Looking at a few Pirates’ players and friends in Tuesday’s winter league action:
Tigres de Aragua 2, Aguilas del Zulia 1
Los Tigres scored first, with one run in the 4th, on a sacrifice fly by LF Jorge Cortes. Los Aguilas tied the score in the 5th inning, on a double, a single, and a throwing error by 1B Hector Gimenez. Another error started Los Tigres’ rally in the 7th inning. A bunt by Cortes, and two singled drove in what turned out to be the winning run. Jonel Pacheco singled in the top of the 9th.
Caribes de Anzoategui 8, Tiburones de La Guaira 2
Los Caribes’ 6-run 5th inning made the difference. The score was tied at 1-1 going into the 5th, which began with two walks. A throwing error allowed one run to score. A single drove in two runs and a double drove in one run. CF Gorkys Hernandez’s single brought in the 5th run of the inning, and Hernandez scored the 6th run when a new relief pitcher began his stint with 3 consecutive singles.
Los Caribes lead the round-robin tournament with 7 wins, while Los Aguilas have yet to win a playoff game.
Gigantes del Cibao 10, Aguilas Cibaenas 6
RF Brandon Moss had 3 hits, including a homer, contributing 3 RBI for Los Aguilas, but Los Aguilas could not stand up to a 7-run inning by Los Gigantes. Moss doubled in a run in the 1st, and walked to load the bases in the 3rd. Another walk forced in a run. Los Gigantes tied the score with 2 runs in the bottom of the 3rd. Los Aguilas took the lead again in the top of the 5th, with a run on three singles (one by Moss). A double, a wild pitch, and a sacrifice fly gave Los Aguilas an insurance run in the 6th, but then disaster struck. A 2-run homer, a 2-run double, 5 singles, and an RBI walk gave Los Gigantes a 9-4 lead. Moss blasted a 2-run homer for Los Aguilas in the top of the 9th — not enough to catch up.
Tigres del Licey 14, Leones del Escogido 4
Nelson Figueroa made the start for Los Leones, and he suffered the loss, allowing the first 5 Tigres’ runs on 9 hits, without getting out of the 3rd inning. C Ronny Paulino’s single drove in 2 runs for Los Tigres in the 1st, and Figueroa surrendered a triple and a single for a run in the 2nd. The 3rd inning began with a ground out, then a single, a triple, and a double, and that was all for Figueroa. Two of those runners came in to score, and Los Tigres also scored single runs in the 4th and 5th innings. Then a huge 7-run top of the 9th gave Los Tigres the big win.
Despite the loss, Los Leones are in first place in the Dominican League round-robin tournament with 8 wins.
PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Indios de Mayaguez 5, Leones de Ponce 4
These two teams traded 4-run innings, but one more run in the top of the 7th gave Mayaguez the win. Bobby Livingston, who pitched briefly for the Indy Indians, made the start for Los Indios, and gave up all 4 of Los Leones’ runs, on a walk, a double, and three singles. Los Indios scored 4 runs in the 4th with two singles, a sacrifice bunt, and a 3-run homer. A single, a bunt, and a single brought in the winning run in the 7th. Justin Thomas pitched in relief for Los Indios, coming into the game in the bottom of the 7th with one on and one out. He got a double play to end the inning. Thomas also began the top of the 8th with a single, then was relieved.
Los Indios lead the 5-game playoff series, 2 games to 1.
In the Mexican Pacific League, Los Tomateros de Culiacan, Los Algodoneros de Guasave, Los Yaquis de Obregon, and Los Aguilas de Mexicali have advanced to the semi-final round of the playoffs.
Adelaide Bite 1, Sydney Blue Sox 0
The Australian League is still in their regular season, for a few more weeks. Three Bite pitchers held the Blue Sox to just 3 hits in this shutout. Starter Dushan Ruzic gave up all three hits, plus two walks, as he struck out 8 batters over 7 innings. The Bite were not hitting big either, with just 5 hits. The only run of the game came in the 5th inning, when the Bite led off with a single. A stolen base and a ground out moved the runner to third, and a sacrifice fly pushed him across the plate. 3B Stefan Welch singled for the BIte in the 4th inning, but was left on base. 1B Calvin Anderson went 0-for-4.