Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Caribes pound Tigres, 9-1

Vs. Caribes
Photo courtesy of los Tigres de Aragua

Caribes 9 at Aragua 1

W: A. Bastardo (1-2, 3.47); L: V. Moreno (3-1, 2.53)
HR: ORI: E. Alfonzo (9).

The Caribes probably didn't need a 5 run eighth inning to beat the Tigres, but that's what they got on Tuesday, leading to a 9-1 slaughter.

Aragua got onto the board first in the bottom of the 4th. Hector Gimenez (Houston) and Mike Aviles (Kansas City) would hit back-to-back singles. Luis Rodriguez (San Diego) bunted into a force out at 3rd that nabbed Gimenez. A wild pitch by Ariel Prieto (F/A) pushed Aviles to 3rd, and he'd come home on Luis Maza's (LA Dodgers) sac-fly.

For a while, the Cats cruised. Henry Bonilla (LA Angels) limited Caribes to 2 hits over 6 innings while striking out 4.

He'd allow a single to Luis Gonzalez (F/A) in the top of the 7th, that got the visiting team rolling. Following a pitching change, Jose Mijares (Minnesota) got Rico Washington (St Louis) to strike out, then left the mound in favor of Victor Moreno (Baltimore). The former Miracle pitcher would allow a home run to Eliezar Alfonzo (San Francisco) to give Caribes 2, and a one run lead.

Kevin Tolar (F/A) took over in the top of the 8th and allowed a double to Jonathan Herrera (Colorado). A sac bunt by Andres Torres (Detroit) and a throwing error by Aviles saw Herrera home. Bobby Korecky (Minnesota) was then called onto the mound for the Cats. Omar Infante (Detroit) doubled, moving Torres to 3rd before Gonzalez ground out. Korecky issued an intentional walk to Washington, but the move backfired when Alfonzo droved the ball deep to the center for a double, bringing in 2 more runs. Korecky would then intentionally walk John Rodriguez (St Louis) before field manager Buddy Bailey called Frank Mata (Minnesota) to the mound. Lino Connell (F/A) greeting him with a ground ball single that plated Washington. Following a strike out to Luis Lopez (F/A), a wild pitch by Mata would bring in Alfonzo, giving the Carbies a 7-1 lead.

They'd added 2 more runs in the 9th when Torres doubled and Infante tripled. A Washington ground out would bring in Infante before Jose Guanchez (F/A) could get the final two outs in relief of Mata.

L-Rod finished off 0-for-3 at the plate, while Maza as 1-for-3 with an RBI. Alex Romero (Arizona) was 1-for-4 with a double but did not factor into the scoring.

Korecky was tagged for 3 runs, all earned on 2 hits and 2 walks in .1 inning worth of work. Mata would surrender 2 runs, both earned, on 3 hits while striking out 1 in 1 inning.

The Cats take on los Aguiles de Zulia on Wednesday for a 7:30 PM AST game. They are idle on Thursday and rematch Zulia on Friday.

Tigres de Aragua

Miguel Cabrera took fielding and hitting practice with los Tigres for the first time on Monday in preperation of his debute with Aragua. A date for his first appearance has yet to be released.

Brian Bass left the team at the end of November to return to the States, finishing off 3-3 with a 3.38 ERA in 42.2 innings pitched. He was said to have "gastritis" which plagued him over his last 2 starts, in which he allowed 8 runs (7 earned) on 10 hits. (Dude, didn't they warn you not to drink the water over there?)

The Twins signed Craig Monroe to a one-year, $3.82 million deal on Tuesday. He can make up to $155,000 in incentives if he reaches 450 plate appearances, and would also receive a $25,000 bonus if he is named the comback player of the year. It's non-guaranteed contract however, which means that Monroe could be released out of spring training.

Arbitration contracts are due today on 6 other Twins players: Justin Morneau, Juan Rincon, Jason Kubel, Michael Cuddyer, Matt Guerrier, and Jason Tyner. Rumor has that Tyner will be non-tendered however, become a free agent. The Twins would like to get Morneau signed to a long term deal, but will likely look to get through arbitration now, and work out the specifics of a long term contract at a later date.

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