Mateo could not have picked a better time to get his stroke going for Mazatlan. (Credit: Flickr user tjperr)

Rays Winter Ball Recap: Henry Mateo's Go Ahead RBI Spurs Venados


In pitchers’ duels, every run becomes signficantly more important. One team may have 3 hits and the other could have only five, but the big thing will be who pushed a run or two across. Henry Mateo was able to drive in a huge run for Mazatlán to help lead them over the ex-Rays of Navojoa.

Dominican Winter League: Tigres del Licey 7, Toros del Este 3

We talked about Chris Marrero as a possible option for the Rays,  but in his first Dominican Winter League game for the Tigres, he had a tough time, going 0 for 4 with a walk and an error at first base. The only good news is that the only place he can go from here is up. Also appearing for Licey was Jesus Colome, who allowed a hit in 0.2 shutout innings. For Este, Bruedlin Suero faced one batter and that batter reached on an error. Rough game for the 2013 Stone Crab, but he has actually looked very good overall for the Toros, going 8 innings allowing 1 earned run on 8 hits, striking out 6 while walking none. Jordan Pacheco (who we’ll mention because he taught Matt Moore his curveball) also went 1 for 5 with a double and a walk for Este. Pacheco has rebounded from a tough 2013 for the Rockies with a good winter, hitting .306 thus far.

Mexican Pacific League: Venados de Mazatlán 2, Mayos de Navojoa 0

Henry Mateo was the only player for either team to have a multi-hit game, and he made his hits count as he drilled in the go-ahead run for the Venados in the only rally of the game in the 6th. With 2 outs and nobody on, 9th hole hitter Mario Santana came through with a double off Salvador Robles, and Mateo followed with another double to give Mazatlán a 1-0 lead before scoring on Bryan Petersen‘s RBI single. Mateo went 2 for 4 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored in the game, raising his average to .302 on the season with his fourth consecutive multi-hit performance. The Venados’ pitching, meanwhile, was able to hold the Mayos to just 3 hits, with Wes Bankston and Jon Weber both going 0 for 4 against Ryan Hinson and a pair of relievers. Cecilio Garibaldi did have a strong relief outing for Navojoa, going 1.1 no-hit innings allowing a walk but forcing four groundouts. He now has a strong 2.20 groundout to flyout ratio to go along with his 2.35 ERA in 7 appearances and 7.2 innings pitched.

Naranjeros de Hermosillo 5, Aguilas de Mexicali 3

Kevin Kouzmanoff and Jason Urquidez have had entirely different careers, with Kouzmanoff being a fairly recognizable name while Urquidez has been stuck in Independent ball. Now Kouzmanoff’s big league struggles have him struggling to find a job while Urquidez’s strong Indy ball performance has him hoping for his first full season in affiliated ball since 2011. Both continue to play well enough in the Mexican Pacific League to warrant consideration. In this game, Kouzmanoff went 1 for 2 with 2 walks and 2 RBI for Mexicali while Urquidez saved the game for Hermosillo, allowing only a walk in 1.2 innings pitched, striking out 1. Kouzmanoff has a .369/.426/.560 line in 94 plate appearances so far for the Aguilas, and that is even after cooling off of late. Urquidez, meanwhile, still hasn’t allowed a run in 10 appearances and 13 innings pitched, allowing just 5 hits and 3 walks while striking out 12.

Venezuelan Winter League: Caribes de Anzoátegui 9, Leones del Caracas 5

Leslie Anderson had what would be considered a bad game only by the lofty standards he has set for himself, going 1 for 4 with a double and a walk and a run scored. HIs average slipped to just .403. For Caracas, Daniel Mayora had the night off but Danny Dorn did have a good game, going 1 for 1 with a double, a walk, a hit-by-pitch, and a run scored. Dorn not has 7 walks in his last 4 games, combining excellent patience with great power as he has managed a .352/.452/.620 line in 84 plate appearances for the Leones.

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Tags: Bruedlin Suero Chris Marrero Henry Mateo Jason Urquidez Kevin Kouzmanoff Tampa Bay Rays