One dynamic unique to the winter league postseason is players in the middle of the tournaments sometimes decide to come back and help their team of preference win games. Fernando Rodney and Daniel Mayora were among those returning, and both made an impact in their first game back.
Dominican Winter League Postseason: Leones del Escogido 6, Tigres del Licey 0
Coincidence or not that the Leones had an exhilarating win in Fernando Rodney’s return? Melky Mesa‘s 2-run homer highlighted a 3-run 7th inning for Escogido then in came Rodney for a dominant performance in the bottom of the inning, striking out 2 in a perfect frame. Apparently Rodney got bored sitting around and waiting for his free agent market to develop. The game had been scoreless after 6, but the Leones scored 3 in the 7th, 2 in the 8th, and 1 more in the 9th for good measure. Julio Lugo had 1 of the RBI’s as he went went 2 for 4 with a run scored. He’s been turning back the clock in this postseason to the tune of a .333 average. For Licey, Jesus Colome had a forgettable performance, allowing a run on 2 hits in his third of an inning, walking 1, but Pedro Figueroa did look pretty good behind him, tossing 0.2 shutout innings with a walk. Past, current, and future Rays relievers all appeared in the game, and appropriate that the Devil Ray was the one to struggle.
Gigantes del Cibao 6, Aguilas Cibaenas 2
For Cibao, Mayo Acosta went 1 for 4 with a double and a run scored and Ramon Ramirez walked 1 in his scoreless third of an inning. Juan Sandoval‘s two-thirds of an inning was not as good for Cibaenas as he allowed 2 runs, 1 earned, on 3 hits, striking out 1. Joey Terdoslavich was a bright spot in the Aguilas’ loss, going 2 for 4 to raise his average to .390 in the postseason, while Hector Luna went 1 for 4.
Mexican Pacific League Second Round: Caneros de los Mochis 6, Naranjeros de Hermosillo 2
Another stunning defeat and the first seeded Naranjeros find themselves trailing 2-1 to the Caneros in the series. Los Mochis went ahead in a 5-run 7th inning, and it was Jason Bourgeois‘ first homer of the playoffs that was the exclamation point. Bourgeois went 2 for 4 in the game and has been a big reason the Caneros have gotten this far, hitting .325.
Mayos de Navojoa 6, Aguilas de Mexicali 4
Sometimes Jon Weber and Wes Bankston have a big impact in the Mayos’ wins. This was not one of those games as Weber went 1 for 4 and Bankston went 0 for 4. It was actually Russell Branyan who had a bigger game, going 1 for 3 with a solo homer and a walk. Branyan has been extremely hit-or-miss for the Aguilas this season, but he has picked a great time to turn it back on, hitting to a .320/.469/.800 line with 3 homers and 6 RBI, even managing a 9-6 strikeout to walk ratio. The Aguilas will need plenty more of that as they hope to overcome a 2-1 deficit in this series.
Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League Postseason: Gigantes de Carolina 4, Indios de Mayaguez 0
The Gigantes had a big 1st inning including a 2-run homer by Jesus Feliciano. Former New York Mets reliever Willie Collazo did the rest, going the complete game 2-hitter, striking out 4 while walking none. Carolina needed every bit of it as they upset the first place Indios for just their second win of the tournament. Feliciano’s homer was his first of the season as part of his 2 for 4 day.
Venezuelan Winter League Playoffs: Leones del Caracas 5, Navegantes del Magallanes 3
Daniel Mayora was the Leones’ leading hitter for much of the year before injuries brought him down. But now Mayora is back, and he is picking up right where he left off. Magallanes went ahead with 2 in the 1st, but Bobby Abreu got a run back on a solo homer in the 2nd before Mayora gave Caracas the lead with a 2-run triple in the 4th. The Leones never looked back. Caracas’ trio of former Rays all had big games, with Abreu going 2 for 4 with his 6th homer, Henry Wrigley going 1 for 3 with a run scored, and Mayora going 2 for 3 with a triple, a walk, a stolen base, 2 RBI, and 2 runs scored. They are the Leones’ three leading hitters at .500, .381, and (of course) .667.
Aguilas del Zulia 10, Tiburones de La Guaira 4
Never want to be part of the “big game in a loss” crowd, especially when it’s an embarrassing loss to the last-place Aguilas. Cesar Suarez went 3 for 5 with a walk and a run scored while Alex Cabrera went 1 for 4 with a walk and an RBI, but it was not nearly enough. Suarez has come back from an up-and-down regular season to be huge in the playoff, hitting .326 with 4 doubles and 2 home runs. Give the Aguilas some credit for showing heart as they started 1-7 but have won their last 2 games.