FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Cardinals right-hander Carlos Martinez, who started the Dominican Republic's World Baseball Classic opener against Canada last week, will start for the defending Classic champs against Puerto Rico at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday to open Pool F play in San Diego, according to a tweet by
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Cardinals right-hander Carlos Martinez, who started the Dominican Republic's World Baseball Classic opener against Canada last week, will start for the defending Classic champs against Puerto Rico at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday to open Pool F play in San Diego, according to a tweet by USA TODAY's Jorge Ortiz.
It was originally listed that Twins right-hander Ervin Santana would start, but Ortiz reported that Team Dominican GM Moises Alou said via text that it will be Martinez. MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi tweeted that Santana will face Team USA on Saturday at 10 p.m. Both games will be live on MLB Network/MLB.TV. Santana had declined an earlier invitation to pitch for his native country in the first round of WBC 2017, but left for San Diego on Monday to join the team. Santana is replacing Brewers right-hander Wily Peralta on the roster.
"I think he was really excited," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "My gut is that those players on those teams probably talk a lot. Besides just management people, I think players reached out to him, saying, 'Come on, man. Let's have some fun.'"
:: 2017 World Baseball Classic ::
Santana is the third Twins starter to leave for the World Baseball Classic, as left-hander Hector Santiago and right-hander Jose Berrios both pitched for Team Puerto Rico over the weekend.
Santiago threw 2 2/3 innings in relief, allowing three runs (one earned) on four hits with three strikeouts against Team Mexico on Saturday, while Berrios picked up the win against Team Italy on Sunday, giving up three runs on two hits over five innings with six strikeouts.
The World Baseball Classic runs through March 22. In the U.S., games air live exclusively in English on MLB Network and on an authenticated basis via MLBNetwork.com/watch, while ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN provide the exclusive Spanish-language coverage. MLB.TV Premium subscribers in the U.S. have access to watch every tournament game live on any of the streaming service's 400-plus supported devices. The tournament is being distributed internationally across all forms of television, internet, mobile and radio in territories excluding the U.S., Puerto Rico and Japan. Get tickets for games at Tokyo Dome and Petco Park, as well as the Championship Round at Dodger Stadium, while complete coverage -- including schedules, video, stats and gear -- is available at WorldBaseballClassic.com.
Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, **Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter [@RhettBollinger](https://twitter.com/RhettBollinger)** and listen to his podcast.