In the upcoming Caribbean Series (which begins February 1st in Culiacan, Mexico), there are now just two spots remaining. Cuba has already claimed theirs. Last night, two more spots were claimed.
Zulia beat Lara in the best-of-seven Venezuelan Winter League Finals, winning the series four games to one. Zulia won last night, 5-2. Close to 20,000 fans were in attendance to see the celebration.
Zulia scored two runs in the bottom of the first on a Jose Pirela (San Diego) two-run home run and never looked back. They tacked on a run in the fifth and two more in the eighth. Former KC Royal Mario Lisson (Washington) drove in a run with a force out in the 8th inning and scored the final run on a single with two outs.
In the loss, centerfielder Paulo Orlando went 1-for-4 with a strikeout. Lara scored single runs in the seventh and ninth on solo home runs from Jesus Montero (Baltimore) and Carlos Rivero (Arizona).
Caguas beat Santurce in their best-of-nine Clemente League Finals last night. They won Game 8, 6-5 in 12 innings. In the walk off win, Henry Ramos (formerly of Boston) drove in the winning run in the bottom of the 12th inning with a two out single (after a two-base error kept the inning alive).
In the win for Caguas, shortstop Jack Lopez went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.
Over in the Dominican Winter League, Licey took a four games to two lead over Aguilas in the best-of-nine championship series. Licey won Game 6 last night, 5-2.
Licey scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth (Aguilas would score two in the ninth), with three of those runs scoring on home runs. Jorge Bonifacio pinch-ran in the 8th inning and scored on Mel Rojas Jr’s two-run homer (Rojas is now in the Atlanta organization).
In the loss, free agent Angel Franco pinch-hit in the eighth and doubled (he stayed in the game to play second base).
Game 7 will be played tonight at Aguilas.
*In Australian Baseball League news, despite not playing, Melbourne clinched the number one spot in the postseason and thus will await the winner of the semifinals. The Aces will play (and host) the ABL Championship Series.