The Undercards: Iker Franco Homers, Ryan Reid Continues Fireballing Tendencies
By Robbie Knopf
What does it say about your team when you have a player who hit a homer earlier in the game put down a sacrifice bunt? Well, it says that the bunt was dictated by the situation in the game and the lineup spot coming to the plate rather than past results, and also that the player is quite versatile. And the bunt did happen in the 11th inning and it all worked out.
Mexican Pacific League: Yaquis de Obregon 7, Algodoneros de Guasave 4 (11 innings)
This was a crazy game. Guasave jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning in this one including an Ivan Araujo 2-run homer before Iker Franco put Obregon on the board with a 2-run homer in the 4th. Then in the 5th, the Yaquis struck for 2 more runs, including a Doug Clark RBI double to jump out to a 4-3 lead. That lead would hold until the 9th as David Reyes gave Obregon 7 innings allowing just the 3 second inning runs on 6 hits, striking out 5 while walking 9th. However, Japhet Amador led off the 9th for the Algodoneros with a solo homer off of Luis Ayala to knot the game at 4 and send it into extra innings. Ayala stayed in the game and recovered from the homer while the Algodoneros got flawless relief from Sean Gleason in the 9th and 10th as he retired 6 straight batters, striking out 5. But in the 11th, Adrian Ramirez came in for Guasave and it did not well as Clark greeted him with a solo homer to make it 5-4 Obregon. Ramirez hit a pair of batters before Franco bunted them to 2nd and 3rd. After an intentional walk and a strikeout, Willy Taveras delivered the finishing blow, lacing a 2-run double down the left field line with the third runner getting thrown out at the plate. Ayala struck out 2 working around a walk in the bottom of the 11th as the Yaquis won 7-4. Franco went just 1 for 4 with the aforementioned sac bunt, but he made the 1 count with a solo homer, his 8th of the MPL season.
Aguilas de Mexicali 7, Mayos de Navojoa 2
It’s a pity that Jon Weber is going off like this in the MPL when he’s already 34 years old. Weber went 2 for 5 with a run scored for Mexicali and now has a .389/.511/.472 line in his last 10 games and a .314/.409/.438 line in 61 games on the season. He’s been incredible just about the whole way through and it would be amazing if his performance gives him one last invite to a big league camp. On the other side, Wes Bankston‘s recent struggles continued as he went 0 for 4.
Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League (Puerto Rico): Gigantes de Carolina 11, Atenlenses de Manati 4
Jesus Feliciano was nothing special for the Rays’ Triple-A Durham affiliate in 2012, managing just a .270/.312/.326 line with 1 homer and 8 stolen bases despite making 466 plate appearances, but he’s been solid in the RCPBL, going 2 for 4 with a walk for Carolina in this game and managing a .284/.358/.336 line on the year with 6 of 7 stolen bases and 13 walks against 9 strikeouts. Felipe Lopez also went 0 for 3 with a walk, an RBI, and a run scored for the Gigantes while Eddie Morlan worked around a walk with a strikeout in an inning of work.
Venezuelan Winter League: Cardelanes de Lara 5, Leones del Caracas 4
Daniel Mayora has received very sporadic playing time for the Leones but had a pretty good game making a rare appearance out of the two-hole for Caracas in this one, going 1 for 4 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored. Romulo Sanchez got into the game for Lara, striking out 1 while allowing a hit in a third of an inning.
Caribes de Anzoategui 5, Bravos de Margarita 3
Neil Schenk pitched well in this one, retiring both batters he faced. He has a great 2.35 ERA in 12 appearances for Margarita, but he hasn’t struck anybody out, fanning just 2 while walking 2 in 7.2 innings, and he also hasn’t forced much contact on the ground, managing just a 1.40 groundout to airout ratio. Schenk’s inability to miss bats or force weak contact even as a lefty is likely why he’s no longer in the Rays organization.
Aguilas de Zulia 12, Tigres de Aragua 8
The Aguilas did not exactly get dominant pitching in this one even as they were victorious, allowing 8 runs and walking 8 versus just 5 strikeouts in the first 8 innings of the game. Ryan Reid finally provided some stability at the end of the game, allowing a walk and a hit in the 9th but striking out the side as Zulia won 12-8. Reid has been sharp all season for Zulia, going 1-1 with a 2.05 ERA, a 26-7 strikeout to walk ratio, and 8 saves in 21 appearances and 22 innings pitched. He’ll play 2012 in the Pirates organization.