Rays Winter Ball Recap: Leslie Anderson, Danny Dorn Shine in Epic Game

By Robbie Knopf

Sometimes a game finishes and you just know that you witnessed a classic. Saturday’s game between Anzoátegui and Caracas was one of those games.

Venezuelan Winter League: Caribes de Anzoátegui 9, Leones del Caracas 8 (13 innings)

After 5 innings of play, the Caribes led 7-3 and seemed to be cruising to victory. They knocked Caracas starter Mike Fiers out after just 2 innings and after Felipe Rivero tossed two innings allowing just a walk, they knocked him out in the 5th after a Goryks Hernandez homer and a Leslie Anderson single that came around to score. But from that point on, it seemed like nothing could go the Caribes’ way. A bases-loaded walk made it 7-5 and an error made in 7-6 in the 7th. Then, after the Caribes stranded a pair of runners in scoring position, back-to-back home runs, Danny Dorn drilled a two-run home run before J.D. Martinez followed with a solo shot, and the Leones had come all the way back to lead 8-7 in the 8th. Anzoátegui finally got something back in the bottom of the inning as Leslie Anderson came through with a two-out, 2=two-run single, but then the struggles resumed. The Caribes had bases loaded with one out in the 9th, but Hector Rondon got a force out at home and a strikeout to escape. Jeremy Accardo faced a bases loaded, no out jam, but a shallow flyball, another force at home, and a groundball back to the mound got him out of the jam. The Caribes stranded two more runners in the 12th for good measure. But in the 13th, they finally got a break of their own as a Daniel Mayora error set up a 1st and 2nd, one out situation, and Hernandez came through with a walk-off single as the Caribes overcome everything to win 9-8.

Anderson is now really going again as he has rattled off two straight 3-hit games. He went 3 for 5 in this one with 2 walks, his huge RBI, and 3 runs scored to raise his line to .369/.462/.557 on the year. For Caracas, Dorn went 3 for 6 with a homer, a double, a walk, 3 RBI, and a run scored as the recent Arizona Diamondbacks signee continues to do damage for the Leones. Bobby Abreu went 3 for 5 with a homer and 2 runs scored, showing that he still has a little something left, and Mayora went 0 for 4 with 3 walks and 2 runs scored, although the error had to ruin his night. Mayora has come back from his injury a totally different player–he has 6 walks in his last 4 games after 3 in his previous 21. He hasn’t gotten back to hitting, though, so we will keep waiting for that. Finally, we’ll talk about Rivero, who flashed his potential before coming apart as he tried to come back out for a third inning. Rivero is now at 129.2 innings pitched on the season, his career high, and he may be starting to wear down. But as a player coming off a year at High-A, pitching as well as he did against mostly Triple-A hitters as he is tiring out is awfully impressive.