In the 2012-2013 offseason, Alex Torres went to the Aguilas del Zulia and continued improving his control to the point that he was a big league factor the next season. Enny Romero begins his Winter Ball stint with the Leones del Escogido with not quite as far to go, but still with the desire to play well and build some momentum to next season. Unfortunately, he did not get off to the best start.
Tigres del Licey 11, Leones del Escogido 8
Down 6-4 in the 8th–certainly not the biggest spot, but nothing to scoff at either–the Leones del Escogido decided to bring Enny Romero out of the bullpen. Romero was getting a chance in his possible future role in the big leagues, and all eyes were on him to see how it would turn out. Well, Romero will hope to do better in his second appearance. He retired just one batter while allowing 2 hits, 2 walks, and 2 runs.
Jordan Pacheco also appeared in the game for Escogido, going 2 for 5 with a stolen base, 2 RBI, and a run scored.
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Yaquis de Obregón 3, Mayos de Navojoa 2
Two runs for the Mayos in the game, and both came from Jon Weber, who punctuated a 2 for 4 day with a 6th-inning 2-run homer. Overall on the season, Weber has his line up to .344/.382/.719 on the season, and his 3 home runs are tied for the league lead.
Caneros de los Mochis 4, Aguilas de Mexicali 3 (11 innings)
Mike Jacobs gives us another veteran Rays-related player who homered as he drilled an 8th inning homer that got the Aguilas on the board. The three other players we’ll talk about had less memorable days. For the Caneros, Justin Christian went 0 for 5 with a walk while Carlos Fisher allowed 2 runs in an inning of work to blow the save.
Edgar Gomez did look good again for Mexicali, but some bad luck got him before this game was through. He entered the game with two on and no outs in the 5th inning and managed to escape the jam with the help of a double play. But to begin the 6th, he allowed a leadoff a triple and departed even though he got the next batter to ground out without the run scoring. Of course, the next reliever allowed Gomez’s runner to score, giving him his first run allowed on the season. Then again, considering how some other young Rays prospects have been doing, it’s impressive we’re even upset with an outing like this from Gomez.
Caribes de Anzoátegui 8, Leones del Caracas 3
There was one impact former Rays minor leaguer and one forgettable one on each side in this game. For the victorious Caribes, Tomas Perez went 2 for 4 with a triple, a double, and 2 RBI while Jesus Flores went 0 for 3 with a walk. Perez’s 6-game hitting streak with 4 multi-hit games has him at a .440 average on the young season.
On the Caracas side, meanwhile, Henry Rodriguez went 3 for 5 with a run scored to continue his tear while Daniel Mayora went 1 for 4. Rodriguez is one step ahead of Perez with his batting average at an even .500 as he has a hit in 9 of his 10 games this season including 6 multi-hit performances.
Aguilas del Zulia 9, Bravos de Margarita 2
Taylor Motter could have had a better game for the Bravos in this one, but he still found a way to contribute, going 1 for 4 with an outfield assist. The same can’t be said of Luis Cabrera, who the Rays released in August. He went 0.2 innings allowing two runs on a hit, striking out 1 while walking 3.
Tigres de Aragua 2, Tiburones de La Guaira 1 (11 innings)
This was an eventful game, and we even have a new name to talk about. In terms of the usual suspects, Erold Andrus went 0 for 3 with 2 walks and an RBI, Cesar Suarez went 1 for 5, and Alex Cabrera went 0 for 5 for the Tiburones. Andrus continues to prove himself worthy of the leadoff spot for La Guaira, drawing 3 walks against only 1 strikeout in 21 plate appearances. Hector Gimenez, meanwhile, went 0 for 5 for the Tigres. But we’ll talk a little more about the pitchers.
Ryan Reid has pitched very well for the Tiburones, and in this game, they brought into a save situation with a runner on first and one out in the 8th inning. Reid’s final line was very good as he went 1.2 innings allowing just 1 hit and nothing else, but some misfortune in that 8th inning led to the tying run. He allowed a groundball single that was hit in such a good spot that it allowed the runner on first to go to third before a sac fly tied the game. He did rebound to toss a scoreless 9th, but eventually, his blown save led to the Tigres’ win.
For Aragua, Kyle Hunter made a less memorable appearance, going 0.1 innings allowing a hit and a walk but no runs (ironic given Reid’s appearance). Who is Kyle Hunter? He was a 33rd round pick by the Rays back in 2008 who eventually ended up with the Seattle Mariners as a senior sign reliever. At 25 years old, he was older than the Southern League average age this season, but he did post a solid 3.25 ERA in 76.2 innings pitched.