Sometimes you just get beaten and it hurts. Other times, something so crazy happens that your first thought is “what just happened?” The latter was the case for Wes Bankston and the Mayos de Navojoa on Tuesday night.
Dominican Winter League: Aguilas de Cibaenas 8, Estrellas de Oriente 7
Omar Luna had his first good game in what seems like forever, going 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored. Even with this game, he has just a .214/.233/.238 line in his last 10 games and a .230/.295/.294 line on the season. He’s had a tough go in Winter Ball this time around and it couldn’t be worse timing because he’s a minor league free agent.
Mexican Pacific League: Aguilas de Mexicali 10, Mayos de Navojoa 6
You couldn’t tell it from the final score, but this game was crazy. Mexicali led 3-0 before Wes Bankston slammed a 3-run homer as part of a 5-run 4th inning for the Mayos to take a 5-3 lead. The Aguilas tied it with a 2-run 5th, including a solo homer by ex-Indians prospect Roman Pena. Then Bankston gave Navojoa a 6-5 lead with a go-ahead RBI single in the 7th. But an RBI single by Yuniesky Betancourt tied up the game. Then came the events of the bottom of the 9th. The bases were loaded with 1 out, but Mayos pitcher Florencio Bustillos got a huge out, forcing ex-big leaguer Oscar Robles to ground to Bankston at first base, and Bankston threw home for the force. Then with 2 outs and the bases loaded, the Aguilas set up a pinch-hitter: 22 year old Luis Juarez, who slammed a total of 2 homers in 39 games as a backup catcher in the Mexican League this season. What did he do? He drilled a pinch-hit walk-off grand slam to send the Aguilas to a 10-6 victory. Bankston went 2 for 4 with a homer and 4 RBI while ex-Rays prospect Jon Weber went 2 for 4 with a double, a walk, 2 RBI, and a run scored. Bankston is up to .316/.387/.504 in 151 plate appearances on the MPL season while Weber has been great himself at .295/.400/.434.
Venezuelan Winter League: Leones de Caracas 9, Navegantes de Magallanes 2
Henry Wrigley entered Tuesday having never played second base in his entire professional career stretching back to 2006. Well, now he has. Wrigley started at the keystone for Caracas and not only played errorless ball but actually completed a double play. Nice for Wrigley to show off his versatility. He also had a nice game with the bat, going 1 for 3 with a walk (yay!) and a run scored. But he also struck out twice and although he has a .324/.378/.561 line on the year with 9 home runs, he has struck out 30 times against just 10 walks. Nice to see Wrigley showing he can fake second base in a pinch, but he’s going to have to show some patience before anyone considers him a potential starting first baseman in the big leagues. Ex-Rays prospect Daniel Mayora came in to play second base for Caracas to restore Wrigley to first base for the last 3 innings of the game, going 0 for 1 in the game. Three current and former Rays also appeared for Magallanes, with Leslie Anderson going 0 for 1 after pinch-running for Juan Rivera, Erold Andrus going 0 for 4, and Chris Nowak going 2 for 3. Anderson managed to get himself benched despite a .339 average in 61 plate appearances for Magallanes because of arguments with the team.