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Tag: Rinku Singh

The Pittsburgh Pirates re-signed Domingo German to a minor league deal yesterday, after the two sides parted ways last week. German opted out of his original deal with the Pirates, and was granted his release over...
Hunter Barco made his Double-A debut on Sunday, throwing three shutout innings for the Altoona Curve. Barco was promoted from Greensboro to start the second half, after putting up a 3.34 ERA in 62 innings in High-A....

Alvarez Starts With GCL Pirates

The Pirates have optioned SS Pedro Ciriaco to AAA Indianapolis.  This opens a roster spot for OF Alex Presley, who will be officially called up on Tuesday (the Pirates have a day off on Monday).  UPDATE:  Presley has officially been called up, and will join the Pirates in Toronto.

Also promoted:  pitcher Rinku Singh has been promoted from the GCL Pirates to State College.   Singh has pitched a total of 15 innings so far this season.  Eleven of those came on 3 appaearances with the DSL team.  He gave up 3 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks, with 7 strikeouts in the Dominican.  In one appearance last week with the GCL Pirates, Singh pitched 4 scoreless innings and allowed only one hit, while striking out 5 batters.  Singh pitched in one game for the Spikes at the end of the 2010 season.  He went 2 innings in that game, and gave up only one hit, with one strikeout.  


Monday's game action:

GCL Pirates  1,  GCL Phillies  0.... for 1.5 innings
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3B Pedro Alvarez made his first official rehab start this afternoon.  It didn't last long, though that had nothing to do with him: the game was suspended due to rain after just 1.5 innings.  Alvarez was the Pirates' lead-off batter.  He got one trip to the plate, in which he grounded out to second base.  CF Willy Garcia was the only batter on either team to reach base, when he blasted a solo homer in the top of the 2nd.  Pirates' starter Luis Heredia pitched to just 3 batters in the bottom of the first -- two strikeouts and a pop out to C Joey Schoenfeld.  


Marauders Hold Off Jupiter; Spikes Shut Out

Wednesday's action with the Pirates' lower minor leaguers:

The West Virginia Power have a day off today, wrapping up their All-Star break.  The Altoona Curve and the New Hampshire Fisher Cats had their game postponed tonight, due to rain.  They will try for a double header tomorrow, beginning at 6:05 pm.

Jordy Mercer was named the Eastern League's Player of the Week for last week.  Mercer had an RBI in each of six games he played in last week, with a total of 9 RBI.  He hit 3 doubles and 2 homers last week, and earned a .381 average for the week.  Mercer is hitting .267 overall for the season, with 17 doubles, 13 homers, and 48 RBI.

The Pirates have signed two more draft picks:  LHP Josh Poytress (18th round) and RHP David Jagoditsch  (32nd round).  Both were college pitchers, and could be assigned to State College.  The list of all of the Pirates' draft picks, including who has signed, is here.  




Bradenton Marauders  5,  Jupiter Hammerheads  4
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The Marauders wrapped up the first half of the Florida State League season with an early afternoon win over Jupiter.  Brett Sinkbeil pitched 6 innings for Bradenton and allowed one run on two hits, with 2 walks and 2 strikeouts.  The only run he allowed came on a solo homer to lead off the top of the 3rd.  He allowed a single to begin the 2nd inning but erased the runner with a double play.  The walks came in the 5th and 6th inning; one of those runners was left on base and the other was thrown out by C Carlos Paulino as he tried to steal second base.  

The Marauders also began their scoring with a solo home run -- by 1B Aaron Baker to lead off the bottom of the 2nd.  SS Kelson Brown began the bottom of the 3rd with a triple into center field.  After a walk by RF Robbie Grossman, 2B Jarek Cunningham grounded a high chopper to third, which forced out Grossman at second but allowed Brown to score.  Cunningham stole second base, then both DH David Rubinstein and Baker worked back-to-back walks to load the bases.  3B Elevys Gonzalez's sacrifice fly brought in Cunningham and CF Evan Chambers' line drive back through the box brought in Rubinstein, giving the Marauders a 4-1 lead.  

The Marauders added an unearned run in the 5th.  With two outs, Elevys Gonzalez walked and stole second base.  Chambers grounded to short, but a throwing error by the Jupiter shortstop let Chambers reach safely and let Gonzalez score.  Paulino also had two singles in the game, in the 2nd and 6th innings, but did not score.  

Jason Erickson relieved Sinkbeil to begin the 7th inning.  The lead-off batter smacked a ground-rule double, but the next three batters flied out, and the runner did not leave second base.  Erickson began the 8th inning with a ground out and a solo homer, then had a batter reach base on a fielding error by SS Brown.  Ryan Beckman came on in relief, but he gave up a single and another ground-rule double, driving in a run.  The third run of the inning scored on an RBI ground out, to bring Jupiter within a run of the Marauders, 5-4.  Beckman got a strikeout to end the inning, then retired the side in order in the 9th, to hold on to the win.  Beckman earned his 5th Save, and Sinkbeil earned his first win of the season.  

2011 Prospect Watching: Stevenson, Cumpton, And Pals

Continuing our visit with some of the pitchers in the Pirates' minor league organization:

Trent Stevenson --  Bats L / Throws R,  6' 6",  175 lb
The Pirates chose Stevenson in the 7th round of the 2009 draft.  The Scottsdale, AZ native reported to the GCL Pirates to begin his pro career, and made 5 appearances (4 starts) there, allowing just 2 runs in 15 innings (1.20 ERA).  He began the 2010 season again with the GCL Pirates, but after one game, in which he allowed 2 run on two hits (one was a home run) with 3 strikeouts, Stevenson was promoted to State College.  Stevenson pitched entirely out of the bullpen for the Spikes, with 15 appearances for 40.2 total innings, usually going 2 -3 innings at a time.  He pitched 20 innings over 7 appearances in the end of June and through July, with a 4.50 ERA, allowing 22 hits and 10 runs, with 8 walks and 9 strikeouts.  The second half of the season was much the same, with 8 appearances for 20.2 innings and a 4.36 ERA.  In August and into September, he allowed 10 runs on 22 hits, with 7 walks and 14 strikeouts.  At age 20, Stevenson is still developing, and the Pirates are hoping to see more velocity from him, to keep his fastball consistently in the 90's.  He also has a slider and a changeup, which will need more work.  He should be ready for West Virginia in 2011, though if the Power bullpen is too crowded, he could spend a little more time at State College.


Brandon Cumpton --  R/R,  6' 2",  198 lb
Cumpton was the Pirates' 9th round pick in the 2010 draft.  He signed in July and got in 4 appearances with the GCL Pirates before the end of the season.  He pitched a total of 8 scoreless innings in his first, second, and fourth appearances, allowing one hit in the second and two hits in the fourth.  He also struck out 5 batters over the 3 innings of the second appearance.  The third appearance was a struggle, as he gave up 3 runs on 5 hits in 2.2 innings, with 2 walks.  That gave him an overall 2.53 ERA in 10.2 innings, and 6 total strikeouts.  Cumpton is still working on fastball command.  The 22-year-old will likely remain a reliever, and is also in the mix for a bullpen spot in West Virginia, though he too could go to State College.  

Ciriaco Gets A Key Hit, Good Outing For Ascanio

Lots of playoff action in the winter leagues on Friday night:

DOMINICAN LEAGUE
Toros del Este  2,  Estrellas de Oriente  1  -- SS Pedro Ciriaco, 
who has not been in Los Toros' recent playoff games, started off the scoring in this game.  He singled to lead off the 3rd inning, and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt.  He stole second base, and scored on an RBI single.  Ciriaco also reached base on an error in the 5th, and made it as far as third base, but did not score.  Los Toros scored again on a walk and two singles in the 7th inning.  Los Toros' starter Fernando Abad pitched 6 no-hit innings, including 6 strikeouts.  The only runner to reach base against him got there on a fielding error in the 6th, and Abad finished the inning with two grounder force outs.  Reliever Jairo Asencio followed Abad with 2 perfect innings.  Los Estrellas' only hit and only run came in the top of the 9th, when reliever Julio Manon gave up a walk and a double, and the runner from third base scored on a wild pitch.  Los Toros have won the first three games of this 9-game series.


PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE 
Leones de Ponce  1,  Criollos de Caguas  0  --  
Pitching ruled in the Puerto Rican League also.  Ponce starter Willie Collazo pitched 9 shut-out innings, allowing just 2 singles and 2 walks.  SS Luis Figueroa walked in the 1st inning, and he was Los Criollos' only base runner for the first 6 innings.  Collazo allowed a single and a walk in the 7th, and another single in the 8th.  Los Leones posted 7 hits and had 5 walks, but they fell victim to 4 double plays, and left 8 runners on base.  The only run scored in the 2nd, when the inning opened with a double and two singles.  One of the double plays cut the rally short.  This series is now tied at one game each.  

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.  


Uviedo Wins, Gimenez Homers

Not many winter league playoff games today, but a few player moves:
LHP Wil Ledezma had been DFA'ed right before Christmas, and yesterday he was claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays.
Both INF Delwyn Young and RHP Brian Bass signed minor league contracts with the Phillies today.  
Earlier in the week, RHP Joe Martinez, who had also been DFA'ed by the Pirates shortly before Christmas, was traded to the Blue Jays for cash considerations.


VENEZUELAN LEAGUE
Leones del Caracas  11,  Bravos de Margarita  3  --  
Los Leones posted 14 hits, which was enough to make up for their 3 errors.  Three singles and a Bravos' fielding error gave Los Leones their first 3 runs in the 2nd inning.  In the third, the first six Caracas batters reached base -- a double, two singles, and three walks (including a walk by LF Mike Ryan) -- then a sacrifice fly and another single gave Los Leones 5 runs.  A 3-run homer in the 8th capped their scoring.  Margarita scored one run in the 6th, with the help of one of those errors.  An error by Ryan in left field, plus a walk and two singles (one by C JR House) brought in two more runs in the 9th.  Ronald Uviedo earned the win for Caracas, going 6 innings and allowing only the unearned run in the 6th inning, on 3 hits and a walk, with 5 strikeouts.  

Caribes de Anzoategui  5,  Tigres de Aragua  4  --  New Blue Jay Wil Ledezma came into the game for Los Tigres in the 6th inning with one run in and runners on the corners.  Ledezma gave up a single, which broke a 4-4 tie, and eventually gave the win to Los Caribes.  Ledezma also retired the side in order in the 7th.  Los Caribes started the game with 3 runs in the bottom of the 1st, on a single, a double, an error, and a sacrifice fly.   Los Tigres scored one run in the 2nd, when 1B Hector Gimenez walked, then scored on an RBI double.  Gimenez added a 2-run homer in the 4th, and another homer in the 5th gave Aragua their 4 runs.  LF Lastings Milledge singled and stole second base in the 6th, and advanced to third base on another single, but he got no further.  C Raul Chavez went 0-for-3 for Los Tigres. 

Tough Inning For Singh

The Mexican Pacific League started their playoffs on New Years' Day.  Los Tomateros De Culiacan beat Los Venados de Mazatlan 4-3, and Rogelios Noris did not get into the game.  It took 11 innings for Los Caneros de Los Mochis to beat Los Algodoneros de Guasave 7-6.  Yurendell de Caster singled in a run for Guasave in the 6th.  More playoff games, including Puerto Rican and Dominican games, on Sunday.  

AUSTRALIAN LEAGUE
Adelaide Bite  12,  Canberra Cavalry  1  --  
This game ended after the top of the 7th, with the Bite ahead by more than 10 runs (international rules).  The Cavalry started off well, with a run in the top of the 1st on an error and an RBI double.  But that was the only hit and the only run they would get.  Bite starter Darren Fidge pitched 5 innings and struck out 7 batters, while allowing the one run, one hit, and one walk.  Two relievers each pitched a perfect inning.  The Bite started scoring in the bottom of the 1st, loading the bases with a single and two walks.  Quincy Latimore, in center field today, struck out swinging, but strike three was a wild pitch, which allowed the runner from third base to score.  An RBI ground out brought in a second run.  The Bite powered up in the 4th inning, with three home runs -- a solo homer, a double followed by a 2-run homer, and a batter reaching on an error, followed by another 2-run homer.  Latimore also walked in that inning, after all the homers, but was left on base.  The Cavalry changed pitchers, bringing Rinku Singh on to pitch the 5th inning, but he did not have much better luck.  A single, a walk, and another single loaded the bases.  An RBI single and an RBI ground out drove in one run each, and another came in on a throwing error.  Latimore also grounded out to drive in a run, and Singh was charged with 4 runs (3 earned) on 3 hits and 2 walks.  The Cavalry tried another pitcher for the bottom of the 6th, and he got one out, then walked three consecutive batters.  A wild pitch must have bounced just right, because the Cavalry catcher and pitcher were able to tag the runner from third out at the plate.  They were not as lucky with the next wild pitch, as the Bite scored their final run.  

Sydney Blue Sox  10,  Perth Heat  3  --  The Blue Sox took an early lead with 4 runs in the 1st and 3 runs in the 2nd.  Then they added 2 more in the 5th and one in the 6th.  Perth scratched out a run in the 5th and 2 runs in the 6th.  Jarryd Sullivan pitched the bottom of the 9th for the Blue Sox.  He walked the first batter of the inning, then got a grounder force out, a strikeout, and a fly out to end the game.  
 

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.  

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.



Many Familiar Winter League Pitchers

Lots of Pirates and former Pirates pitching in Friday's winter league action... This is the last week of regular season play for the Dominican and Puerto Rican leagues.

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE
Caribes de Anzoategui  8,  Tiburones de La Guaira  5  -- (Game 1) 
A 5-run 6th inning gave Los Caribes the edge in the first game of the double header.  Los Caribes started the game with 3 runs in the top of the 1st, on a single, a walk by DH Jose Tabata, and a 3-run homer.  The 6th inning began with a double, a hit batter, and a walk to load the bases.  Two sacrifice flies, an RBI single, and a sacrifice bunt aided by a throwing error by Los Tiburones' pitcher added four more runs.  Tabata also singled in the inning.  La Guaira scored 2 runs in the 4th and rallied for 3 in the bottom of the 7th, but could not catch up.

Tiburones   9,  Caribes  2  -- (Game 2)  
Ryan Vogelsong earned his 6th win for Los Tiburones.  He allowed 2 runs on 5 hits and a walk over 6 innings.  Tabata did not get into the night-cap.

Leones de Caracas  6,  Aguilas de Zulia  2  --  Another former Pirate pitcher earned the win --  Ronald Uviedo also pitched 6 innings and allowed 2 runs.  He gave up 8 hits and a walk.  Los Leones scored one run in the 1st, two in the 2nd, and 3 in the 5th.  C Carlos Maldonado singled twice and walked, and scored one run.  

Bravos de Margarita  9,  Cardenales de Lara  --  
Both teams put up big innings and posted a total of 12 hits each.  Lara had a 5-run 3rd inning, which began with CF Ray Sadler  being hit by a pitch.  Three singles and a throwing error brought in 2 runs, a sacrifice fly plated a third run, and a 2-run homer made it 5 runs.  Three consecutive doubles, including one by Sadler, plus a sacrifice fly gave Los Cardenales 3 runs in the 4th.  Los Bravos began their scoring with a run in the 2nd, then 3 runs in the 3rd on three singles, an error, and a wild pitch.  They added 4 more in the next inning, on three singles and three walks.  After the bottom of the 4th, the score was tied at 8-8.  Los Bravos scored what would turn out to be the winning run in the top of the 5th, on a walk, a double, and an RBI ground out.  Romulo Sanchez pitched to three batters and got three outs in the top of the 9th for Los Cardenales.  Anthony Claggett took the mound for Los Bravos in the bottom of the 6th, with two on and one out.  He got two outs to end the inning, then pitched the next two innings, allowing only one walk, no hits, with three strikeouts.  Ronald Belisario earned his 14th save with a scoreless 9th inning for Los Bravos.  

Tigres de Aragua  7,  Navegantes del Magallanes  5  --  
New Pirate Fernando Nieve made the start for Los Navegantes and pitched 4.2 innings, allowing 4 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks.  A double and an RBI single by CF Jorge Cortes gave Los Tigres their first run in the 2nd inning.  Nieve gave up a 2-run homer to 1B Hector Gimenez in the 3rd inning.  Gimenez got to him again in the 5th, with an RBI single that followed a lead-off double.  Los Tigres scored 3 more runs after Nieve departed.  Cortes walked to lead off the 6th, then scored on a bunt and an RBI single.  Two runs scored in the 7th.  A double, Gimenez's third hit of the game, a wild pitch, and LF Lasting Milledge's sacrifice fly plated the runs.  Los Navegantes also scored one run in the 2nd inning, when LF Mike Ryan led off with a walk, moved to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a throwing error.  Magallanes scored 3 runs in the 5th, on a pair of singles, a double, and a fielding error by Milledge.  Reliever Wil Ledezma took the mound in relief for Aragua after those three runs had scored, and he worked around another error to get two outs and prevent further runs from scoring.  

Hits for Milledge and Cedeno

Cheering for some Pirates' players and friends in Friday's winter league action:

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE
Leones del Caracas  6,  Tigres de Aragua  4  --  
Caracas won this battle of the Big Cats.  Los Leones scored first with a solo homer in the top of the 1st.  Los Tigres tied it up in the 2nd inning.  Two singles, including one by 1B Hector Gimenez, and a throwing error put runners on second and third bases.  LF  Lastings Milledge drove in the run with a ground out to third.  Caracas took the lead again in the top of the 3rd, with a walk, a ground out, and an RBI single.  The batter was out at second as he tried to advance on the throw to the plate:  CF Jorge Cortes to C Raul Chavez to SS Ronny Cedeno, who tagged the runner out.  Aragua took a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the 3rd, with a 3-run homer, after Chavez reached on a fielding error, a single, and Cedeno's sacrifice bunt.  But Los Leones came right back with their own homer for 2 runs in the top of the 4th, then took the lead with another run on two singles.  They added an insurance run in the top of the 9th, on two singles and a throwing error.  Los Tigres did not score again, though Milledge singled in the 4th, Cedeno singled in the 5th, and Cortes singled in the 7th.

PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Gigantes de Carolina  8,  Criollos de Caguas  3  --  
Los Criollos managed only 5 hits, and two of those were by SS Luis Figueroa.  Figueroa singled in the 3rd, and along with two more singles and two walks, Los Criollos scored 2 runs.  Figueroa also reached on an error in the 4th, and that allowed Los Criollos' remaining run to score.  He also singled in the 9th.  3B Ramon Vazquez went 0-for-4 for Caguas.  Los Gigantes scored 2 runs in the 2nd and 4th innings, then added 4 runs in the 7th inning.   



DOMINICAN LEAGUE
Aguilas Cibaenas  10,  Tigres del Licey  3  --  
Los Tigres posted 10 hits but left 11 runners on base, scoring only 3 times.  Licey scored a run in the 3rd on two singles and a sacrifice fly.  LF Jake Fox and two others singled in the 7th, and one run scored when C Robinzon Diaz bounced into a double play.  A single and a double gave Los Tigres their last run in the 8th.  Diaz singled for Los Tigres in the 2nd inning, but DH Ronny Paulino (who just signed a contract with the Mets) went 0-for-3 with a walk.  Los Aguilas put up their first run in the 4th, tying the game on two singles, a walk, and a wild pitch.  Then they put the game out of reach with 4 runs in the 6th and 3 runs in the 7th.  Denny Bautista came on to pitch for Licey in the 7th, and he gave up a walk and a 2-RBI double.  Starling Marte scored one of those runs, since he had just come in to pinch-run.  Marte remained in the game to play right field.  He batted again in the 9th, and reached base on a fielding error, though was out on a force play at second.  A walk and a single brought in two more Aguilas' runs in the 9th.  LF Kevin Melillo went 0-for-3 for Los Aguilas.    

Matt Diaz On Board; Ascanio And Tabata Reappear

Day Three of the Winter Meetings...the Rule 5 Draft will be tomorrow (Thursday)
Today, the Pirates added another player to their 40-man roster.  Matt Diaz is an outfielder who was drafted by the Rays in the 17th round of the 1999 draft.  He reached the major league level for the first time in 2003, but played in only 14 games for the Rays over the 2003 and 2004 seasons, and went 5-for-30 at the plate.  The Oregon native was released by the Rays in February 2005 and a few days later was claimed off waivers by the Orioles, then signed by the Royals the next day.  His 2005 season was shortened by injury, but he did hit .281 in 34 games for the Royals.  The Royals traded Diaz to the Braves after the 2005 season, and he remained in their organization for the next 5 years.  Diaz played full-time in 2006 and 2007, but a left knee injury prevented him from playing for most of the 2008 season.  He was back in full swing in 2009, when he hit .313 with 13 homers and 58 RBI for the Braves.  An infected thumb limited Diaz again in 2010.  He was able to play in 84 games for the Braves, and hit .250, with 7 homers and 31 RBI.  Diaz will turn 33 in early March.  He's expected to play in right field for the Pirates.

Cheering for Pirates' players and friends in Wednesday's winter league action:
VENEZUELAN LEAGUE
Leones del Caracas  7,  Navegantes del Magallanes  0  --  Corey Hamman
had a better outing tonight than he did yesterday.  He pitched 2 innings, taking the mound with a runner on second and no outs in the 7th.  Hamman gave up a single and a sacrifice fly, to bring in one run (charged to the previous pitcher), then another single and a double play.  In the 8th, Hamman worked around a single to keep Los Leones from scoring.  Jose Ascanio pitched his first competitive inning since recovering from injury.  He gave up a double to the first batter he faced, then retired the next three batters.  Caracas's 5-run 5th inning was all the firepower they needed.

Tiburones de La Guaira  4,  Caribes de Anzoategui  3  --  Jose Tabata made his Venezuelan debut, OK'ed by the Pirates, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and two walks.  Los Caribes scored 2 runs in the 4th and another in the 5th, to take a 3-1 lead. Tabata's RBI single drove in the run in the 5th.   But Los Tiburones bit back with a 3-run 8th inning for the win.  


Bravos de Margarita  7,  Cardenales de Lara  3  --  A 5-run rally in the bottom of the 1st inning, including a grand slam, gave Los Bravos a lead they would not give up.  Starter Yusmeiro Petit pitched 7 innings for Los Bravos, allowing one run.  He was relieved to begin the 8th inning, by Bobby Livingston (who pitched in one game for the Indy Indians in 2009.  Livingston gave up 2 runs on two singles and a double, then was relieved by Anthony Claggett.  Claggett ended the inning with a strikeout, then retired the side in the 9th.  

Aguilas de Zulia  2,  Tigres de Aragua  1  --  SS Ronny Cedeno scored Los Tigres' only run in the bottom of the 1st.  After a double, Cedeno reached base on a fielder's choice, then stole second base, and scored on an RBI single.  Back-to-back home runs in the top of the 4th gave Zulia the lead in the 4th inning.  Cedeno was hitless in his other 3 plate appearances.  1B Hector Gimenez singled in the 4th, when Los Tigres loaded the bases, but did not score.  LF Lastings Milledge went 0-for-4, and C Raul Chavez went 0-for-2 for Los Tigres.  

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