13-12-2, 4.0 GB
With a four-game deficit and only five games remaining, Surprise looks unlikely to participate in the Fall League's championship game on November 20.
Peoria put the game out of reach almost instantly by plating nine runs in the bottom of the first inning.
Right fielder Joey Butler (.220/.278/.400) went 2-for-4 with a triple. Four of Butler's 11 knocks with the Rafters have gone for extra bases.
Catcher Jose Felix (.341/.356/.432) batted ninth and singled once in four trips. Felix has hit safely in 10 of his 11 Fall League contests, including each of the last nine.
Reliever Adalberto Flores didn't show many control issues at Double-A Frisco this season when he walked 20 batters in 60.1 innings. But the 6-foot-7 right-hander has walked 12––while yielding 14 hits––in just 9.1 frames with Surprise.
Flores worked 1.2 innings on Friday, giving up a run on three hits and three walks. He also struck out three.
Control also became a sudden issue for Flores when he pitched for Ponce in the Puerto Rican Winter League last year, as he issued 11 free passes in his first 10.1 innings.
Tiburones designated hitter Max Ramirez raised his average to .273 with a pair of singles in four at-bats.
Infielder Renny Osuna saw action as a pinch runner in the seventh inning. He went to third base and laid down a sacrifice bunt in his only at-bat. Osuna is back up to the big club after spending a few games in Liga Paralela, where he went 5-for-16 with a double and two triples.
Lefty Joe Ortiz suffered the loss in a game where La Guaira used nine different pitchers. Ortiz yielded a run on a hit in one-third of an inning.
Leadoff hitter and center fielder David Paisano had a big day at the plate for La Guaira. The 22-year-old was 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, and a stolen base. Paisano is now 9-for-30 (.300) with three doubles and three walks since going down to Liga Paralela.
Caracas shortstop Edwin Garcia singled twice in four trips, making him 4-for-11 on the season with a pair of free passes.
Licey's Engel Beltre entered the game in the eighth inning as a pinch runner for veteran outfielder Timo Perez. The prospect, who didn't get a plate appearance, went to left field for the top of the ninth inning.
Third baseman Esteban German recently became a free agent when the Rangers outrighted him off the 40-man roster. The 32-year-old batted leadoff in his 2010 winterball debut for the Toros del Este and was 1-for-2 with a two-run homer, a pair of walks, and two stolen bases.
Mike Ballard (1.86 ERA/.191 BAA) picked up the four-inning save for Caguas. The southpaw came on in relief of starter Shota Oba and yielded two runs, scattering five hits. He walked one and struck out two.
In 19.1 innings this season, the 26-year-old has surrendered four earned runs on 13 hits, walking only three and striking out 18.
The save was perhaps the first of Ballard's life. He doesn't have any saves in 128 professional appearances (103 starts), and he started all 38 games of his collegiate career.
The circuit has begun its 2010 campaign, but there will be no Rangers players participating this season.
Subscribe to LoneStarDugout.com today! Only $79.95 brings you one full year of Total Access Pass and all premium content on LoneStarDugout.com, Scout™ Player and Roster Database (including the 'Hot News' at the top of the site), Breaking News and Information, Total Access to all Scout.com Websites, and Player Pages, detailing the progress and careers of players from high school, the minors, and the pro ranks.
Sample the LoneStarDugout.com Total Access Pass™ at no risk for 7 days, then pay only $7.95 or $21.95. If you want to save 2 months off the monthly subscription price, simply choose the annual LoneStarDugout.com Total Access Pass™ at $79.95.