WBC: Cano, Cruz shine as Dominican Republic edges Italy; Japan wins
Miami, FL, United States (4E Sports) – New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano homered and Nelson Cruz delivered the go-ahead run in the seventh as Dominican Republic rallied from a four-run deficit to beat Italy, 5-4, in Round 2 of the World Baseball Classic Tuesday at Marlins Park.
With the win, Dominican Republic advanced to the semifinal together with Japan, which beat Netherlands, 10-6, after scoring eight runs in the second inning.
The semifinal matchup will be determined after the final showdown between the United States and Puerto Rico.
The semifinal will be played March 17 to 18 in San Francisco.
Cano finished with three hits while Toronto Blue Jays’ Jose Reyes had two hits, including a solo homer in the third that got things going for the Dominican Republic. Cruz, who plays for the Texas Rangers, also had two hits.
Hanley Ramirez, Edwin Encarnacion and Carlos Santana contributed an RBI each for the Dominican Republic while Baltimore Orioles’ Pedro Strop (1-0) pitched a scoreless seventh to earn the win. Tampa Bay closer Fernando Rodney tossed a perfect ninth for the save.
Chris Colabello hit a three-run shot while Alex Liddi contributed an RBI sacrifice fly in the first inning.
Pat Venditte (0-1) was saddled with the loss after surrendering three hits and incurring three earned runs for the Italians.
Liddi jumpstarted the Italians’ four-run assault in the first inning with a sacrifice fly that brought Nick Punto home before Colabello hit a three-run homer against Dominican starter Edinson Volquez.
However, Dominican pitchers held the Italians to just a single hit the rest of the way while their hitters started to hit the mark.
In the third, Reyes hit a solo shot off Tiago DaSilva to put the Dominican Republic on the board. In the sixth, Cano homered against DaSilva, who finished his stint with five hits and two earned runs.
In the seventh inning, Reyes started the three-run inning with a one-out single. Erick Aybar followed with a single and Cano was credited with a single on a soft fly ball to short left field to load the bases.
Reliever Luca Panerati walked Encarnacion on four pitches, forcing in a run. Sweeney yielded a Hanley Ramirez sacrifice fly to center, pulling the Dominican Republic even at four before Cruz’s RBI that brought Cano home for the game-winning run.