Surprise second baseman Davis Stoneburner (.314/.359/.571) continued to impress offensively on Thursday, as he went 3-for-5 with a double and a run batted in. The 25-year-old infielder now has five extra-base hits in his first 12 AFL contests after belting 48 in 103 games at High-A Bakersfield this season.
Right fielder Joey Butler (.206/.270/.324) was hitless in four at-bats, striking out twice and drawing one walk.
Reliever Fabio Castillo worked a clean seventh inning in the losing effort. He fanned one batter and retired all three hitters he faced on 14 pitches.
After making a couple relief appearances, righty Guillermo Moscoso got the start for Caracas. Though the Leones lost the game, Moscoso hurled four scoreless innings, giving up two hits, walking one, and striking out three.
The 26-year-old threw 36 of his 54 pitches for strikes, and he recorded eight groundouts versus only one flyout.
La Guaira catcher and cleanup hitter Max Ramirez singled once in four trips in his club's 3-1 loss. His batting average now sits at .298 through 13 games in Venezuela.
Tiburones lefty specialist Joe Ortiz retired both hitters he faced, getting one flyout and one strikeout.
Liga Paralela is, essentially, the minor leagues of Venezuelan winterball. It is where the younger players craft their skill and older, more experienced players shake off the rust before going up to the big club.
La Guaira leadoff hitter David Paisano singled once in three trips as his team was shut out and held to just three knocks in the seven-inning affair. Shortstop Renny Osuna was hitless in two trips.
Left-hander Edwin Escobar, who was traded to San Francisco in exchange for Ben Snyder this past spring, logged 1.1 scoreless frames for Lara. The 18-year-old had a 4.86 ERA with 69 strikeouts in 63 innings at short-season Salem-Keizer this season.
Licey's Engel Beltre got his first at-bat of the Dominican Winter League season when he entered as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning. The 21-year-old prospect grounded out to first base. Infielder Andres James pinch hit two batters later and struck out swinging. Beltre entered as a DH while James went to shortstop for the final frame.
Both James and Beltre were facing Rangers right-hander Pedro Strop, who was also making his winterball debut. The hard-throwing reliever tossed a scoreless, hitless inning, walking one and striking out one.
Kasey Kiker started a five-hour, 13-inning marathon, though he was gone long before the game was decided. The left-hander yielded only an unearned run in 3.2 innings. He scattered three hits while walking three and striking out two.
Kiker remained a bit erratic even with the strong results. In addition to the three walks, his throwing error allowed a runner to reach third base, and the runner scored on a two-out wild pitch.
Through three outings, the 22-year-old has logged 7.1 frames and given up two earned runs, walking four and fanning seven.
The circuit has begun its 2010 campaign, but there will be no Rangers players participating this season.
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