For whatever reason, Tampa Bay Rays-related players had a night to remember in Winter Ball last night. From Cesar Suarez to Juan Apodaca, the hitters delivered when it mattered most and made their numbers look a little more shiny.
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Dominican Winter League: Aguilas Cibaenas 6, Leones del Escogido 5
We’ll start slowly with this game. Cibaenas rallied for 4 runs in the 8th to win this one, with Derek Dietrich drilling a game-tying RBI single. Dietrich and Manny Ramirez both went 1 for 4 with an RBI in this game, with Ramirez’s hit being a double.
Mexican Pacific League: Mayos de Navojoa 10, Aguilas de Mexicali 2
Now things start picking up a little more. Jon Weber‘s second game back with the Mayos was quite reminiscent of how he did before he left. Weber went 2 for 4, with the latter of those hits extending the Navojoa’s lead to 6-2. Weber has a .270/.341/.516 line in 32 games for the Mayos, and he looks primed to sustain those numbers even after his hiatus.
Venezuelan Winter League: Leones del Caracas 6, Cardenales de Lara 2
The Leones first scored in the 3rd, when Mayora singled and eventually scored on Rodriguez’s sac fly. Then in the 9th, Mayora’s 1-out single tied the game at 2, and Rodriguez ended the game with a bang. His 2-out single scored Mayora and another Caracas runner to give the Leones a 5-2 lead, and the 6th run scored when Rodriguez was caught in a rundown.
Overall, Mayora went 3 for 4 with an RBI and 2 runs scored while Rodriguez went 1 for 4 but contributed 3 RBI. Mayora finally has his average above .300 on the season now at .304 while Rodriguez now has 7 RBI in his last 8 games.
Tiburones de La Guaira 7, Navegantes del Magallanes 6
Most of the players we have talked about are guys that we have lauded for their performance for all of Winter Ball. Cesar Suarez is no exception as he had a huge game for La Guaira, going 2 for 4 with 2 triples, 3 RBI, and 2 runs scored. Suarez helped the Tiburones build up a 7-1 lead, and after everything fell apart from there, the value of his hits certainly stood out.
Alex Cabrera and Miguel Rojas also appeared for La Guaira, with Cabrera going 1 for 4 with a double, a walk, and a run scored while Rojas went 0 for 3 with a walk. However, we still haven’t talked about the most surprising player in this game, Juan Apodaca for the Navegantes.
It was Apodaca, the weak-hitting catcher, who almost led his team back by going 3 for 4 with 3 RBI and a run scored. To put those 3 hits and 3 RBI in context, he had just 6 hits and 2 RBI in his previous 18 games.