Venezuela Update - four teams battle for three spots

The Venezuelan League is down to deciding the final five for the second round of action.  The only two teams to clinch a spot in the second round are La Guaira and Magallanes.  The two teams that have been eliminated are the Margarita Bravos and the Caracas Leones.  That leaves four teams for the final three spots.

The Aragua Tigres are a team on the brink of elimination.  First, they had to put up with the publicity of the Wilson Ramos kidnapping.  Now, ex-major leaguer Rosman Garcia was killed in a traffic accident on Thursday.  You can read about the accident here: http://texas.rangers.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20111229&content_id=26243716&vkey=news_tex&c_id=tex

Rosman was 1-0, 3.55, pitching in 16 games, four of them starts.  He had not pitched since before Christmas and had last appeared in the United States with the Bowie Bay Sox in 2007.  He last pitched in the major leagues in 2004.  The double header between Aragua and Zulia yesterday was postponed because of his death.  They will play a doubleheader today.

The Lara Cardenales are the other outlier, tied with Aragua in a battle for the final spot.  They beat Caribes 5-1, and now Caribes only has a game lead over Lara and Aragua.  Lara was led by the long ball with a 2-run homer from Johan Limonta and solo shots from Alcides Escobar and Guillermo QuirozAdalberto Mendez pitched four plus innings of no hit relief to pick up the victory.  He struck out six and walked one.

Magallanes clinched a spot with a 10-0 spanking of the eliminated Caracas team.  Caracas had just had their catcher Yorvit Torrealba suspended for the remainder of the season and probably for his career, so after being eliminated and having their catcher suspended, they were probably in no mood to play yesterday.  Magallanes scored eight in the third to put a fork in the game.  Eric Junge pitched six innings, giving up only three hits to the unmotivated bats of Caracas.

Both Aragua and Zulia need to play three games, while Caribes and Lara will play one.  Magallanes season is done, but they should be in since Lara has 31 losses to their 30 and that saves them from elimination.  If second place Zulia, who are ahead of Magallanes loses their last three games and Lara wins their game against Caribes today that would leave three teams with 31 losses.  They may need to play a couple more games to eliminate a team.

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