Something pretty crazy about Winter Ball is teammates going up against each other. When both players are fighting to prove themselves enough to get a big league opportunity or a chance to sign a contract with an organization things get even more insane. But things almost never play out like they did on Monday night in the Escogido-Cibaenas games. 34 players appeared in the game, 9 of them with Rays ties. And the result was a classic.
Dominican Winter League Championship Series: Leones de Escogido 3, Aguilas Cibaenas 2 (11 innings)
This game was quite a pitcher’s duel. Cibaenas scored a run each in the 4th and 5th before Escogido tied it in the bottom of the 5th, and that was it until Escogido won the game on an error in the 11th. Escogido featured 6 current and former Rays compared to “just” three for Cibaenas, but apparently having all those Rays isn’t as much of an advantage as it may seem. Both teams had 10 hits in the game, but for Cibaenas, 3 each came from Miguel Tejada and Elian Herrera, including both of the Aguilas’ extra-base hits in the game. Hector Luna and Manny Ramirez went a combined 0 for 9 with a run scored for Cibaenas, while the third Ray, recent signee Juan Sandoval, had horrendous luck in the 11th as what should have been an inning-ending double play ball off the bat of Mauro Gomez turned into a game-winning error when Tejada threw the ball past second base into right field. The Rays who appeared for Escogido did much better. Jesus Feliciano went 2 for 6 with the game-winning run scored on the aforementioned error, Jorge Cantu and Leslie Anderson both went 1 for 3, with Anderson scoring a run, Julio Lugo pinch-hit for Anderson and walked, and then on the pitching side, Jhonny Nunez worked around 2 hits with 3 groundballs to toss a scoreless 8th before Fernando Rodney worked around a hit with a strikeout in the 9th. With the win, Escogido goes up 2-0 in the best-of-9 DWL Championship Series, with the winner heading to the Caribbean Series versus the winners from the other Winter Leagues.