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Puerto Rico Beats Dominican Republic to Open Second Round of World Baseball Classic

Puerto Rico Beats Dominican Republic to Open Second Round of World Baseball Classic

Posted by PanamericanWorld on March 15, 2017

Breaking down Tuesday’s Pool F game of the World Baseball Classic between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico 3, Dominican Republic 1

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The gameFinally, it happened.

The Dominican Republic, the defending WBC champs, actually lost a game for the first time in eight years. The DR had won 11 consecutive games in this tournament, and hadn’t lost to Puerto Rico since 2006, but this time simply couldn’t generate offense from their star-studded lineup.

The Dominican Republic, which entered the game hitting .342 with a .955 OPS, scoring 26 runs in their first three games, managed just six hits. They were held scoreless after Nelson Cruz’s leadoff homer in the second inning.

Puerto Rico, who entered the game with a 1.80 ERA, continued its pitching dominance. They relied on a slew of no-name pitchers, including starter Hector Santiago, who pitches for the Lamigo Monkeys of the Chinese Professional Baseball League.

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State of Pool F: This was a huge victory for Puerto Rico, which puts them in driver’s seat for one of the two berths that will emerge from this pool that will play in the semifinals next week in Los Angeles. They won’t play again until Friday against the United States. They now can sit back and hope that underdog Venezuela knocks off the United States, which would further strengthen their bid to return to the finals.

Puerto Rico will start Seth Lugo against Marcus Stroman.

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Pivot point: The Dominican Republic looked like they were going to blow the game open in the first inning when Puerto Rico starter Orlando Roman, who pitches for the Lamigo Monkeys of the Chinese Professional Baseball League, allowed the first three batters to reach base. Jean Segura led off with a walk, followed by a double by Manny Machado, and he walked Robinson Cano, loading the bases for Jose Bautista.

Bautista struck out on a check swing for the first out. Carlos Santana then hit a ball to right field, which appeared it would be good enough for a sacrifice fly, only for right fielder Eddie Rosario to have other ideas.

Rosario caught the ball, fired a perfect strike to catcher Yadier Molina, who easily tagged out Jean Segura for the inning-ending double play.

Molina then drove in the first run of the game with a two-out single up the middle, scoring Francisco Lindor, giving Puerto Rico a lead they never gave up.

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