2 wild finishes, 1 rout highlight Day 3 of Caribbean Series
Day 3 of the Caribbean Series featured two bizarre one-run games and a 17-run rout, as Curaçao, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and host Venezuela each improved to 2-1 in the eight-team tournament on an eventful day in Caracas.
Here’s a recap of Saturday’s action:
Curaçao 1, Panama 0
The only run of this game came in the seventh inning, when with the bases loaded, Ray-Patrick Didder was hit by a Severino González pitch to force in a run. Fortunately for Curaçao, its pitching staff was lights-out, particularly the bullpen. Former MLB right-hander Jair Jurrjens, who posted a 3.58 ERA for the Braves from 2008-12, started for Curaçao and pitched 3 2/3 scoreless frames, though he gave up five hits and walked two batters while striking out one. From there, the bullpen threw 5 1/3 hitless frames, as Temesh Lourens (3 1/3 innings), Kevin Kelly (one) and Franklin Van Gurp (one) locked down the win to improve Curaçao to 2-1 and drop Panama to 1-2. Box score >
Dominican Republic 6, Puerto Rico 4
The D.R. jumped ahead early, scoring four runs in the first inning behind an RBI single from Ramon Hernandez, a two-run double by Mel Rojas Jr. and a Webster Rivas RBI single. Robinson Canó doubled home another run in the second to expand the lead to 5-1. Former Major League right-hander Esmil Rogers started and threw five solid innings for the D.R., giving up two runs on six hits, walking three and striking out two. Williams Jerez tossed two scoreless frames out of the bullpen and Fernando Abad pitched a scoreless eighth. Things got dicey for the D.R. in the ninth, when Jesús Liranzo was unable to close out the contest, walking the bases loaded. With two outs, Jairo Asencio was summoned from the bullpen and got Emmanuel Rivera to ground into a game-ending fielder’s choice, picking up his second save of the series. Box score >
Mexico 7, Colombia 6
The other one-run game on Saturday involved the same unusual play representing the difference -- as was the case in Curaçao’s 1-0 win over Panama, a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch accounted for the margin of victory. Roberto Valenzuela was plunked in the bottom of the ninth for a walk-off win that improved Mexico to 2-1. Each side put up two runs in the first, with Colombia successfully executing a double-steal of second and home, followed by an RBI double by Athletics No. 9 prospect Jordan Diaz in the top of the frame. In the bottom half, Valenzuela delivered an RBI double of his own and later scored on a Rodolfo Amador infield single.
Juan Uriarte gave Mexico the lead with a solo homer in the second, but that lead was erased by a four-run fifth for Colombia. Jesus Marriaga had an RBI single and two batters later, Andres Angulo launched a go-ahead three-run homer. A Diaz error in the eighth kept Mexico’s inning alive and led to three runs that tied the game -- Amador drove in two with a single, and the next batter, Orlando Pina, came through with a game-tying single to set up the walk-off hit-by-pitch. Box score >
Venezuela 20, Cuba 3
It was a hit parade for Venezuela, with nine players registering multiple hits and four totaling three or more hits on the night. José Rondón and Danry Vasquez led the way, each going 4-for-5 with a home run -- Rondón’s was a three-run shot in the eighth to give him a team-leading six RBIs, and Vasquez’s homer was a solo shot in the second. Wilfredo Tovar and Francisco Arcia each contributed three hits, and Venezuela totaled 25 hits overall in a rout that improved its record to 2-1 in the series. Right-hander Guillermo Moscoso started and threw six strong innings, yielding two runs on six hits while walking none and striking out eight in the victory. Box score >