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Puerto Rico's Rivera leaves with hamstring injury

MIAMI -- First baseman Carlos Rivera of Puerto Rico was removed from Saturday's World Baseball Classic game against the Dominican Republic because of left hamstring tightness.

Irving Falu entered the game as a pinch-runner after Rivera led off the third inning with a single, but team offiicials said the injury was a lingering problem and not the result of anything on Saturday. He is expected to be available in the Classic semifinals in San Francisco beginning on Sunday.

The removal of Rivera led to Puerto Rico manager Edwin Rodriguez juggling his infield in the bottom of the third. Falu went in at second base with Luis Figueroa moving from second to third and third baseman Andy Gonzalez moving to first.

Rivera, who played for Mexican League champion Vera Cruz last year, started all six games in Pool 2 of the World Baseball Classic, and was 3-for-11.

The 34-year-old Rivera was Pittsburgh's 10th-round pick in the 1996 First-Year Player Draft and spent time in the big leagues with the Pirates in 2003 and 2004, hitting .218 in 85 games. He has primarily played in the Mexican League since 2007, although he spent parts of 2009 and 2010 with an independent team in Wichita, Kan.

He is a career .313 hitter with 212 home runs and 1,050 RBIs in 1,688 Minor League games.

Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for

Puerto Rico, Carlos Rivera