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2/4/08 Washington Nationals' Second Baseman Ronnie Belliard @ The Caribbean Series Pt. 2

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     Ronnie Belliard was 1 for 3 with a single and a run scored. Former Washington Nationals' starter Ramon Ortiz worked 6.2 shutout innings. Ortiz allowed 3 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5, and then handed the ball to White Sox' prospect Oneli Perez, Nationals' reliever Jesus "Everyday" Colome and D-Backs' righty Jailen Peguero, who closed out the game, giving the Tigres del Licey a 5-2 win over Liga de Beisbol Dominicano rivals Aguilas Cibaenas, as well as a 3-0 record and 1.0 game lead after the first phase of the round-robin CARIBBEAN Series.

     In the seventh inning, Belliard chased Aguilas Cibaenas' starter Fabio Castro, who has pitched in MLB for the Rangers and Phillies, but tonight took the loss to the Tigres after Belliard singled and scored on twenty-eight year old Kansas City Royals' catcher Matt Tupman's two-run double off Castro, starting a four-run frame Aguilas could not overcome.

     San Diego Padres' Triple-AAA prospect Yordany Ramirez hit a two-run HR to left off Aguilas' reliever Santiago Ramirez, who pitched briefly for the Nationals in 2006. Jesus "Everyday" Colome, called upon to close out a 5-0 Licey win, made things interesting, allowing three straight singles, including one to former Nationals' and new Yankees' infielder Bernie Castro, which loaded the bases and chased Colome, as the Aguilas rallied for two runs in the top of the ninth but fell short of the comeback.

     Dodgers' shortstop Rafael Furcal, Astros' shortstop Miguel Tejada, Royals' shortstop Tony Pena and Reds' infielder Edwin Encarnacion all connected for Aguilas Cibaenas in the losing effort.

     Belliard and the Tigres del Licey face Venezuelan Winter League Champion Tigres de Aragua tomorrow, (a team they beat 6-4) on Saturday, and then it's Licey vs the Yaquis de Obregon Wednesday, and Licey vs Liga de Beisbol Dominicano rival Aguilas Cibaenas again Thursday to close out the Caribbean Series, just seven days before Major League Baseball's Spring Training officially begins...

*Caribbean Series Links*

mlb.com's Jesse Sanchez's article, "Licey drops Aguilas in D.R. showdown":

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080204&content_id=2364504&vkey=news_mlb&fext=. jsp&c_id=mlb

Ramon Ortiz's career stats at baseball-reference.com:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/o/ortizra02.shtml

Oneli Perez's career stats at thebaseballcube.com:

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/P/oneli-perez.shtml

Fabio Castro's career stats at thebaseballcube.com:

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/C/fabio-castro.shtml

Matt Tupman's career stats at the baseballcube.com:

http://thebaseballcube.com/players/T/Matt-Tupman.shtml

Santiago Ramirez's thebaseballcube.com Game Log with the Nationals:

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/box/2006/players/ramis001_p.shtml

Tony Pena's career stats at thebaseballcube.com:

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/P/Tony-Pena.shtml

Bernie Castro's career stats at thebaseballcube.com:

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/C/Bernie-Castro.shtml

Edwin Encarnacion's career stats at baseballreference.com:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/e/encared01.shtml