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01/19/07 5:34 PM ET
Scutaro heats up in winter-ball playoffs
Señor Clutch hits .340 with pair of homers in five-game stretch
By Ryan McConnell / Special to MLB.com
For the first seven games of the Venezuelan Winter League playoffs, Marco Scutaro wasn't living up to his nickname, "Señor Clutch." Struggling in the field (four errors) and at the plate (.258 batting average), Scutaro was one of the reasons the Leones del Caracas went winless in their first seven postseason games. But Scutaro regained his swing in the past week, leading the Leones to three wins in five games. He's batting .340 with two homers and four RBIs after leading the league in batting (.368) and on-base percentage (.464) during the regular season. Scutaro is one of several A's sharpening their skills in various Winter Leagues. Here's how the rest performed: Venezuelan Winter League INF Gregorio Petit -- Petit has one hit in seven postseason at-bats for the Leones del Caracas. He batted .260 with two homers and eight RBIs in 75 regular-season at-bats. OF Charles Thomas -- Thomas hit .224 with one homer and 19 RBIs in 43 regular-season games for the Tiburones de La Guaira, who did not qualify for the playoffs. Dominican Winter League 1B/DH Daric Barton -- Barton hit .324 with a .447 on-base percentage in 74 regular-season at-bats for the Azucareros del Este. He's 2-for-11 with five strikeouts in three playoff games. OF Jason Perry -- After collecting four hits in 33 regular-season at-bats for the Azucareros, Perry has not made a playoff appearance. INF Alexander Valdez -- Valdez went 7-for-20 during the season for the Leones del Escogido, who did not qualify for the playoffs. Mexican Pacific League: 1B/DH Erubiel Durazo -- Durazo has one of the hottest bats in the Mexican Pacific League. The 31-year-old former Major Leaguer is hitting .343 with two homers and eight RBIs and a league-leading .489 on-base percentage to help the Naranjeros de Hermosillo win seven of 10 playoff games. Durazo batted .344 with 18 homers and 56 RBIs in 63 regular-season contests.
Ryan McConnell is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.