Rays Winter Ball Recap: Bobby Abreu’s 6 RBI Lead to Stunner

By Robbie Knopf

The worst feeling is when there is someone on the opposing team that you simply can’t get out. Bobby Abreu continues to mash for the Leones del Caracas, and when he came up with 2 outs in the 9th, it was no surprise what transpired.

Dominican Winter League Championship Series: Tigres del Licey 2, Leones del Escogido 1

In the opening game of the DWLCS, the Tigres emerged victorious and it was Juan Cruz who closed it out, allowing just a walk in 1.1 hitless innings for his 5th save of the postseason. Cruz was helped when Freddy Guzman pinch-ran for the Leones but was caught stealing. Also appearing for the Leones was Jesus Feliciano, who joins Escogido for the championship series. Feliciano had a strong first game with his new team, going 1 for 3 with the team’s only RBI.

Venezuelan Winter League Postseason: Caribes de Anzoátegui 6, Aguilas del Zulia 1

Both team featured an ex-Ray who had a solid game at the plate and another one who faced one batter as a lefty reliever. For the Caribes, Hector Gimenez went 1 for 3 with a double, a walk, and a run scored while Cedrick Bowers struck out the lone hitter he faced. For Zulia, meanwhile, Juan Apodaca went 2 for 4 but Sergio Espinosa walked his only opposition. Tough to face just one batter–no chance to redeem yourself.

Leones del Caracas 14, Tiburones de La Guaira 13

Good luck finding a game crazier than this one. Caracas led 8-6 after a 6-run 4th, but La Guaira responded with a 6-run inning of their own and led 13-9 after the top of the 9th. But the Leones were not going to go down without a fight. Jesus Guzman drilled a 2-run homer and Yangervis Solarte laced an RBI single, and suddenly it was 13-12. Then with 2 outs and the bases loaded, up came Bobby Abreu to the plate and delivered again. Abreu won the game on a walk-off single as the Leones capped quite a slugfest with a 5-run rally in the 9th. Abreu had an incredible game, going 3 for 4 with a homer, 6 RBI, 2 walks, and 2 runs scored. Abreu is hitting a ludicrous .464 in the VWL postseason, driving in 26 runs in just 15 games. But Abreu was one of four former Rays who had strong games. Alex Cabrera was the hero for La Guaira, going 4 for 6 with a double and 4 RBI and Cesar Suarez also went 2 for 5 with an RBI and a run scored. Then there was Daniel Mayora for Caracas, who went 2 for 5 with a walk and a run scored. Rays fans prefer the pitchers’ duels, but with this many familiar faces leading the way, slugfests can be mighty fun as well.