15-11-1, 1.5 GB
The Saguaros moved to within 1.5 games of first place after Friday's victory over the division-leading Peoria Javelinas.
Surprise first baseman Chris McGuiness (.315/.414/.534 in 20 games) batted cleanup and reached base twice–-with a single and a walk––in four plate appearances. He drove home three runs, giving him a league-leading 23 RBI in those 20 games.
Brett Nicholas, who was added to the Saguaros' roster prior to Friday's contest, appeared as a pinch-hitter for McGuiness in the eighth inning. He walked in his only plate appearance.
Nicholas, 24, was drafted by the Rangers as a catcher in the sixth round of the 2010 MLB Draft. But he played almost exclusively at first base this past season, when he posted a .285/.351/.413 slash line in 122 games at High-A Myrtle Beach.
Lefty reliever Jimmy Reyes surrendered his first run of the Arizona Fall League campaign while finishing the game. Reyes allowed a run in 1.1 innings, giving up a hit, walking one, plunking one, and striking out one.
Playing in his first Dominican Winter League game, Jurickson Profar got the start at second base and batted fifth. To the surprise of nobody, he came through with a big game-tying single in the eighth inning. Licey took the lead later in the frame.
Overall, Profar went 3-for-4 with a double in his debut.
Right fielder Engel Beltre, the league's leading hitter, raised his batting average to .400 with two singles in three at-bats. He also stole his second base and drove home a run.
Leonys Martin was 1-for-3 with a walk, a sacrifice bunt, and an outfield assist. The centerfielder gunned down a runner at third base.
Cibao leadoff hitter Leury Garcia (.271/.301/.443) singled once in four at-bats. He split his time between second base and third base during the game. Catcher Konrad Schmidt, who batted ninth for the Gigantes, walked twice before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the eighth inning. He did erase the game's only attempted base stealer against him.
The 28-year-old Schmidt has scuffled offensively in his 15 Dominican Winter League games thus far. The former Diamondbacks catcher is 7-for-44 (.159) without an extra-base hit. He's drawn three walks and whiffed 13 times.
No Rangers appeared in LVBP on Friday.
Tiburones first baseman and left fielder Jhonny Gomez singled four his only knock in four at-bats. Despite the relatively quiet performance on Friday, Gomez has carried his club's offense in 20 games played.
Through those 20 games, Gomez is 31-for-80 (.388) with three doubles and three home runs. He's also drawn seven walks, been plunked three times, and struck out just six times. His slash line currently stands at an impressive .388/.456/.538.
Magallanes third baseman Elio Castillo (.218/.306/.255) also went 1-for-4. Right-handed reliever Randol Rojas (5.19 ERA/.257 BAA) hurled a perfect eighth inning, getting two groundouts and a strikeout.
Joey Butler's Venados de Mazatlan played an 18-inning game on Friday that took nearly seven hours to complete. Butler played the entire game in right field, getting three singles, an intentional walk, and a hit-by pitch in eight plate appearances.
Mazatlan and Hermosillo went a combined 2-for-27 with runners in scoring position during the 18 frames, stranding 34 total runners on base.
Leones de Ponce catcher Jorge Alfaro had two of his club's four hits in their 7-1 defeat on Friday, as he went 2-for-4 with a double. Through his first two contests, the talented 19-year-old prospect has four hits in seven at-bats with a walk and two strikeouts.
DH Mike Bianucci (0/4, K) and first baseman Brandon Snyder (0/3, BB, K) both went without a hit. Bianucci had played in Thursday's season opener while Snyder was appearing in his first Puerto Rican Winter League game.
Batting leadoff for Brisbane, centerfielder Hirotoshi Onaka went 1-for-5 with a double. He also struck out once.
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