Big innings define Day 2 of Caribbean Series action

February 3rd, 2024
Puerto Rico's Danny Wirchansky displays emotion after striking out Mexico's Bobby Bradley to end the eighth inning. (AP/Wilfredo Lee)

Following thrilling three games on Thursday, Day 2 of the Caribbean Series at loanDepot Park in Miami is in the books. Friday's action featured a pair of taut contests, excellent relief pitching and a big sixth inning that propelled one team to 2-0 in the tournament.

Here’s a recap of the day’s action:

Dominican Republic 5, Nicaragua 4

The Dominican Republic got into the win column to even its record at 1-1 for the tournament, sending Nicaragua to 0-2 for the Series. It was a sloppy contest, with three errors between the teams -- two of which directly led to runs for the opposition.

RBI singles by Cheslor Cuthbert and Omar Mendoza in the fourth inning put Nicaragua ahead, 3-1. Two innings later, clinging to a 3-2 lead, Nicaragua's Emmanuel Garcia launched a solo homer for a bit of insurance, expanding the lead to 4-2.

But the Dominican Republic chipped away. In the seventh, Robinson Canó scored on a throwing error by Nicaraguan catcher Melvin Novoa, slicing Nicaragua's lead to 4-3. In the pivotal eighth, Emilio Bonifácio tied the game with a triple, then Ramon Hernandez drove in the go-ahead run with an infield single, putting the Dominican ahead, 5-4. Relievers J.C. Mejía and Jairo Asencio each tossed a scoreless inning to seal the win.

Panama 7, Curaçao 3

A three-run sixth inning was the difference in this contest for Panama (1-0) -- Jean Arnaez delivered an RBI double, and two batters later, Ricardo Cespedes singled home Arnaez and Johan Camargo, who had been hit by a pitch earlier in the frame. That gave the Federales de Chiriqui a 5-1 lead.

Iván Herrera added a solo homer in the seventh and an RBI single in the eighth to cap the scoring for Panama. It was part of a 3-for-4, three-RBI performance for Herrera.

Harold Arauz started for Panama and went four innings, giving up a run on four hits, walking four and striking out two. Fernando Perez (1 1/3), Ronald Ramirez (1 2/3) and Abdiel Saldana (2) combined for five strong innings out of the bullpen.

Wladimir Balentien went 3-for-4 with his second homer in as many games for Curaçao (1-1).

Allen Cordoba, center, high-fives his teammates following Panama's 7-3 victory over Curaçao. (AP/Lynne Sladky)

Puerto Rico 2, Mexico 0

Puerto Rico improved to 2-0 in the tournament with a shutout victory that dropped Mexico to 0-2.

Seven pitchers combined to shut down Mexico’s lineup. Puerto Rico's Alex Sanabia started and went three innings, striking out one and working around three hits. From there, Sanabia turned things over to the bullpen, which put together a stellar effort as six relievers combined to yield just one hit and one walk while striking out seven, four of those punchouts coming from Lincoln Henzman.

The hitting hero for the Criollos de Caguas was D-backs third baseman Emmanuel Rivera, who came through with a two-run single in the fifth inning.