Note: This Victor Moreno is property of the Oakland A's, while the Cardinals' Victor Moreno did not play in the Caribbean Series. We apologize for any confusion. More details here.
Pitcher Victor Moreno helped his Caracas Leones, champion of
Venezuela, capture the 36th Caribbean Series championship Tuesday
night as they came back to defeat the Dominican Republic by the score of 5 to
4-3 in the top of the ninth, the 26-year-old righthander was called upon with
two Dominican runners in scoring position with one out and pitched out of the
jam. His teammates scored two runs of their own in the bottom of the frame for
the turnaround win.
took the Series with a perfect 6-0 record. The
finished in second at 4-2. Puerto Rico finished 2-4, while defending champion Mexico was shut out, with six losses.
Series came down to this final game. A win by the host Venezuelan team meant their first
Caribbean Series championship since 1989 while a loss would have led to a one-game
playoff between the same two squads on Wednesday.
a very good regular season in winter ball for the Aragua Tigres with an 11-3 record and an ERA
of 3.89. He fanned 33 in just 37 innings. In the Venezuelan playoffs, he was 1-1
with a 3.12 ERA, with ten strikeouts in 8-2/3 innings pitched.
selected to join the league champion Caracas Leones for the Caribbean Series and
was unscored upon in three appearances totaling 2-2/3 innings in the Series.
Moreno appeared in 49
games for Sacramento in
Oakland's system in 2005, where he was
selected to the Triple-A All-Star team. In fact,
Moreno looked to be in line for his
first-ever major league action, but Randy Flores' younger brother Ron received
the call-up to Oakland instead.
Moreno had joined the A's via the
Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft, having been taken from the Twins in
December, 2004. The veteran has also pitched in the Angels, Phillies and
Diamondbacks organizations since seeing his first professional action in 1999 at
the age of 19.
Orioles’ Miguel Tejada was at the
plate when the initial run came home on a damaging fielding error by Venezuelan
second baseman Marco Scutaro
(Oakland As) in the first inning. Tejada came around to score himself later in the frame. Jeremi Gonzalez (Mets) pitched well
overall, giving up these two unearned runs and two others in eight innings on
the mound for Venezuela.
Dominicans’ rightfielder Timo Perez
(White Sox) tried to make an ill-advised shoestring catch off Franklin Gutierrez (Cleveland) in right during the
sixth. As the ball shot underneath his glove and rolled to the track, Scutaro
and the Orioles’ new catcher Ramon Hernandez crossed the plate for
Venezuela to tie the game at 2-2. It
was scored a two-run triple. One run was charged to the starter,
Juan Cruz, and the Diamondbacks’ Jose Valverde was tagged with the
this has nothing to do with the game, it is a good indication how things go in
this environment. Between the sixth and seventh, a group of cameramen got into
some kind of dispute with security guards as both warring camps spilled onto the
field. They continued their disagreement on the field of play as players and
umpires looked on. Bizarre.
#9 hitter for the Dominican Republic, catcher Sandy Martinez (Mets), took the lead back two batters later with a solo home run, making the score 3-2 in the seventh. He had
also doubled earlier in the contest.
Former St. Louis', now Boston’s
Julian Tavarez pitched two perfect
setup innings for the Dominicans in the seventh and eighth to protect the slim lead. His cap was clean,
by the way.
and the Dominican Republic’s Jorge Sosa came on again to try to earn the save in the bottom of the ninth with the home crowd cheering
wildly against him. It was again bad for Sosa, as he blew his third save in five
opportunities in the Series, though it wasn’t all his fault this time.
Hernandez’ single started it. Boston’s
new shortstop Alex Gonzalez singled
home the tying run. However, he was caught off first when the relay home was cut
off. But, the Dominican infielders threw the ball away, allowing Gonzalez to get
back to first.
backup catcher Henry Blanco hit what looked to be a
very catchable ball that apparently was lost in the lights before it dropped between leftfielder Napoleon Calzado (Baltimore) and shortstop Erick Aybar (Angels) to "cap" the
improbable comeback. In fact, it looked as if the ball glanced off
Aybar’s head as he ran with his back toward the plate.
of fans stormed the field even before Gonzalez could cross the plate with the
Series-ending run for the Caracas Leones and the entire Venezuelan
Brian Walton can be reached via
email at email@example.com.
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