Checking in on Pirates’ players and friends in Thursday’s winter league action:
Gigantes del Cibao 7, Toros del Este 3
Two 3-run innings gave Los Gigantes the win in a “play in” game after the regular Dominican League season ended yesterday. Los Toros began the game with 2 runs in the top of the 1st. A lead-off double, and an RBI single by SS Pedro Ciriaco brought in the first run. An error, a bunt, and a single plated Ciriaco with the second run. A 3-run homer gave Los Gigantes a 6-2 lead in the bottom of the 2nd, and they scored 3 more runs in the 6th with back-to-back solo homers, including one by former Pirate C Robinzon Diaz. Each team scored a run in the 8th inning. The two teams finished the regular season with identical 24-26 records, and the win gives Los Gigantes a spot in the Dominican League play offs. Los Aguilas Cibaenas finished in first place with a 30-20 record. Los Tigres del Licey and Los Leones del Escogido finished tied for second place at 26-24. The playoffs begin in January.
PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Leones de Ponce 4, Gigantes de Carolina 3
Carolina scored their first run in the 1st inning, and Ponce took the lead with 2 runs in the 3rd. Los Gigantes tied the score with a solo home run in the 7th. Five scoreless innings followed. Benji Gonzalez entered the game in the 9th as a defensive replacement at shortstop. He contributed a single in the 12th inning, but didn’t score. Each team scored one run in the 13th — Los Leones scored on a walk, a double, and a single. Los Gigantes scored on two singles and two walks. Los Leones scored again in the top of the 14th, with a single, a bunt, and an RBI double. Gonzalez singled again in that inning. Los Leones held off Los Gigantes in the bottom of the inning for the long win.
Caribes de Anzoategui 7, Leones del Caracas 5
Los Leones began the game with 4 runs in the bottom of the 1st, and they added a run in the 5th. Los Caribes came back with 2 runs in the 2nd, including a 2-RBI ground-rule double by CF Gorkys Hernandez. Los Caribes added 2 runs in the 7th, when Hernandez led off with a walk, then scored on a single and a double. An RBI grounder added the second run of the inning, to bring the score to 5-4. They began the 8th with another run on a walk, an error, and a single to tie the score at 5-5. Hernandez followed with a 2-run homer to give Los Caribes the go-ahead runs.