In the two semifinal games last night in the Venezuelan Winter League, the winning teams took a three games to one lead in each series. Both teams are going for the series victories tonight.
In Lara’s 5-3 victory over La Guaira, a KC Royal proved to be the hero. With two outs and two runners on base in the top of the ninth, centerfielder Paulo Orlando made his first hit of the game a memorable one. He took the down and away pitch to left field for a two-run double to give Lara the lead.
In the loss, shortstop Alcides Escobar batted sixth and went 1-for-4 with a run scored. However, he struck out three times, including in the 8th inning with two runners on base. Esky also struck out in the 6th with two on and nobody out. He singled and scored in the fifth.
In the other game, Zulia beat Caribes, 5-2. Zulia looks to win the series at home. Last night, they had close to 17,000 in attendance.
Over in the Dominican Winter League, Aguilas improved to 13-4 in the round robin format, beating Escogido, 4-0.
Free agent Angel Franco started for Aguilas at third base, though he later moved to second base. He went 3-for-4 with three doubles at the plate.
Licey beat Gigantes, 10-1. In the win, lefty Tim Hill stranded a runner in the 7th inning, inducing two ground outs around a wild pitch. Free agent John Lannan pitched a scoreless ninth for Licey (two ground outs and a strikeout).
The standings now look like this with one more game to play:
- Aguilas 13-4
- Licey 8-9
- Gigantes 8-9
- Escogido 5-12
*Game 3 in the Clemente League finals is tonight.