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Tag: Ramon Vazquez

The Pirates Prospect Watch has been running on Pirates Prospects for parts of 15 seasons, making its debut in late August 2010 as the "Pittsburgh Pirates Prospect Watch". Today, there are more sites covering the minor...
Bubba Chandler left his start early on Friday, after dealing with control problems. Chandler walked his first two batters, then issued three more walks with two outs. Following the third walk, he was removed from the game...

Former Pirates Help Aragua Into The Championship

Cheering for the Pirates' players and friends in the winter league playoff games on Saturday night...

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE
Tigres de Aragua  5,  Leones de Caracas  2  --  
The Big Cats had to have a one-game playoff because they finished tied for second place in the round robin tournament.  Former Pirate farmhand Ronald Uviedo made the start for Los Leones, and while he made it through the first inning, Los Tigres got to him in the next three innings.  DH Hector Gimenez blasted a solo homer in the 2nd inning.  A walk, a sacrifice bunt by CF Jorge Cortes, and two RBI's on a double and a single gave Aragua another 2 runs in the 3rd inning.  LF Lastings Milledge started the 4th inning rally with a walk, moved to second on a ground out, and to third on a wild pitch.  An RBI single plated Milledge, and sent Uviedo to the showrs.  The Caracas reliever gave up a single to Cortes, then another RBI single gave Aragua their final run.  Caracas scored their first run on a solo homer by LF Mike Ryan in the 2nd inning.  Ryan also singled in the 7th inning, and came around to score from first base on 2B Jose Castillo's RBI double.  Castillo singled in the bottom of the 9th, and C Carlos Maldonado reached base on an error, and was replaced by a pinch-runner.  With two outs, Wil Ledezma came on to make the final out, earning a save.  Los Tigres will now face Los Caribes in the championship series.  



DOMINICAN LEAGUE
Toros del Este
  11,  Estrellas de Oriente  2  --  Los Toros posted 14 hits as they ran over Los Estrellas, who hurt their own cause with 6 errors.  The scoring began with 3 runs in the top of the 1st.  SS Pedro Ciriaco began a rally in the 3rd with a lead-off single.  He scored on a fielding error and a single, and an RBI ground out brought in another run.  A walk, a single, and another error in the 4th made the score 6-0.  Los Estrellas got onto the scoreboard with a solo homer in the 6th, and scored again with two singles in the 7th.  Los Toros kept going, though, scoring 2 runs in the 7th on yet another error, a walk, and a double.  Ciriaco walked in the 8th, and scored on a 3-run homer.  Ciriaco singled in the 6th as well.  Franquelis Osoria pitched the top of the 9th for Los Estrellas, and worked around his teammates' 6th error to keep Los Toros from scoring in that inning.  Los Toros now lead the championship series 4 games to none, and need one more for the series sweep.  

Roster Updates And Playoff Games

An update on some recent roster moves by the Pirates:

Pitcher Jose Veras took a few days, but did sign a minor league contract with the Pirates.  Veras is a 30-year-old who was first signed by the Rays in 1998.  He began playing in the US in 2002, and split both the 2003 and 2004 at the AA and AAA levels.  He was granted free agency after 2004 and was signed by the Rangers for 2005, spending that season at the AAA level, where he made 57 relief appearances with a 3.80 ERA.  Veras signed with the Yankees after that, and pitched in their organization for the next 3+ seasons.  He split that time between the AAA level (2.56 ERA in 95 innings, with 115 strikeouts) and the major league club (4.50 ERA in 102 innings, with 94 strikeouts).  The 2008 season was his best of those, with 60 relief appearances for the Yankees and 3.59 ERA and a 5-3 record.  In 2009, the Yankees traded Veras to the Cleveland Indians, where he finished the last 3 months of the season.  The Dominican native made 22 relief appearances for Cleveland with a 1-2 record and a 4.38 ERA, with 22 strikeouts.  He signed with the Marlins for 2010 and began the season in AAA New Orleans.  He began the season slowly, but got better in May and was tough in June:  a 1.80 ERA in 10 innings (10 games) with 12 strikeouts.  That earned him a promotion to the Marlins, where he finished the season with 48 relief appearances.  In 48 innings, he earned a 3-3 record and a 3.75 ERA with 54 strikeouts.  Veras did not play winter ball this off-season.  The righty will be competing for a spot in the Pirates' bullpen

C Wyatt Toregas has also been inked to a minor league contract.  He was the Cleveland Indians' 24th pick in the 2004 draft, and began his pro career in 2005, reaching the AAA level in 3008 and the major leagues in 2009.  Toregas hit .284 for the Columbus Clippers (AAA) in 60 games in 2009, with 7 homers and 69 RBI.  In 19 appearances for the Indians in that season, he hit only.176 with 6 RBI.  The Virginia native was still on the Indians' 40-man roster at the beginning of 2010, but spent the entire season in the minor leagues, possibly battling injuries.  At AA Akron, he got into just 17 games, hitting .203 with one home run and 6 RBI.  At AAA Columbus, he was in just 14 games and hit .200 with 2 homers and 6 RBI.  He has a slim chance of sticking with the Pirates out of spring training, but will more likely be in Indianapolis to begin 2011.

In addition to Veras and Toregas, a few other minor leaguers have been invited to big league camp for spring training:  catchers Tony Sanchez and Eric Fryer, infielders Chase d'Arnaud and Brian Friday, and outfielder Andrew Lambo.  


Triple For Gonzalez and Homers For House, Gimenez, and Chavez


Cheering for Pirates' players and friends in the few winter league playoff games on Sunday....

DOMINICAN LEAGUE
Gigantes del Cibao  8,  Toros del Este  2 --  
A 7-run 7th inning by Los Gigantes included a 2-run homer and a 3-run homer, and it gave them all the firepower they would need.  Former Indy Indian Tim Harikkala finished the 5th inning after Los Toros scored their runs, then loaded the bases with a double and two walks in the 6th, though another reliever was able to end the inning without a run scoring.  Juan Perez pitched the 8th inning for Los Gigantes and struck out the side.  

PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Leones de Ponce  7,  Gigantes de Carolina   6  --  
2B Benji Gonzalez singled and tripled for Los Gigantes, but Ponce pulled it out with 2 runs in the bottom of the 10th.  Los Gigantes began the game with 3 runs in the top of the 1st.  They added a run in the 6th on a single and Gonzalez's RBI triple.  A double and a single gave them another run in the 7th.  Los Leones scored one run in the 5th, then tied the score with 3 walks and a grand slam in the 7th.  The game went into extra innings, but Carolina quickly scored a run in the top of the 10th with a single and a double.  But in the bottom of the frame, Ponce had a runner reach base on an error, and a 2-run homer gave them the walk-off win.  Gonzalez also singled in the 4th but was caught stealing.  

Senadores de San Juan  8,  Criollos de Caguas  2  --  Another game with 3 runs scored in the top of the 1st, and Los Criollos were chasing Los Senadores for the rest of the game.   Los Criollos scored their runs in the 7th, on a pair of doubles and an RBI single by 3B Ramon Vazquez.  SS Luis Figueroa singled in the 4th, but was left on base.  

Save For Rodriguez, Win For Machi

A few signing notes for former Pirates, all minor league contracts:  
1B Brad Eldred signed with the Giants,  P Ian Snell and INF Ramon Vazquez signed with the Cardinals, and OF Matt Kata signed with the Rangers.  


Cheering for a few Pirates' players and friends in the winter league playoffs....

PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Leones de Ponce  2,  Criollos de Caguas  1  --  
RJ Rodriguez earned his 3rd save of the playoffs with a perfect 9th inning of work.  Los Leones scored their runs in the 4th, on three straight hits -- a single and two doubles.  Los Criollos' only run came in the top of the 6th, on a double, a ground out by SS Luis Figueroa which moved the runner to third, and a RBI single.  3B Ramon Vazquez singled to lead off the 5th for Los Criollos, but he was caught stealing second base.

Gigantes de Carolina  5,  Senadores de San Juan  4  --  Benji Gonzalez made the start at second base for Los Gigantes, and he scored their first run.  In the bottom of the 1st, Gonzalez singled, advanced to third on a throwing error, and scored on a sacrifice fly.  San Juan scored 3 runs in the top of the 2nd, and Los Gigantes countered with a run in the bottom of the 3rd, on 3 singles.  They tied the score in the 7th with a double, a hit batter, and an RBI single.  The tie continued into the top of the 10th, when Los Senadores took the lead with a single and a double.  But four singles in the bottom of the inning drove in 2 runs to give Los Gigantes the win.

Sullivan Earns A Win

The Dominican and Puerto Rican Leagues wind up their round-robin playoff series this weekend, while the Venezuelans continue theirs for another week or so.  

PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Criollos de Caguas  5,  Gigantes de Carolina  2  --  
Los Criollos began the scoring with a fly out-RBI for 3B Ramon Vazquez after two singles.  An RBI single gave them a run in the 3rd, and a 2-run homer made it 4-0 in the 5th.  Los Criollos wrapped it up with a run in the top of the 7th, on two singles, a walk, and a throwing error.  Carolina scratched out a run in both the 7th and 8th innings.  SS Luis Figueroa singled and walked for Los Criollos, but did not score.

Leones de Ponce  7,  Senadores de San Juan  2  --  A 4-run inning in the top of the 8th gave Los Leones the win.  San Juan out-hit Ponce, 10 - 9, but they couldn't bring the runners around, leaving 11 on base.  RJ Rodriguez pitched the bottom of the 9th for Ponce, but gave up three consecutive singles to open the inning, which drove in one run.  He struck out two, then loaded the bases with another single, then ended the inning with a grounder force out.


VENEZUELAN LEAGUE
Aguilas de Zulia  7,  Bravos de Margarita  4  --  
Los Bravos got the game started with 3 runs in the top of the 1st, on three singles and two throwing errors.  But Los Aguilas scored a run in the bottom of the 1st, another in the 3rd, and took the lead with a 3-run homer in the 5th.  They added a run on a double and a triple in the 6th, and their 7th run on a double, a hit batter, and a single in the 7th.  Jhonathan Ramos came on in relief for Los Bravos after that run scored in the 7th, and he ended the inning with a ground out.  Ramos came back out to begin the bottom of the 8th.  The first batter of the inning reached on a fielding error, then Ramos gave up a single.  A ground out and a line out followed, and then Ramos was relieved.  Another ground out ended the inning without a run scoring.  

Caribes de Anzoategui  6,  Leones de Caracas  5  --  This one took 13 innings to decide.  Los Leones broke a 2-2 tie in the top of the 8th when C Carlos Maldonado started a rally with a single.  He was replace by a pinch-runner, who scored on an RBI single.  Los Caribes tied the score again with a 2-run homer in the bottom of the 9th, and the game went into extras.  Neither team could get much going in the 10th or 11th, and though Los Caribes threatened in the bottom of the 12th, they still could not get a run across.  Los Leones broke the tie in the top of the 13th.  A double, an intentional walk, and a fielder's choice loaded the bases.  A grounder to third was fired back to the plate, for a force out at home.  Then LF Mike Ryan, who had already singled twice and walked three times in the game, grounded to second base.  The runner going from first to second was out, but Ryan was able to beat out the throw to first, and a run scored.  But Los Caribes were not done yet -- a single and two walks loaded the bases in the bottom of the frame, and a line drive single into left field drove in two runs for the win.  Jose Ascanio pitched a perfect inning in the bottom of the 8th for Caracas.

Win For Uviedo, Appearance For Gonzalez

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

PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Criollos de Caguas  4,  Leones de Ponce  3  --  
Two runs in the 3rd and another 2 runs in the 6th gave Los Criollos the edge.  SS Luis Figueroa singled and scored a run.  3B Ramon Vazquez drove in a run with a ground out.

Senadores de San Juan  5,  Gigantes de Carolina  4  --  A 5-run 6th inning pushed Los Senadores past Los Gigantes.  That inning included a walk, a fielding error, two singles, and back-to-back triples.  Los Gigantes scored a run in the 4th on an error and a single, then scored 3 more runs in the 5th on two doubles and a triple.  Benji Gonzalez entered the game as a pinch-runner for Los Gigantes in the top of the 8th, but was doubled off second base.  He remained in the game at second base for the bottom of the inning.   

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE
Leones del Caracas  5,  Tigres de Aragua  2  --  
Ronald Uviedo earned the win with 5 innings of work, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits and a walk.  Los Tigres' first run came in the 4th inning on a single, a double by 1B Hector Gimenez, and a sacrifice fly by LF Lastings Milledge.  In the 5th, a pair of singles, including one by C Raul Chavez, plus another sacrifice fly, gave Aragua their second run.  Los Leones scored 2 runs on three singles in the bottom of the 1st.  In the 2nd, a single, a double, and a sacrifice fly brought in a third Caracas run.  Two walks, two singles, a double, and a sacrifice fly gave Los Leones two more runs in the 4th. LF Mike Ryan singled, but the runner from second base was out at the plate, on the throw in from Milledge to Chavez.  

MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE
Tomateros de Culiacan  6,  Algodoneros de Guasave  3  --  
Los Tomateros scored a pair of runs in three different innings, beating Guasave, who scored single runs in three different innings.  SS/LF Luis Cruz led off the bottom of the 8th with a single for Los Tomateros, and he scored on a 2-run homer.  DH Yurendell de Caster walked to lead off the 7th for Guasave, and he came around to score that inning's run on a single, a sacrifice bunt, and a sacrifice fly.  Los Tomateros are leading the 7-game series 2-0.  In the other Mexican League series, Los Caneros de Los Mochis are leading Los Yaquis de Obregon 2 games to none. 

AUSTRALIAN LEAGUE
Sydney Blue Sox  4,  Adelaide Bite  3  --  
Bite starter Paul Mildren had some tough innings against the Blue Sox, and he suffered his 6th loss of the season.  A throwing error, and an RBI single gave the Blue Sox their first run in the bottom of the 1st.  Mildren gave up a walk and a pair of doubles, accounting for 2 runs, in the 2nd inning.  He worked around runners on base in the next three innings, including leaving two runners in scoring position after a walk and a double in the 5th.  He got into more trouble in the 6th, opening the inning with a single, a double, and a sacrifice fly, before being relieved.  Overall, Mildren gave up 4 runs (3 earned) on 8 hits and 2 walks, with 5 strikeouts.  Meanwhile, the Bite were scoring a little, but not keeping up.  They picked up one run on an exciting play in the 4th.  1B Todd Gossage drove a liner into right field, and scrambled around for a triple, and when the Blue Sox' shortstop missed the catch on the throw in from right, Gossage was able to keep running, scoring on the error.  Gossage doubled and came around to score in the 7th inning.  Two singles and a fielding error gave the Bite one more run in the top of the 9th.
 

Homers For Milledge, Ryan, and Cruz

Cheering for the Pirates' players and friends in winter league playoff action ...

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE
Tigres de Aragua  5,  Bravos de Margarita  4  --  
A double and a single in the top of the 10th gave Los Tigres the winning run.  Los Tigres had started the scoring in the top of the 1st, on three singles, including an RBI single by LF Lastings Milledge.  Los Bravos countered with a 3-run homer in the bottom of the 4th.   Milledge tied the score with a solo home run in the top of the 6th.  With Jean Machi on the mound for Margarita in the top of the 8th, a walk, a sacrifice bunt, and a wild pitch put a Tigres' batter on third base, and he scored on an RBI single.  Machi came back to pitch a quick 1-2-3 inning in the top of the 9th.  Los Bravos tied the score again in the bottom of the 9th on a solo homer.  Los Tigres broke the tie in the top of the 10th, then held off Los Bravos in the bottom of the frame.  Wil Ledezma pitched a perfect 6th inning for Los Tigres, then gave up a 2-out single in the 7th.  C Raul Chavez and 1B Hector Gimenez picked that runner off first base to get Los Tigres out of the inning.  Gimenez went 0-for-4 at the plate, and Chavez went 0-for-2.  Miguel Perez came into the game as a late-inning defensive replacement behind the plate, but did not have a plate appearance.  

Leones del Caracas  10,  Caribes de Anzoategui  6  --  Seven runs in the top of the 1st gave Los Leones an edge that Los Caribes could not overcome.  Los Leones sent 11 batters to the plate in the 1st inning, and the first 6 batters reached base safely:  single, single, walk, grand slam, single, single (by C Carlos Maldonado).  After a pop out, LF Mike Ryan hit a 2-run homer, which was followed by a double, before the inning ended.  Maldonado added another RBI single in the 2nd inning, and Caracas picked up another 2-run homer in the top of the 9th.  Los Caribes scored in all but one of the first 6 innings, but four of those innings brought in just one run, not enough to catch up.

A Win For Machi

The Pirates' mini-camp begins tomorrow in Bradenton....  just 35 days until Spring Training begins,  81 days until major league opening day, and 87 days until the minor league opening day (not that anyone here is counting, of course....)

Meanwhile, the Caribbean leagues continue with their playoffs.  The Mexican Pacific League will begin the semifinal round on Tuesday. 

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE 
Caribes de Anzoategui  5,  Leones del Caracas  4  --  
LF Mike Ryan singled in the bottom of the 1st for Los Leones, and a walk, another single, and an error gave Los Caribes 2 runs in that inning.  They added a solo homer in the 5th, followed by a run on a single, two walks, and a sacrifice fly.  Then Los Caribes roared back at Los Leones in the top of the 6th.  A solo homer opened the inning, then a walk and a strikeout were followed by three singles and 2-RBI double, then a sacrifice fly, for 5 runs total.  C Carlos Maldonado went 0-for-4 for Los Leones.

Bravos de Margarita  4,  Aguilas de Zulia  3  --  Jean Machi was credited with the win, as he was the pitcher of record when Los Bravos won the game with a walk-off single in the bottom of the 9th.  Los Aguilas scored 3 runs in the top of the 4th, with a solo homer, and a 2-RBI single.  Three singles gave Los Bravos their first run in the bottom of the 3rd.  With two outs in the bottom of the 5th, three consecutive singles, a fielding error, and a balk brought in 2 more runs for Margarita to tie the score.  Machi came on to pitch the 8th and 9th innings for Los Bravos.  He faced just 6 batters, allowing a single, but then erasing that runner with a double play.  The bottom of the 9th began with a single, then two bunts, one with a throwing error by the Aguilas' pitcher, put two runners in scoring position.  An intentional walk loaded the bases, and an RBI single ended the game. 


PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Criollos de Caguas  4,  Senadores de San Juan  3  --  
Each team had a 3-run homer -- Los Criollos' came in the 4th inning, and Los Senadores' came in the bottom of the 9th.  The deciding run came in the top of the 6th by Los Criollos.  A double, an intentional walk to 3B Ramon Vazquez, and an RBI single drove in the winning run.  Vazquez walked twice in the game, while SS Luis Figueroa walked once, but neither had a hit.

Strong Innings by Ledezma and Machi

Cheering for Pirates' players (the few who are left) and friends in the winter leagues......

PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Leones de Ponce  6,  Gigantes de Carolina  3  --  
Four runs in the bottom of the 8th gave the game to Los Leones.  Two walks and four singles did the damage in that inning.  Reliever RJ Rodriguez came on to pitch the top of the 9th for Ponce.  He gave up a run on two singles and a sacrifice fly, though it was not enough for Los Gigantes to catch up.

Criollos de Caguas  7,  Senadores de San Juan  3  --  A 5-run 3rd inning made the difference for Los Criollos.  Two singles put runners on the corners, then SS Luis Figueroa drove in the first run with an RBI single.  A triple and a homer added two runs each.  3B Ramon Vazquez walked to begin the Caguas half of the 4th, and two more walks loaded the bases.  Figueroa brought in Vazquez with a sacrifice fly.  Vazquez also contributed an RBI single in the 5th.  Los Senadores posted 13 runs, but left 12 runners on base.

The four teams involved in the Puerto Rican League playoffs are not far apart after one week of the round robin playoff tournament.  Ponce is in first place, with a 4-2 record.  Caguas and San Juan are tied for second with 3-3 records.  Carolina is last, with a 2-4 record.  


VENEZUELAN LEAGUE
The two top teams in this round robin tournament did not play today -- Los Caribes and Los Leones de Caracas are both tied with 4-1 records.  Los Tigres de Aragua has a 3-3 record, Los Aguilas de Zulia are 2-4, and Los Bravos de Margarita won their first playoff game tonight, giving them a 1-4 record.  

Bravos de Margarita  1,  Aguilas de Zulia  0  --  Jean Machi pitched a scoreless 8th inning for Los Bravos, allowing a single, but then erasing that runner in a double play.  The game's only run came in the bottom of the 7th, on a single, a sacrifice bunt, and a RBI single.  

Tigres de Aragua  8,  Caribes de Anzoategui  0  --  Aragua starter Seth Etherton (Dodgers) held Los Caribes to 3 hits and no walks over 8 shutout innings, with 6 strikeouts for the win.  New Blue Jay Wil Ledezma finished the game with a scoreless 9th, working around a lead-off single.  Los Tigres hitters packed in 16 hits, and started their scoring with 2 runs in the 1st.  LF Lastings Milledge had a single in that inning.  Milledge singled in two runs in the 6th, following another single and 1B Hector Gimenez being hit by a pitch.  Gimenez added a 3-run homer in the 7th.  After the homer, Milledge walked, CF Jorge Cortes singled, and a wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position.  Another single up the middle brought in Milledge, but Cortes was thrown out at the plate as he tried to score from second base.  


Milledge Drives In The Winning Run For Aragua

The Caribbean leagues continue their playoffs, though the Mexican Pacific League has the night off....

PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Leones de Ponce  5,  Senadores de San Juan  2  --  
Reliever JR Rodriguez earned his first playoff save with a perfect 9th inning for Los Leones.  His teammates broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the 7th with a 2-run homer, followed by another run on two singles, a sacrifice bunt, and a wild pitch.

Criollos de Caguas  4,  Gigantes de Carolina  0  --  Los Gigantes were held to just 4 hits, and even with 5 walks, they could not push a run across the plate.  Los Criollos were held to just 3 hits, but they took advantage of 7 walks, 3 hit batters, and 2 errors to score their 4 runs.  Their first run came in the bottom of the 1st, on a hit batter, a sacrifice bunt by SS Luis Figueroa, two walks, and a sacrifice fly.  3B Ramon Vazquez led off the 4th with a single, and he came around to score with help from a bunt, a wild pitch, and a sacrifice fly.  Los Criollos' final two runs scored in the 6th, and with just one hit.  Vazquez reached on a fielding error, then a hit batter, a balk, and a sacrifice fly brought him in.  Figueroa drove in the final run with an RBI double.


DOMINICAN LEAGUE
Gigantes del Cibao  7,  Toros del Este  5  --  
Los Toros began the scoring with 4 runs in the bottom of the 4th -- three singles, and a 3-run homer.  Los Gigantes answered with 4 runs of their own in the top of the 5th, on 5 singles and a sacrifice fly.  One of the singles, which loaded the bases, came off the bat of CF Rich Thompson.  Los Toros scored one more run in the bottom of the 5th, but Los Gigantes scored 3 in the top of the 7th, with 4 singles and a sacrifice fly.  

Leones del Escogido  2,  Estrellas de Oriente  1  --  Ronny Paulino, making a rare appearance playing first base, drove in Los Estrellas only run with an RBI ground out in the 1st inning.  With one out in the 6th, Los Leones popped two singles.  Franquelis Osoria came on to pitch for Los Estrellas, but the only batter he faced hit an RBI single to tie the game.  Another single brought in the go-ahead run.  


Milledge, Gimenez, and Paulino Get A Few Hits

The Pirates got the new year started by signing Brian Burres to a minor league contract.  He will be at the major league spring training camp, competing for a position on the big league club.

The Caribbean winter leagues continue their playoffs, and we continue to cheer for the Pirates' players and friends who are involved...

DOMINICAN LEAGUE
Toros del Este  8,  Gigantes del Cibao  1  --
 Los Gigantes scored a run on two singles and a throwing error in the 1st inning.  After that, it was all Los Toros.  Los Toros scored 2 in the 4th, 4 in the 7th, and 2 in the 8th, as they posted a total of 14 hits.  RF Rich Thompson singled for Los Gigantes in the 2nd inning, and he made a fielding error in the 4th.

Leones del Escogido  3,  Estrellas de Oriente  0  --  Los Estrellas recorded 5 hits, including a pair of singles by DH Ronny Paulino, but could not push any of their runners across the plate.  Los Leones had just 4 hits.  They used one, plus a hit batter and a fielding error, to score one run in the 5th.  Two more runs came in in the 6th inning, on a pair of walks, a sacrifice bunt, a balk, and a fielder's choice.  


PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Senadores de San Juan  4,  Criollos de Caguas  1  --  
Los Senadores' 3-run 7th inning broke a 1-1 tie and earned them the win.  A single, two doubles, and three walks were responsible for the 3 runs.  Neither SS Luis Figueroa nor 3B Ramon Vazquez had a hit for Los Criollos.  

Gigantes de Carolina  9, Leones de Ponce  8  --  Finally, in the bottom of the 15th, a walk and two singles gave Los Gigantes the winning run.  Los Leones were leading 8-5 going into the bottom of the 9th.  Ponce reliever RJ Rodriguez had gotten out of a bases-loaded jam in the 8th with two pop outs.  He started the 9th with two ground outs, then gave up a single and a wild pitch, putting a runner on third base.  A double drove in that runner, then a walk and two singles tied the score, sending the game into extras, and putting Rodriguez on the hook for a Blown Save.  Each team had at least one runner on base in each of the next three innings, and Los Gigantes collected 3 walks to load the bases in the 11th, but no one scored.  Both teams went down in order in the 13th, then both teams continued to put runners on base, until Los Gigantes finished it off in the 15th.  Benji Gonzalez pinch-ran for Los Gigantes in the 8th, but was left on base.  He played second base for an inning, then was lifted for a pinch-hitter.

Low-Hitting Playoff Games, Good Inning For Ascanio

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

PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE   (playoffs)
Criollos de Caguas  5,  Gigantes de Carolina  0  --  
Caguas' starter Dylan Owen (Mets) pitched 7 no-hit innings, and two relievers finished the deal with a string of 6 consecutive ground outs.  Owen walked 2 Carolina batters, one to lead off the 2nd, and one to lead off the 7th.  Los Criollos scored one run in the 4th.  The bottom of the 5th began with a walk by 3B Ramon Vazquez, then a bunt and a throwing error put runners on the corners, and a walk loaded the bases.  SS Luis Figueroa bounced into a double play, but that let Vazquez score from third base.  Two RBI singles brought in two more runs.  A walk and two throwing errors (5 total errors for Los Gigantes) gave Caguas their final run in the 7th.


Leones de Ponce  5,  Senadores de San Juan  4  --  Los Leones were leading 4-2 going into the top of the 8th, which opened with a walk.  Los Leones brought in RJ Rodriguez to pitch, but he gave up a walk and made a throwing error, with allowed a run to come in.  A hit batter and an RBI grounder tied the score, and Rodriguez was charged with a Blown Save.  Rodriguez retired the side on three ground outs in the top of the 9th, and in the bottom of the 9th, he was saved.  A hit batter, a double, and a walk-off single gave Ponce and Rodriguez the win.


DOMINICAN LEAGUE (playoffs)
Estrellas de Oriente  2,  Leones del Escogido  1  --  
Not a lot of hits in this game either.  Los Leones were held to 3 hits, and scored one run in the 1st, on a single a walk, and a wild pitch.  Los Estrellas tied the score with a solo homer in the 3rd.  They took the lead in the 6th on back-to-back doubles, the first by DH Ronny Paulino.  Franquelis Osoria pitched to one batter in the 4th for Los Estrellas.  He threw a wild pitch, but got a strikeout.


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