Rangers right fielder Nelson Cruz made his 2012 winterball debut on Saturday, batting cleanup and playing DH for the Gigantes del Cibao. Cruz played the game's first eight innings––before being lifted for a pinch-runner––and went 0-for-3 with a walk. He flew out to right field twice and grounded back to the pitcher once.
As Cruz batted cleanup, Leury Garcia hit seventh and started the game at third base. Garcia, who moved to center field later in the contest, singled twice in four at-bats.
On the same day that he was officially acquired by the Rangers in the Michael Young deal, right-hander Lisalverto Bonilla pitched for Escogido. The 22-year-old reliever allowed a run in two-thirds of an inning, giving up a hit, walking a batter, and getting one strikeout. He also uncorked a wild pitch.
Bonilla has the following stat-line in 16 Dominican Winter League appearances this offseason––13.2 ip, 20 h, 11 r, 6 bb, 17 k. He's also inducing two groundouts per airout.
Aragua second baseman Yangervis Solarte (.278/.351/.409) went 2-for-5 with a double, his ninth in 31 LVBP games this season. Solarte also knocked home a run and struck out once.
Caracas leadoff hitter and shortstop Elvis Andrus went hitless once again, going 0-for-3, though he did draw a pair of walks. The 24-year-old Andrus is now without a hit in his first 15 official at-bats this season.
Lara's Guilder Rodriguez appeared as a pinch-runner in the top of the ninth inning. He was caught stealing at second base in his club's 4-3 loss to the Caribes.
As usual, Liga Paralela is not playing games during the weekend. They'll return to action on Monday afternoon.
Algodoneros de Guasave catcher Jose Felix raised his batting average to .350 by going 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and four runs batted in. Felix also gunned down Mochis' only attempted base stealer of the game.
Through 20 games this winter, Felix is now 21-for-60 (.350) with seven doubles. The walk he drew on Saturday was his first of the winterball campaign. He drew just five walks in 82 contests at Double-A Frisco during the regular season.
There were no games in Puerto Rico on Saturday.
Brisbane and Perth played a doubleheader on Saturday, and Bandits leadoff hitter Hirotoshi Onaka had his first rough day of the Australian Baseball League season. In the two contests, Onaka (.291/.435/.382 in 15 games) combined to go 0-for-6 with two walks and four strikeouts.
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