Thursday, November 29, 2007

Tigres rally past Lara for win

Vs. Lara
Photo courtesy of los Tigres de Aragua

Lara 3 at Aragua 5

W: F. Mata (2-0, 2.88); L: S. Patterson (1-2, 1.40); SV: F. Butto (8)
HR: ARA: R. Chavez (1).

Minnesota's Frank Mata picked up his 2nd win of the season pitching in relief of former Miracle Henry Bonilla (LA Angels) as the Tigres de Aragua downed the Cardenales de Lara, 5-3.

Lara got on the board early when Hernan Iribarren (Milwaukee) doubled, moved to 3rd on a sac-bunt, then came home on a Robert Perez (F/A) single.

Cardenales starter Giovani Carrera (LA Dodgers) kept the Tigres off the board until the fifth. Raul Chavez (NY Yankees) and Ronny Cedeno (Chicago Cubs) both singled. Chevez came home on a Luis Rodriguez (San Diego) sac fly.

Lara answered back in the top of the 6th with former Miracle Luis Ugueto (F/A) singling, then moving to 3rd on Jose Lopez's (Seattle) double. Bonilla was taken from the mound at that point, being replaced by Jose Guanchez (F/A). Selwyn Langaigne (F/A) reached on a fielder's choice, while Ugueto made it safety across the plate for the run.

The visitors kept rolling in the top of the 7th, with Jairo Ramos (F/A) singling. Milwaukee's Alcides Escobar replaced him a pinch runner and moved to 2nd on a sac-bunt by Carlos Mendoza (NY Mets). Irbarren's ground out pushed him to 3rd, while was plated by Ugueto's ground ball single to right.

Aragua roared back in the bottom of the inning with Chavez going yard off Cesar Jimenez (Seattle). With 2 outs, Rodriguez singled, then crossed the plate on a Mike Aviles (Kansas City) triple to tie up the score. Hector Gimenez (Houston) reached on a throwing error by Ugueto, which brought Aviles home, giving the Tigres the lead.

Bobby Korecky (Minnesota) replaced Mata for the 8th inning, getting 1 out and allowing a runner on base. Field manager Buddy Bailey sent Jose Mijares (Minnesota) to the mound, and he induced Langaigne to hit into a double play to retire the side.

Back-too-back doubles by Alex Romero (Arizona) and Luis Maza (LA Dodgers) added an insurance marker to the Tigres total, while Frank Butto (F/A) shut down Lara in the 9th for the win.

Bonilla finished up allowing 2 runs on 5 hits and 1 walk while striking out 5 in 5.1 innings. Mata worked 1.2 innings, allowing 1 run on 2 hits and striking out 1.

L-Rod went 2-for-4 at the plate with a 1 run and an RBI, Romero was 2-for-4 with a run, and Maza was 2-for-4 with an RBI.

The two teams rematch today at 7:30 PM AST with Lara hosting the game. The Tigres then take on los Navegantes del Magallanes on Friday and Saturday to finish off the week feline.

Tigres de Aragua

The big news today was the trade between the Twins and the Rays, with Minnesota recieving 22-year old Rookie of the Year Delmon Young, short stop Brendan Harris and outfielder Jason Pridie in exchange for pitchers Matt Garza and Eduardo Morlan and short stop Jason Bartlett. The Twins also came to terms on a one year contract for righthander Brian Bass, and minor league contracts for pitchers R.A. Dickey and Mariano Gomez.

Garza posted a 5-7 record with the Twins in 2007, with a 3.69 ERA, 67 strikes and 32 walks over 83 innings. Barlett hit .265 with 75 runs, 4 home runs, 43 RBIs and stolen bases in 140 games. Morlan, who pitched the 2007 season for the Fort Myers Miracle, finished up with a 4-3 record and a 3.15 ERA and 18 saves in 65.2 innings. He's expected to start in the Devil Rays minor league system next year, most likely for AA Montgomery.

Young hit .288 with 65 runs, 13 home runs, 93 RBIs and 10 stolen bases. Harris hit .286 with 72 runs, 12 home runs and 59 RBIs in 137 games for the Devil Rays last season.

Pride, who the Twins tried to take a couple of years ago in the Rule V draft, spent the 2007 season spliting time between AA Montgomery and AAA Durham, hitting .303 with 89 runs, and 14 home runs in 134 games with 66 RBIs. He will have a chance to make the big league club out of spring training, but will likely start the season in Rochester. Dickey played the 2007 season with the AAA Nashville Sounds in the Milwaukee system, posting a 13-6 record with a 3.72 era in 169.1 innings pitched. He struck out 119 and walked 60.

Bass, who is 3-3 in the Venezuelan Winter League with the Tigres, finished up 7-3 with a 3.48 ERA for the AAA Red Wings in 103.1 innings pitched. Gomez, played last year in AA Akron for Cleveland, putting together a 3-3 record with a 4.05 ERA in 66.2 innings with 2 saves. He struck out 53 and walked 24. Gomez is currently pitching for the los Aguilas del Zulia in the Venezeluan Winter League.

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