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Tag: Ronny Paulino

Nick Gonzales has been a huge boost to the Pittsburgh Pirates offense. Taken seventh overall in 2020, Gonzales is looking exactly like you would hope a top ten pick would perform. Since his callup on May 10th,...
Khristian Curtis had the best start of his professional career on Saturday, leading the Bradenton Marauders to a 4-1 win. Curtis pitched six shutout innings, allowing three hits and one walk. He struck out nine batters,...

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.  


Thompson Boosting Los Gigantes

A few Pirates' players and friends appeared in Wednesday's winter league playoff games:

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE 
Leones del Caracas  2,  Aguilas de Zulia  0  (Game 1)--  
Another pitching duel tonight, with each team posting just 5 hits each.  Los Leones scored a run in the 6th on a single, a bunt, a ground out, and an RBI single.  They added another run in the 7th, on a ground-rule double, a sacrifice bunt by LF Mike Ryan (who was shifted over from Los Navegantes del Magallanes) and an RBI ground out.  Jose Ascanio pitched the top of the 8th for Caracas.  He gave up a lead-off single, but got the next batter to line into a double play at first base, and another line out ended the inning.  

Leones  14,  Aguilas 5  (Game 2)  --  Oh, that's where all the hits went -- to the second game, with 13 hits for each team.  Three Leones' batters collected 3 hits each.  C Carlos Maldonado singled twice and walked, scoring twice for Los Leones.  LF Mike Ryan also scored twice, with a single and a walk.  The 6-run 6th inning pushed Los Leones over the top, and it included 3 walks, a triple, a double, and Maldonado's RBI single.  

Tigres de Aragua  4,  Bravos de Margarita  1  --  Los Tigres' pitchers held Los Bravos to just 3 hits, and the only Margarita run came on two errors and an RBI single in the 5th.  Aragua scored their first run in the 3rd inning on a single and a double.  Four singles, including one by 1B Hector Gimenez, brought in 2 runs in the 5th.  A single, a stolen base, and an error gave Los Tigres their last run in the 8th inning.  LF Lastings Milledge and CF Jorge Cortes also had a single each in the game.   


DOMINICAN LEAGUE
Estrellas de Oriente  2,  Toros del Este  1  --  
A double, a bunt, and an RBI single in the top of the 10th broke a 1-1 tie to give Los Estrellas the win.  A double, a bunt, and an RBI ground out brought in Los Estrellas' first run in the 6th.  A pair of singles around a ground out pushed in a run for Los Toros in the 8th.  DH Ronny Paulino singled twice and walked for Los Estrellas, but was out at second base twice and left on base once.

Gigantes del Cibao  9,  Leones del Escogido  6  --  CF Rich Thompson is looking like a strong addition to Los Gigantes for their playoff drive.  He contributed a single, a double, 2 RBI, and a run in tonight's win.  The game began with Thompson's double, and a bunt and a throwing error allowed the speedy Thompson come around to score.  A ground out and a wild pitch gave Los Gigantes a second run in the top of the 1st.  Los Leones tied the score in the bottom of the inning.  Thompson gave Los Gigantes the lead again in the top of the 2nd, with an RBI ground out that followed 3 singles.  Escogido took the lead back in the bottom of the frame with 3 runs, for a 5-3 score.  Los Gigantes tied the score at 5-5 with two singles and two doubles in the 4th.  Then they recaptured the lead in the 5th, scoring 3 runs on a pair of two-out singles and a pair of fielding errors.  Thompson drove in Los Gigantes' final run in the top of the 7th, with an RBI single following a double.  


Gonzalez Gets Playoff Hit

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

DOMINICAN LEAGUE
Estrellas de Oriente  9,  Gigantes del Cibao  4  --  
A pair of 2-run homers in the first two innings got Los Estrellas off to a good start.  Three singles added two more runs in the 6th for Los Estrellas.  Five singles, including one by Ronny Paulino, and a fielding error by RF Rich Thompson (the second in 2 days) added another 3 runs in the 7th.  By then, Los Gigantes were out of it.  They scored one run in the 1st on a passed ball, a single, and a sacrifice fly.  Los Gigantes rallied for 3 runs in the 8th.  A single and a grounder force out left Thompson on first base.  He advanced to second base on a fielding error, then scored on an RBI double.  Another ground out and a single brought in two more runs.  


PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Senadores de San Juan  2,  Gigantes de Carolina  0  --  
A pitching duel, with each team held to just 4 hits.  2B Benji Gonzalez and CF Luis Matos hit back-to-back singles in the 5th, and that was the closest Los Gigantes came to scoring. Three of Los Senadores' hits were singles in the 3rd inning, and combined with a sacrifice bunt and a throwing error, that brought in their two runs.  


VENEZUELAN LEAGUE
Caribes de Anzoategui  7,  Bravos de Margarita  1  --  
More team-jumping here, this time with reliever Jean Machi and catcher JR House jumping from Los Navegantes del Magallanes to Los Bravos de Margarita (and House had been with Los Gigantes del Cibao in the Dominican League before that).  House went 0-for-3 with a walk for Los Bravos.  The walk led off the top of the 3rd, but he was left on base.  Los Bravos scored their only run in the 5th, on a hit batter, a double, and an RBI ground out.  Los Caribes scored all their runs in the first 4 innings -- 2 in the 1st, a 3-run homer in the 2nd, and 2 more in the 4th.  Machi came on to pitch for Los Bravos in the 7th, and he worked around a lead-off single, keeping any more runs from scoring.   

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.


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 Night For Paulino And Mildren

Cheering for Pirates' players and friends (some from the way-back machine) in Wednesday's winter league action:

DOMINICAN LEAGUE   (Round robin playoff series)
Leones del Escogido  4,  Gigantes del Cibao  2  --  
A 2-run homer in the top of the 7th made the difference for Los Leones.  LF/RF Rich Thompson went 0-for-2 for Los Gigantes, with a walk.  He also dropped down a sacrifice bunt following a single in the bottom of the 9th, moving the runner to second base.  Another single brought in Los Gigantes' run in that inning.  Former Indy Indian (2000 - 02) Tim Harikkala pitched 2.2 innings for Los Gigantes.  He finished the 4th inning, then pitched two scoreless innings, but gave up the 2-run homer in the 7th.  

Estrellas de Oriente  9,  Toros del Este  2  -  DH Ronny Paulino had 3 hits and an RBI for Los Estrellas.  The RBI came with a single in the bottom of the 1st inning, following two other singles.  He singled again in the 3rd, and tried to score on a double, but Paulino never was the fastest runner, and he was out at the plate.  Paulino led off the 6th inning with a single, which started a 5-run rally, including a 2-run homer.  


PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Leones de Ponce  8,  Senadores de San Juan  6  --  
A 4-run rally in the 8th was not enough for Los Senadores to catch up.  Then they had to deal with RJ Rodriguez in the 9th.  Rodriguez picked up his 13th save of the season for Los Leones, with a 1-2-3 inning.  

Criollos de Caguas  8,  Indios de Mayaguez  2  --  Eight runs in the 3rd inning were all Los Criollos needed.  They recorded 5 singles, 4 walks, a triple, and a sacrifice fly (by SS Luis Figueroa) as 13 batters came to the plate in the inning.  


VENEZUELAN LEAGUE
Caribes de Anzoategui  9,  Navegantes del Magallanes  2  --  
Los Caribes capped their scoring with a 4-run 8th inning, and Los Navegantes could not keep up.  C JR House had two hits and a walk for Los Navegantes, but did not get to score.  He walked in the top of the 1st but was left stranded.  He doubled in the 3rd, but runners were left on second and third bases in that inning, and in the 9th, he singled and was again left on base.


AUSTRALIAN LEAGUE
Adelaide Bite  4,  Canberra Cavalry  0  --  Former Altoona Curve Paul Mildren pitched 8 stellar innings for the Bite, allowing only 2 hits and no walks, while striking out 9 Canberra batters.  Mildren worked around a 2-out single and a batter reaching base on an error in the 2nd inning, then allowed a lead-off single in the 4th.  Then he finished his night by retiring 15 straight batters.  The Bite scored 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st, on a walk, a double, and a 2-RBI single by LF Quincy Latimore.  A 2-run homer gave them some insurance in the 2nd inning, and that was all the scoring there would be in the game.  Latimore singled again in the 5th inning, but was left on base.  

Bit Hits For House And Thompson

Just a few more days in the winter leagues' regular seasons...

DOMINICAN LEAGUE (round robin playoff series)
Leones del Escogido  6,  Gigantes del Cibao  4  --  
Three runs in the bottom of the 6th gave Los Leones the win, despite being out-hit 13 - 12.  Former Pirate Rich Thompson made his first Dominican League appearance, playing right and center field for Los Gigantes.  He singled twice and walked, and drove in Los Gigantes' first run in the top of the 2nd inning.  

Toros del Este  4,  Estrellas de Oriente  0  --  Los Estrellas also had the better hit totals (8-6) but still lost when they couldn't push any runners across the plate.  DH Ronny Paulino, taken from Los Tigres del Licey in the pre-playoff draft, doubled for Los Estrellas.  

 
PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Leones de Ponce  7,  Gigantes de Carolina  1  (Game 1)  --  
Los Leones scored in each of the last four innings of the 7-inning game, posting 12 hits.  Los Gigantes managed only 4 hits, and scored their only run on a solo homer in the bottom of the 7th.  Eric Krebs came in from the bullpen for Los Gigantes when another reliever was ejected (after hitting a batter).  Krebs threw a wild pitch, moving runners to second and third bases.  A ground out brought in the runner from third base (charged to the previous pitcher), then Krebs ended the inning with a strikeout.

Leones  7,  Gigantes  6  (Game 2)  --  Benji Gonzalez got the start at second base for Los Gigantes.  He doubled to lead off the bottom of the 1st, and scored on a ground out and a fielding error.  Gonzalez walked to load the bases in the 5th, and a sacrifice fly gave Los Gigantes a second run.  Ponce scored 3 runs in the 3rd on two singles and two doubles, then 2 runs in the 5th on a single, a walk, and a 2-RBI triple.  A single and a pair of doubles gave them two more in the top of the 7th, and Los Gigantes were behind 7-2 going into the bottom of the 7th (a 7-inning game).  With RJ Rodriguez on the mound for Los Leones, Los Gigantes rallied in the bottom of 7th.  Gonzalez opened the frame with a walk, then went to second base on a passed ball.  With two outs (both strikeouts), A double plated Gonzalez, then a walk, a wild pitch, and a triple gave Los Gigantes two more runs.  The second wild pitch of the inning brought in the 4th run.  CF Luis Matos was hit by a pitch, but Rodriguez finally got a third strikeout to end the inning and the game.


Blown Save For Machi; Minor League Contract For Fields

The Pirates have signed INF Josh Fields to a minor league contract.  Fields is an Oklahoma native who was the White Sox' first round draft pick in 2004.  He progressed quickly through their organization, playing mostly third base, and reached the major leagues in 2006, when he played in 11 games for Chicago after spending most of the season in AAA Charlotte (.305,  19 HR, 70 RBI).  For the next three seasons, Fields bounced between AAA and the majors.  With Charlotte, he totalled 25 homers and 85 RBI with a .262 average in 158 games.  He played in 193 games with the White Sox over those seasons, with a .231 average, 30 homers, and 99 RBI.  Fields was traded to the Royals after the 2009 season, but he got in little playing time during 2010 due to hip surgery.  He played in 13 games for the Royals in September, and his bat showed some promise -- .309 with 3 homers and 6 RBI.  The 28-year-old got in some make up for missed at-bats by playing for Los Senadores de San Juan in the Puerto Rican League during October and November.  In 22 games, he hit .200 with 6 RBI, though in his last week, he went 7-for-27 (.259).  Fields has been invited to the major league camp for spring training, and he will be competing for a utility spot on the major league club.  

Just a little action on Monday in the winter leagues as we cheer for a few Pirates' players and friends:

 DOMINICAN LEAGUE
Tigres de Licey  2,  Aguilas Cibaenas 0  --  
Los Aguilas were held to three hits and two walks -- one hit and one walk in both the first and last innings, plus a single in the 8th.  Starling Marte came into the game as a defensive replacement in center field for Los Aguilas, but he did not get an at-bat.  Los Tigres scored one run in the 2nd, on a single, a walk, and a fielding error.  They added an insurance run in the 8th, when DH Ronny Paulino led off with a single and was replaced by a pinch-runner.  A sacrifice bunt and a throwing error put the runner on third base, and 1B Robinzon Diaz brought him in with a fly ball and an error.  A single followed, but two runners were left on base.  Tigres' Denny Bautista pitched to 3 batters in the 8th inning and gave up a single.  

 
VENEZUELAN LEAGUE
Tiburones de La Guaira  5,  Navegantes del Magallanes  4  --  
A solo homer in the bottom of the 10th inning broke a 4-4 tie, for Los Tiburones' win.  Los Navegantes plated 4 runs in the 4th, on a 2-run homer, followed by four singles and a sacrifice fly.  Los Tiburones got onto the scoreboard in the 6th inning, with a run on a double and an RBI single.  Jean Machi took the mound in the bottom of the 9th for Magallanes, but he was done in by three fielding errors (of the 5 errors committed by Los Magallanes).  A single opened the inning, then Machi got a pop out.  The first fielding error put runners on first and second, then Machi struck out the next batter.  Another fielding error loaded the bases, and the third error allowed 2 runs to score.  An RBI single gave Los Tiburones their third run of the inning and tied the score.  Machi was relieved at that point, and a fly out ended the inning.   

Milledge and Tabata Homer, Ciriaco Has 3 Hits

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

VENZUELAN LEAGUE
Tigres de Aragua  12,  Tiburones de La Guaira  2  --  
Los Tigres posted 12 runs on 12 hits, including a 4-run 6th inning and a 6-run 7th inning.  They began their scoring with a 2-run homer in the bottom of the 1st.  Then LF Lastings Milledge added another 2-run homer following 1B Hector Gimenez's walk to lead off the 6th.  CF Jorge Cortes walked moments later, and a single and an intentional walk loaded the bases, and two runs came in on a double.  The 7th inning rally got started with four singles (one by Cortes) and three doubles, and along with an RBI ground out by Gimenez, 6 runs crossed the plate.  Los Tiburones scored one run in the 5th and one in the 9th.  Milledge and Gimenez each walked once, and Cortes walked twice.  

Caribes de Anzoategui  8,  Bravos de Margarita  3  --  DH Jose Tabata scored twice as Los Caribes scored in 4 consecutive innings.  A 2-run homer scored in the 2nd.  A walk by Tabata and three singles added two runs in the 3rd, and a double and a single plated one run in the 4th.  Tabata led off the bottom of the 5th with a solo homer, and a single and a pair of doubles brought in two more runs in that inning.  

Leones del Caracas  7,  Navegantes del Magallanes  6  --  This one took 11 innings, with Los Leones manufacturing the winning run in the bottom of the 11th.  The lead-off batter singled, and a bunt moved him to second.  A single by SS Asdrubal Cabrera nearly won the game, but the runner was tagged out at the plate.  Then CF Josh Kroeger lined a single up the middle, and this time the throw to the plate was not in time.  LF Mike Ryan led off the 4th inning with a triple for Los Navegantes, and he scored on a sacrifice fly.  Corey Hamman pitched to one batter (Kroeger) in the 7th and got a fly out, but his wild pitch allowed Cabrera to score from third base to tie the score at 5-5.  Each team scored a run in the 9th.  Jose Ascanio pitched the top of the 9th for Los Leones, and he gave up a run on a double, a sacrifice bunt, and a sacrifice fly, giving Caracas the lead again.  Jean Machi pitched 2 innings of relief.  He gave up the homer to Kroeger in the bottom of the 9th, which sent the game in to extras with a 6-6 tie, then retired the side in order in the 10th.  


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.    

New Pitchers, Same Hitters

Two pitching acquisitions for the Pirates at the winter meetings, though both should remain at the major league level, with no impact on the minor league part of the organization:
RHP Kevin Correia is a 30-year old San Diego native, who came up through the Giants' organization, but pitched for his home-town Padres for the past two seasons.  In 61 games (all but 2 were starts) for the Padres, he earned a 22-21 record and 4.54 ERA.  In 343 innings, he allowed 346 hits and walked 128 batters, while striking out 256.
LHP Scott Olsen will turn 27 next month.  The Michigan native came up in the Marlins' organization and was traded to the Nationals at the end of 2008.  He has spent a lot of the past two seasons on the DL with left shoulder issues, so that over those two seasons he made only 28 appearances (2 in relief) for the Nats.  He has a 6-12 record and a 5.79 ERA in those games.  In 143 innings at the major league level, he allowed 176 hits and 52 walks, and struck out 95.  

Other news:
Former Pirate farmhand RHP Jimmy Barthmaier signed a minor league contract to return to the Nationals. 
Former Pirate INF Ty Wigginton is signing a contract with the Rockies.  

Just a little bit of winter league action on Tuesday, involving Pirates' players and friends:

DOMINICAN LEAGUE
Aguilas Cibaenas  3,  Leones del Escogido  2  --  
Los Aguilas scored 2 runs in the 4th inning, and that gave them all the runs they needed.  Indy Indians'  Kevin Melillo, in his first game with Los Aguilas, started the rally with a double, then scored on a 2-run homer.  He went 1-for-3 in the game.  Starling Marte came into the game as a pinch-hitter and remained in to play center field.  Marte struck out in both of his at-bats.  

Tigres del Licey  3,  Toros del Este  0  --  Los Tigres scored all of their runs in the top of the 5th.  Indy area native LF/1B Jake Fox led off with a double, then 3B Andy Marte moved Fox to third with a sacrifice bunt.  After a walk, a double plated Fox.  Another single brought in the second run, and a sacrifice fly added the third run.  DH Ronny Paulino went 0-for-4 for Los Tigres.  SS Pedro Ciriaco singled for Los Toros in the bottom of the 8th, but was erased with a double play.  


VENEZUELAN LEAGUE
Aguilas de Zulia  5,  Navegantes del Magallanes  4   --  
This game was tied at 2-2 going into the top of the 7th.  A single, a sacrifice bunt, and an intentional walk gave Los Aguilas two on and one out.  A grounder produced a force out at second base and gave Zulia runners on the corners.  Los Navegantes' Corey Hamman was brought in to get the last out of the inning.  The only batter he faced lifted a fly ball into center field, but the ball was misplayed, and the error allowed 2 runs to score.  Hamman was relieved, and a strikeout ended the inning, with Los Aguilas ahead 4-2.  Los Navegantes tied the score again in the bottom of the 9th, on a walk, two singles, and an RBI ground out, sending the game into extra innings.  Jean Machi came in to pitch for Los Navegantes, and he gave up the go-ahead run on a walk, a sacrifice bunt, and a single.  Two walks in the bottom of the inning gave Los Navegantes one more chance to catch up, but a double play ended the inning without a run scoring. 

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