Dominicans dominate Puerto Rico in winning WBC
San Francisco, CA, United States (4E Sports) – Dominican Republic remain undefeated in winning the World Baseball Classic over Puerto Rico, 3-0, unseating two-time defending champion Japan.
Robinson Cano, the Yankees second baseman who was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament, hit .469 (15-for-32) with four doubles, two homers, six RBIs and 25 total bases. His 15 hits set the record for most hits by anyone in a single Classic, surpassing the 13 knocked out by Japan’s Nobuhiko Matsunaka in 2006.
He can now can add the Classic gold to his 2009 World Series ring.
Rays closer Fernando Rodney recorded a Classic-record seventh save by pitching the ninth inning on Tuesday. Previously unheralded starter Samuel Deduno of the Twins finished 2-0 with 17 strikeouts and a 0.69 ERA after firing five innings of scoreless, two-hit ball and whiffing five against the Puerto Ricans.
Jose Reyes led off the bottom of the first with a double to right field and scored along with Cano on a double to right-center by Edwin Encarnacion as the Dominicans took the first lead of the much-anticipated championship game. They upped their lead to an insurmountable 3-0 on an RBI double in the fifth by Erick Aybar, who had a pair of hits on the night.
Puerto Rico tried to stage a rally with light rain falling in the seventh. Mike Aviles led off with a single and Alex Rios walked. But Pedro Strop came in and stopped the rally. He whiffed two and then Jesus Feliciano hit a foul pop that veteran Miguel Tejada caught crashing to the ground as he reached the bullpen.
Santiago Casilla pitched a scoreless eighth in front of his home Giants fans and Rodney finished off the Puerto Ricans, starting a wild celebration on the infield.
The Dominican Republic won its last five games by a total of 10 runs, including a 4-1 victory over the Netherlands in the semifinals.
“We stayed together as a team. We had good communication, good chemistry — that’s why we won everything. Like I said before, this win is going to go to the whole Dominican Republic,” said Reyes, the former Mets and Marlins shortstop who is now with the Blue Jays.
“This has to be right there on top of everything, even winning a gold medal in the Olympics,” said general manager Moises Alou.