The Dominican Winter League Championship Series heated up a bit in Game 3, as Escogido busted out the hits with 22. Outfielder Fernando Martinez (Mets) blasted a three-run homerun and finished the game 6-for-6 with five RBIs as Escogido pounded Gigantes 13-4. DH Willis Otanez doubled and drove in three runs and infielder Joaquin Arias (Rangers) went 4-for-6 with two runs scored to help pace Escogido. Nelson Figueroa went 6.2 innings allowing 1 run on six hits while striking out six. The lone run he allowed came off the bat of Wilson Betemit (who drove in all four of Gigantes runs). Escogido scored nine runs in the eighth and ninth innings off of three Gigantes relievers. Escogido shrunk Gigantes lead to 2-1 in the series.
In Game 4, it was again about pitching. Edward Valdez went six innings allowing two runs on five hits while striking out four to lead Escogido to a 3-2 victory. The bullpen for Gigantes pitched 5.1 no-hit innings to keep them in the game, with Philadelphia Phillies left-hander Antonio Bastardo going two innings with three strikeouts. The victory tied the best-of-nine championship series at 2-2. Arias again provided offense as he hit a two-run homerun to pace the Escogido offense.
In Puerto Rican Winter League action, Arecibo tied their semifinal series with Mayaguez 1-1 on the arm of Mike Smith, who went six innings allowing five hits and no runs while striking out four. In the 6-0 win, infielder Edwin Maysonet (Astros) went 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored to raise his playoff batting average to .625. League MVP Michel Abreu (who is a free agent) had three hits and third baseman D’Angelo Jimenez added two hits and an RBI. The next day required a double-header due to earlier postponements and Mayaguez swept the double-header winning 7-1 in Game 1 and 3-2 in Game 2. This increased Mayaguez’s semifinal series lead to 3-1 over Arecibo in the best-of-seven series. In Game 1, Brodie Downs (Mariners) went five innings allowing one run on just two hits. Reliever Pete Parise followed that up with two no-hit innings to close out the win. Being down 1-0 after the first inning, Mayaguez plated seven runs in the top of the sixth inning to take over the game. Offensively, Mayaguez was led by Mexican League veterans Donny Leon and Edwards Guzman, who both had two-run doubles. In Game 2, Mayaguez busted out 12 hits, with four players having multi-hit games. Ruddy Lugo went five innings allowing one run on three hits while striking out two for Mayaguez.
Game 3 for Caguas and Carolina lasted ten innings until Luis Figueroa singled and scored on an Aaron Bates (Red Sox) single in the top of the tenth to give Caguas a 2-1 win. Eddy Martinez-Esteve (Giants) drove in Caguas’ first run in the seventh to tie the game at 1-1 and Bates finished with two hits. Hector Mercado went five innings allowing a run on just two hits while striking out six. For Carolina, Carlos Castillo went six shutout innings allowing just two hits while striking out four. Game 4 went to Carolina 7-3, which evened the best-of-seven semifinal series at 2-2. After being down 3-2, Carolina stormed back in the later innings, scoring five runs from the fifth inning on. Carolina’s Andy Gonzalez went 3-for-4 with a solo homerun. Outfielders Armando Rios and Bradley Coon contributed 2 hits a piece for Carolina, with Rios scoring two runs. For Caguas, Martinez-Esteve continued his hot-hitting, going 2-for-5.