Friday, December 28, 2007

Tigres can't get past Navegantes

Jason Karnuth
Photo courtesy of los Tigres de Aragua

Magallanes 3 at Aragua 4

W: G. Gonzalez (1-1, 6.04); L: H. Bonilla (1-2, 2.72); SV: I. Maldonado (15)
HR: None.

Los Tigres de Aragua could not rally past los Navegantes del Magallanes Thursday, falling 3-2 in front of a home town crowd.

Melvin Mora (Baltimore) opened up the top of the 4th inning with a line drive off Tigres starter Henry Bonilla (LA Angels). Richard Hidalgo (F/A) followed that up with a single to center. Former Twins prospect Luis Rivas (F/A) reached on a force attempt on throwing error by Aragua first baseman Mike Aviles (Kansas City). Mora would come home on the play, leaving 2 men on. Following a line out by Juan Rivera (LA Angels), Bonilla would issue an intentional walk to Jorge Cortes (Cubs) to load the bases. A single by Jesus Flores would bring in Hidalgo and Rivas before Bonilla could get the last 2 outs to end the inning.

Magallenes starter Geremi Gonzalez (F/A) would keep the Tigres off the board for six innings, limiting them to 4 hits. With one out, Aviles drew a walk in the bottom of the 7th. Alex Romero (Arizona) would follow that up with a triple to put the Tigres on the board. A sac fly by Luis Maza (LA Dodgers) would bring in Romero, but would be all the Cats could manage.

Twins prospects Oswaldo Sosa and Yohan Pino worked an inning a piece, allowing 1 hit each in relief. Bobby Korecky worked 2 more, allowing 1 hit and striking out 1. Jose Mijares struck out the 1 batter he faced in the top of the 9th.

Miguel Cabrera (Detroit) as 1-for-4, batting 3rd and playing 3rd base. Alex Rodriguez (San Diego) was 1-for-3 with a walk. Romero was 1-for-4 with a run and an RBI and Maza was 1-for-2 with a triple, as well as an RBI.

Rivas was 0-for-4 with a run for los Navegantes. Former Miracle Erold Andrus (Tampa Bay) replaced Mora in center field late in the game, but did not bat.

Aragua takes Friday off, and hosts los Caribes de Angoategui on Saturday for a 5:30 PM AST game.

Tigres de Aragua

Evidently the Tigres Development League was crown champion of the 2007 tournament, defeating los Leones developmental team by sweeping the best of three series. Twins catching prospect Wilson Ramos had a home run in the second game of the series. Ramos' power was stressed as being vital to the team in securing the championship. Tigres

I was looking for some kind of playoff schedule for the Venezuelan Winter League Championship, but evidently the other three teams who will be participating in the round robin style tournament have yet to be determined.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Collazo, Sharks dominate Cats

vs los Tiburones
Photo courtesy of los Tigres de Aragua

Aragua 1 at La Guaira 4

W: W. Collazo (3-2, 3.02); L: H. Estrada (3-3, 2.45); SV: F. Rodriguez (6)
HR: LAG: O. Salazar (7).

Having made it into the playoffs, the Cats fell back to their old ways Sunday, managing only 5 hits off los Tiburones de La Guaira. Sharks starter Willie Collazo (NY Mets) worked 8 innings, allowing 1 earned run on 4 hits while striking out 3.

Los Tigres lone run came in the top of the second when Ruben Salazar (F/A) singled, then made his way over to 3rd on a Raul Chavez (Pittsburgh) single. Luis Maza (LA Dodgers) hit a sac fly to bring him in.

Hector Estrada (F/A) pitched the first 3 innings for Aragua in fine form, but fell apart in the 4th, pitching to 7 batters and not managing to get an out.

Los Tiburones started out that inning with a home run by Oscar Salazar (Baltimore). Ruben Mateo (Milwaukee) and Ron Acuna (F/A) both singled before Jorge Velandia (Pittsburgh) reached on a force attempt. A throwing error by Estrada saw Mateo and Acuna across the plate on the play, making it 3-1 Sharks. Edwin Bellorin (Colorado) then singled in Velandia to make it 4-1.

The bleeding may have continued as Liu Rodriguez (F/A) and Gregor Blanco (Atlanta) hit back-to-back singles before field manager Buddy Bailey called for a pitching change, bringing in Minnesota's Yohan Pino, who got Danny Sandoval (Philadelphia) to fly out and Alex Sanchez (Chicago White Sox) to double out at first.

Miguel Cabrera (Detroit) was 0-for-2 working as designed hitter in the clean up spot. Former Rochester Red Wing Luis Rodriguez (San Diego) was 2-for-4, while Maza finished up 0-for-2.

Pino would work 2 innings, striking out 1. Jose Mijares (Minnesota) worked 1 in and also struck out one.

The league now takes a 2-day break for the holidays. Los Tigres de Aragua do not play again until Thursday when they host los Navegantes del Magallanes for a 7:30 PM AST game.

Tigres de Aragua

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Tigres back in win column, and in playoffs

Photo courtesy of los Tigres de Aragua

La Guaira 4 at Aragua 6

W: H. Bonilla (1-1, 2.54); L: N. Acosta (0-1, 3.12); SV: F. Butto (15)
HR: ARA: M. Aviles (6).

Los Tigres de Aragua bounced back in front of a home town crowd Saturday, taking a 6-4 win over the visiting Tiburones de La Guaira.

Aragua opened the scoring in the bottom of the first. with one out, Ronny Cedeno (Chicago Cubs) was hit by a pitch. A throwing error by Nibaldo Acosta (Arizona) on the pick off attempt saw Cedeno to 2nd. Miguel Cabrera (Detroit) hit for a single, but moved to 2nd on the throw, which also scored Cedeno. Hector Gimenez (Houston) drew a talk before Mike Aviles (Kansas City) doubled to bring in Cabrera.

Los Tiburones took one back in the top of the 2nd with Jorge Velandia (Pittsburgh)and Edward Bellorin (Colorado) hitting back-to-back singles off starter Henry Bonilla (LA Angels). Following a line out by Liu Rodriguez (F/A), Gregor Blanco (Atlanta) hit a sac fly to bring in Velandia.

The Tigres added an insurance run in the bottom of the 3rd, with Aviles going yard over the center field wall.

Bonilla would work six innings for the Tigres, allowing the one run on six hits and three walks while striking out 3.

The Cats would add two more runs to their total in the fifth. Following a ground out by Cedeno, Cabrera singled and moved to 2nd on a while pitch. Gimenez then doubled him in, and a second double by Aviles pushed Gimenez over the plate. Kendy Batista (Texas) would come in to replace Acosta at that point for La Guaira, getting a pair of former Miracle, Alex Romero (Arizona) and Luis Maza (LA Dodgers), to ground out to end the inning.

Jose Guanchez (F/A) replaced Bonilla on the mound at the top of the 7th and promptly allowed a double to Blanco. Denny Sandoval (Philadelphia) and Alex Sanchez (Chicago White Sox) hit back-to-back singles with scored Blanco. Following a pitching change that saw Minnesota's Oswaldo Sosa take over the mound, Oscar Salazar (Baltimore) then doubled to bring the runners. Sosa would get the next three batters out however, ending the Sharks rally.

The Tigres found their final run of the evening in the bottom of the inning, when Cedeno singled then stoled 2nd base. Cabrera's single plated him, to make it 6-4 Aragua.

Cabrera, who played 3rd base, finished up the game 3-for-4 at the plate with 2 runs and 2 RBIs. Luis Rodriguez (San Diego) was 0-for-5 in the lead off position. Romero and Maza were both 0-for-4.

Sosa worked 1 inning allowing 1 hit and strike out 2.

The win puts the Tigres four game behind Caribes de Anzoategui with four games left to play. The two teams rematch on Sunday at 4:00 PM AST before the league takes a 3-day holiday break.

The win on Saturday combined with a twin bill sweep of los Aguiles de Zulia by los Cardenales de Lara puts the Tigres into the round-robin style playoffs for their sixth consecutive season.

Tigres de Aragua