless. Gimenez walked twice. Los Caribes gave their pitchers plenty of run support, with 2 runs in the 1st, then 9 runs over the 6th, 7th, and 8th innings. Gorkys Hernandez pinch-hit for Los Caribes in the top of the 9th, but struck out. He finished the 9th inning in center field.
MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE
Algodoneros de Guasave 2, Venados de Mazatlan 1
A single, a bunt, and an RBI single gave Guasave the go-ahead run in the top of the 14th inning, and they were able to hold off Los Venados in the bottom of the frame to end this long game. Los Venados scored their run in the 4th inning, on a single, a bunt, and an RBI double. A double, a bunt, and a single by Guasave tied the game in the top of the 8th and sent the game in to extra innings. RF Rogelio Noris singled for Los Venados in the 5th inning, beating out the throw on a grounder to third.
Sydney Blue Sox 1, Canberra Cavalry 0
The Blue Sox scored on a double and a single in the 1st inning, and that was all the scoring for the rest of the game. C Travis Scott singled for the Cavalry in the 2nd inning, and moved to second base on another single, but got no further.
Brisbane Bandits 5, Adelaide Bite 3
All of the Bite’s runs came on homers — a 2-run home run in the 3rd inning, and a solo blast by 1B Calvin Anderson to lead off the top of the 9th. It was not enough to keep up with the Bandits, though.