Pirates’ players and friends in winter league action for Sunday; the Australians are off again until later in the week.
PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Leones de Ponce 5, Indios de Mayaguez 4
Los Indios posted 4 runs in the 2nd inning, but Ponce came from behind for the win. Ponce had scored one run in each for the 1st and 2nd innings, when Los Indios started their rally with a solo home run. 1B Jeremy Farrell followed the homer with a walk. A double and a single brought in Farrell, then a sacrifice fly and an RBI single added two more runs. Farrell also singled in the 3rd, but was left on base. Ponce tied the score with a walk, a double, a single, and a sacrifice fly for 2 runs in the 5th. In the top of the 8th, a single and a bunt with a throwing error by Farrell put runners on the corners. Los Leones brought in Benji Gonzalez as a pinch runner on first, and he promptly stole second base. A sacrifice fly plated the runner from third for the winning run. Gonzalez was left stranded.
The report from Los Leones del Escogido is that Starling Marte is improving after a groin strain suffered about 2 weeks ago. He’s still getting treatment and will be checking in with the Pirates’ medical staff next week.
Estrellas de Oriente 9, Toros del Este 3
Chris Leroux suffered his second loss (against one win), as he made a 3-inning start for Los Toros. Leroux retired the side in order in the 1st, but had a runner reach on a fielding error in the top of the 2nd. With two outs, a double and a single drove in two unearned runs for Los Estrellas. Leroux gave up two singles in the 3rd inning, including one by Indy area native Jake Fox, and a fielding error by 3B Matt Hague moved both runners into scoring position. A walk loaded the bases, but Leroux ended the inning with a strikeout, leaving all three runners stranded. After Leroux had been relieved, Los Estrellas scored another 2 runs in the top of the 6th. Los Toros got onto the scoreboard in the bottom of the 6th, with a 2-out single by 2B Pedro Ciriaco, another single, and two errors. Ciriaco singled again to begin a rally in the bottom of the 8th. He scored on a double, the a walk and a single added another run to bring Los Toros within one run of Los Estrellas. But Los Estrellas exploded for 5 runs in the top of the 9th. Tim Wood took the mound for Los Toros to begin the inning, but after he got a fly out, Wood gave up a single, a walk, and a single to Fox to load the bases. Wood was relieved, but a walk from the next pitcher forced in a run, then a triple cleared the bases. A passed ball made it 5 runs in the inning.
Caribes de Anzoategui 4, Aguilas de Zulia 3
Zulia scored one run in each of the 1st, 3rd, and 5th innings before Los Caribes got onto the scoreboard. CF Gorkys Hernandez worked a walk in the 3rd inning for Los Caribes. He stole second base, and tried to score on a single into right field. A throw in from right field to Aguilas’ C Carlos Maldonado cut down Hernandez at the plate. Hernandez tried again in the 6th, when he hit the second of two doubles for an RBI. He scored after a ground out and throwing error. Hernandez dropped down a sacrifice bunt in the 8th inning rally, when Los Caribes scored the tying run. Hernandez was not involved in the game-willing rally in the bottom of the 9th — two walks and a fielding error in right field allowed the winning run to cross the plate.
Tigres de Aragua 10, Tiburones de La Guaira 3
Los Tigres scored 9 runs over the first three innings, and did not let Los Tiburones catch up. DH Lastings Milledge went 3-for-6 in the game. Milledge reached base on a fielding error in the 1st inning, when a double and a 2-RBI single drove in two runs. Milledge singled in the 2nd inning, when Los Tigres scored another 2 runs. Los Tigres sent 10 batters to the plate in the 3rd inning, scoring 5 runs. Former Pirate farmhands RF Jonel Pacheco and CF Jorge Cortes both walked, and both scored on two singles. Another run scored on an error, and Milledge singled again to drive in the fourth run of the inning. A sacrifice fly finished the scoring for that inning. Milledge’s third single of the game followed a double in the top of the 7th, and and RBI single scored Los Tigres’ 10th run. Cortes also doubled in the 4th inning.