Winter Ball Roundup: First Place In Puerto Rico Will Be Decided Tonight; Wild Card Games On Horizon in LVBP, LBPRC

Greg Bird of the New York Yankees runs up the line shouting after hitting a home run as fans cheer in the 7th inning in game 3 of the American League division series against the Cleveland Indians on Oct. 8, 2017. Bird is leading the Australian Baseball League in home runs this season. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)

Staff Reports
World Baseball Network

The Estrellas Orientales topped the Tigres del Licey 4-1 in the LIDOM Round Robin playoffs to improve to 2-0.

Dairon Blanco’s two-run homer in the third inning gave the Estrellas a 2-0 lead, with Lewin Diaz and Robinson Cano driving in insurance runs in the sixth. Andy Otero went five innings, allowing four hits, one run, and striking out six to earn the win.

The Tigres del Licey fell to 1-1 with the loss.

Leones del Escogido 6, Gigantes del Cibao 0 – Jonathan Guzman’s sixth-inning sacrifice fly allowed Franchy Cordero to score, and then a throwing error by Gigantes center fielder Leury Garcia allowed Yairo Munoz to come home for a 3-0 Leones lead.

The Leones improved to 1-1 behind 5.2 shutout innings of four-hit ball from Tyler Alexander, who was claimed off waivers by the Tampa Bay Rays from Detroit after the end of the Major League Baseball season.

The Leones face the Gigantes tonight at 7 p.m. EST, and the Estrellas face the Tigres at 7:30 p.m. EST. All LIDOM games are streamed on MLB.tv with a subscription.

Aguilas del Zulia Win, Earn Spot In LVBP Wild Card Series – An 8-3 win on Thursday night earned the Aguilas del Zulia a berth in Friday night’s LVBP Wild Card Series in Maracay against the Tigres de Aragua.

The Aguilas exploded for five runs in the bottom of the first, with Ali Castillo hitting a lead-off home run to center field. Jose Pirela’s RBI triple gave Zulia a 2-0 lead before the Tigres had retired a batter. Rougned Odor added a homer of his own in the bottom of the fifth as the Aguilas soared to victory.

Friday’s Wild Card Series game will start at 7 p.m. EST, and all LVBP games are streamed live on Beisbolplay.com with a paid subscription.

A Deadlock Atop the LBPRC Standings – The Indios de Mayaguez swept a doubleheader from the first-place Cangrejeros de Santurce and the Leones de Ponce’s 2-0 win against the Criollos de Caguas on Thursday propelled the two teams into a tie atop the LBPRC standings heading into the final game of the regular season.

Friday’s slate contains the final games of the regular season. Santurce will face Carolina while Ponce will face Mayaguez. at 7:45 p.m. EST. Caguas will face RA12 at 7:10 EST.

All LBPRC games are streamed live on the league’s facebook page.

Cardinals C Ivan Herrera Will Play For Panama at Caribbean Series – St. Louis Cardinals catcher Ivan Herrera confirmed he will play for Panama at the Caribbean Series in Miami.

Herrera will play in Panama’s ProBeis league in January in order to secure eligibility for the event.

The native of Panama City hit .297/.409/.351/.760 in 13 games with St. Louis in 2023. He played in seven games at the 2023 Caribbean Series in Caracas for Panama, batting .250/.438/.333 with six hits and two RBI.

Former Yankee Greg Bird Leads ABL In Homers – Former New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird hit his league-leading seventh homer for the Melbourne Aces Friday, a tape-measure shot to right field that gave the Aces a 5-1 lead over Adelaide.

Bird’s Major League career was hampered by injury, and he appeared in just 10 games in 2019, his final season with New York, batting .171/.293/.257 with six hits.

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