Hits And Saves In The Winter Leagues

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Saturday's winter ball action with the Pirates' players and friends:

MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE

Aguilas de Mexicali 8, Naranjeros de Hermosillo 4

Ty Taubenheim made the start for Hermosillo and allowed 3 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks over 4.2 innings. Two consecutive singles followed by two consecutive hit batters forced in a run in the 2nd inning. Taubenheim kept Mexicali from scoring in the 3rd and 4th innings. A walk and two singles in the 5th gave Mexicali two more runs, and Taubenheim was relieved. Hermosillo scored two runs in the 4th and two more in the 6th, and after 6 innings, the score was tied at 4-4. Mexicali scored 4 more runs in the 8th inning to take the win, and Taubenheim was not involved in the decision.

Venados de Mazatlan 3, Tomateros de Culiacan 2

LF Brian Bixler opened the game with a double for Mazatlan, and scored on a sacrifice bunt and a ground out. Bixler also reached base in the 3rd inning, on a fielding error by Pirates' teammate 2B Luis Cruz, but Bixler was left stranded that time. Culiacan took a 2-1 lead in the 4th on two walks, a double, and a sacrifice fly. Mazatlan tied it up in the next inning, on a walk and a dobule. CF Ruben Rivera gave Los Venados the winning run with his solo homer in the 8th. Cruz singled in the 9th inning, but did not score.

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

Navegantes del Magallanes 5, Leones del Caracas 3

Jean Machi earned his 4th save for Magallanes with a scoreless 9th inning. LF Mike Ryan had two singles and SS Argenis Diaz contributed one single to Los Navegantes' cause. A double and three singles, one by Ryan, got Magallanes started in the bottom of the 1st inning. A double and a single gave them another run in the 2nd. A walk, a single by Ryan, and a 2-RBI double in the 3rd made it 5-0 for Magallanes. Caracas picked up their three runs on four walks, forcing in a run, and a 2-RBI single in the 4th inning.

Tiburones de La Guaira 7, Tigres de Aragua 6 (11 innigs)

Aragua more than doubled La Guaira's hit count, but it was Los Tiburones who finally took a bite out of Los Tigres for the extra-inning win. A walk-off home run by La Guaira's 3B Oscar Salazar was the difference. Bobby Livingston made his fourth start for La Guaira, going into the 4th inning and allowing 4 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks. Livingston gave up 2 runs in the 2nd inning, on a lead-off walk to Aragua's 1B Hector Gimenez, an error, and three singles, including one by LF Jorge Cortes. Livingston opened the 4th inning with another walk to Gimenez and a single, and he was relieved. A single scored Gimenez, a double by Cortes brought in two more runs, and another RBI single plated Cortes.

Los Tiburones picked up one run in the 3rd on a solo homer, and made it a 6-5 game with 4 runs in the 5th. SS Jorge Velandia singled, and after two walks, a triple brought in 3 runs, and a sacrifice fly added one more. La Guaira remained behind by one run until the bottom of the 9th, when a fielding error, a double, and a wild pitch tied the game and sent it into extra innings. Livingston did not factor into the decision. Hector Gimenez had the two walks but no hits in the game. DH Raul Chavez went 1-for-5. Jorge Cortes was 2-for-5. SS Ronny Cedeno had 6 hitless trips to the plate.

Bravos de Margarita 2, Cardenales de Lara 1 (Game 1, 7 innings)

Scott Strickland gave up a run in the top of the 9th, but held on to earn his 5th save for Margarita. Los Bravos scored their first run in the 5th. 1B Dennys Abreu walked, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and to third on a single. Another sacrifice bunt allowed Abreu to score, but an alert play by the Lara first baseman made it a double play by throwing back to third base (covered by the shortstop) to get the trailing runner out. Margarita scored the winning run in the bottom of the 6th on two doubles. 3B Neil Walker was 0-for-3 in the game.

Bravos 4, Cardenales 3 (Game 2, 7 innings)

3B Neil Walker led Los Bravos with two hits and a walk to win the nightcap. Lara scored 2 runs in the top of the 1st, but Margarita came back with 3 in the bottom of the inning. A double and two singles brought in one run, and a sacrifice fly tied the game. Walker's RBI single plated the go-ahead run. A solo homer for Lara tied the game again in the top of the 4th. Walker got Los Bravos rally started in the bottom of that inning with a walk. He moved to second base on a single, and scored on an RBI double. Walker also led off the bottom of the 6th with a double, and he was removed in favor of a pinch runner. That runner got to third base as a hit batter and an intentional walk loaded the bases, but was doubled off third base in an inning-ending line out that turned into an unassisted double play.

Aguilas de Zulia 4, Caribes de Anzoategui 0 (Game 1, 7 innings)

Chris Hernandez also collected his 5th save of the winter season for Zulia, when he entered the game in the 7th inning with one out and two runners on base, and got two quick outs to end the game. Los Caribes CF Gorkys Hernandez was 0-for-2, as his teammates managed only 5 hits.

Aguilas 4, Caribes 2 (Game 2, 7 innings)

Gorkys Hernandez went 0-for-4 with 3 strikeouts in the nightcap, as Los Caribes lost both ends of the double header. Los Caribes scored one run on a single and a double in the 2nd, and another run on a triple and a single in the 4th. Zulia posted only 5 hits, but three of them were home runs, accounting for all of their runs.

DOMINICAN LEAGUE

Aguilas Cibaenas 10, Estrellas de Oriente 6

C Robinzon Diaz and 2B Pedro Lopez each had two hits for Los Estrellas, including a home run for Diaz. Lopez led off the 3rd inning with a double, and came around to score the first of two runs that inning. Diaz doubled begin the 4th inning, but was left on base. His solo homer led off the 6th inning, and two singles, including one by Lopez, and a sacrifice fly added another run in that inning.

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