You can really be struggling and coming up to the plate in a big spot might be the last thing you want. But when you deliver, your confidence rises and it may just be the start of something special.
Dominican Winter League: Aguilas Cibaenas 7, Toros del Este 4
Is Omar Luna ever going to get his lineup spot back for the Aguilas? Miguel Tejada, who played shortstop over Luna in this one after playing mostly third base previously for Cibaenas, slammed 2 home runs in this one, and Rafael Ynoa, playing Luna’s other primary position, second base, led off and went 1 for 4 with 2 RBI. Manny Ramirez went 0 for 3 with a walk in the game for the Aguilas.
Mexican Pacific League: Algonoderos de Guasave 4, Yaquis de Obregon 2
Iker Franco isn’t playing much for Obregon despite being absolutely red-hot of late, going 13 for his last 30 (.433). Franco went 1 for 4 with a double in this one, collecting a hit for the 6th time in 7 games- but you have to go back to November 23rd, nearly two weeks ago, for the start of that streak.
Naranjeros de Hermosillo 4, Aguilas de Mexicali 3
The performances of the ex-Rays canceled out in this one as Jorge Cantu for Hermosillo and Jon Weber for Mexicali both went 1 for 4 with a run scored. Cantu, though, stole a base, his first of the season- and quite possibly his first since 2009 with the Marlins. Wow. Cantu was never much of a basestealer, stealing just 2 bases in 338 games with the Devil Rays, but it has to be satisfying for him when he does get an opportunity to swipe a bag. Cantu’s stolen base in this 6th inning followed by a wild pitch and a groundout to score him gave Hermosillo a 4-0 lead, and that run would be huge as the Aguilas would pull within 1 in the bottom of the inning.
Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League (Puerto Rico): Cangrejeros de Santurce 10, Atanlenses de Manati 0
Felipe Lopez got off to a horrific start to the RCPBL season but is finally coming on. Lopez had a great game in this one, going 2 for 3 with a double, 2 RBI, and a run scored, and he’s hitting .294 in his last 10 games. He still has plenty of work to do and he’s hitting just .228 in 18 games so far in Puerto Rico.
Venezuelan Winter League: Aguilas del Zulia 3, Navegantes de Magallanes 0
Leslie Anderson finally got a hit, going 1 for 4 in this one- but striking out 3 times. He’s in a 5 for 27 (.185) stretch right now to lower his average to .288 on the VWL season. That isn’t so bad until your realize that he barely walks (.333 OBP) and isn’t hitting for any power (.313 SLG). Why the Navegantes hit him out of the 3-hole in this one I don’t have the slightest idea. Jean Machi went 0.2 innings for Magallanes, working around a hit with a pair of groundouts.
Tiburones de La Guaira 9, Caribes de Anzoategui 8
La Guaira very nearly blew a 9-1 lead after six and a half innings, barely getting it together at the end of the game. Cesar Suarez was a big reason the Tiburones were up so big to begin with, going 2 for 4 with a homer, a double, and a walk.
Great to see Wrigley deliver a pair of big hits in this one. (Credit: Flickr user Nick Martinez)
Leones del Caracas 10, Bravos de Margarita 7
Henry slammed a bases-clearing 3-run double for the Leones in the 3rd inning and by the end of the frame, they were up 5-0. But the Bravos rallied back, tying the game at 6 before taking a 7-6 lead in the top of the 8th. But in the bottom of the inning, Josh Kroeger laced a game-tying single, and two batters later, Wrigley delivered again, slamming a go-ahead 2-run single before scoring on a squeeze bunt by fellow ex-Rays prospect Daniel Mayora. Wrigley’s triple and run scored were the margin of victory as Caracas won 10-7. Wrigley went 2 for 5 with a triple, a double, 5 RBI, and 2 runs scored in this one to raise his line on the VWL season to .313/.360/.553. Lefty Neil Schenk, who posted a 2.97 ERA in 42 relief appearances at Double-A Montgomery for the Rays, retired both batters he faced in this one and has actually tossed 2.2 perfect innings across 3 appearances so far in the VWL.