Saturday’s action with the Pirates’ players and friends:
Tigres de Aragua 5, Caribes de Anzoategui 2
Two doubles by 1B Hector Gimenez accounted for 3 of Los Tigres’ 4 runs in the first two innings. In the top of the 1st, Gimenez followed a single with his first double, driving in a run. Another single brought in Gimenez with the second run of the inning. The top of the 2nd began with two outs, the a walk and a hit batter, and Gimenez was up again. He doubled again, driving in both runners. A walk, an error, and a single gave Los Tigres an extra run in the 8th. Los Caribes scored one run in the bottom of the 1st, with an error and two singles. A two-out walk and an RBI single and a fast runner gave them their only other run in the 4th. CF Jorge Cortes went 0-for-3 for Los Tigres, and Jonel Pacheco struck out in a pinch-hit appearance. CF Gorkys Hernandez went 0-for-4 for Los Caribes, who were held to just 4 hits.
Navegantes del Magallanes 11, Aguilas de Zulia 10
Wouldn’t you think that a 9-run inning ought to be enough for a win? Nope, not for Los Aguilas, who have yet to win a game in the Venezuelan League’s round-robin playoff series (0-for-10 record). This game began fairly quietly, with the first scoring in the 4th inning. C Carlos Maldonado led off the top of the 4th for Zulia with a double, and scored on an RBI single. Los Navegantes answered with a 3-run homer, and another run on a single and a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning. They added 2 more in the bottom of the 5th, for a 6-1 lead. That lead held until the top of the 9th, when Jean Machi took the mound for Los Navegantes. Los Aguilas really liked Machi’s pitching — they led off with a solo homer, then a single, a hit batter, and a walk. Two grounders led to two outs and a run scoring, leaving Zulia runners on the corners with Los Navegantes still holding the lead, 6-3. A single drove in a run, then a 3-run homer gave the lead to Los Aguilas, 7-6. Maldonado walked, and that was all for Machi. The new reliever began by surrendering a 2-run home run (9-6). Two more singles and two errors brought in the 9th run of the inning, to give Los Aguilas a 10-6 lead. But, the rotten luck that has been following them kicked in — Los Navegantes began the bottom of the 9th with a walk and a 2-run homer (10-8). Two walks, two outs, another walk — bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the 9th. Another walk forced in a run, to make it 10-9. Finally, a single into left field allowed two runs to score to give Los Navegantes the win and leave Los Aguilas still winless.
Aguilas Cibaenas 3, Tigres del Licey 0
Los Tigres were also held to just 4 hits, and 3 of those base runners were erased in double plays, two trying to go to third base after a fly out. Los Aguilas scored 2 runs in the 5th, with a walk and three singles. RF Brandon Moss gave them one more run in the 7th with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly.
PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Indios de Mayaguez 10, Criollos de Caguas 1
Los Indios opened the best-of-9 championship series with a definitive win over Los Criollos. Los Indios scored in 5 consecutive innings, and posted 19 hits, with every batter in the starting line-up collecting at least one hit. Bobby Livingston made the start for Los Indios, pitching 5 scoreless innings. Los Criollos’ only run came in the 7th, when a single, a double, and a walk loaded the bases, and SS Luis Figueroa hit a sacrifice fly.
Sydney Blue Sox 6, Adelaide Bite 4
A 3-run homer in the 3rd inning gave the Bite an early lead, but the Blue Sox came back for the win. After the 3rd, the Bite did not have another hit until the top of the 9th. DH Calvin Anderson led off the 9th with a double. He scored on a single and an RBI ground out. Two walks loaded the bases for the Bite, but 3B Stefan Welch popped out to end the inning. The Blue Sox scored one run in each of the 2nd, 4th, and 7th innings. They scored 3 in the 5th, with a bases-loaded single and another RBI single.
Canberra Cavalry 3, Perth Heat 2
The Cavalry surprised the Heat with 2 runs in the bottom of the 8th on a fielding error and a home run to take the win. Canberra had scored one run in the bottom of the 1st, with three singles. The Heat took the lead in the 6th on a double, a walk, an error, and a single. C Travis Scott was 0-for-2 at the plate, with a walk in the 1st inning.
The Heat are in first place in the Australian League, way out in front of all competition with a 30-10 record. The Blue Sox (19-21) are in second place, 11 games behind the Heat, and the Bite, the Cavalry, and the Melbourne Aces are tied for third place (18-22), 12 games behind. The Brisbane Bandits are last with a 17-23 record, just one game behind the third place teams. The regular season ends next weekend. Interesting that the only team with a winning record is the Heat.