DR clinches spot in Caribbean Series final
HERMOSILLO, Mexico -- Down two to Mexico's Yaquis de Obregon in Tuesday's eighth inning, the Dominican Republic's Leones del Escogido scored seven runs, propelling them to an 11-6 victory to clinch a spot in Thursday's Caribbean Series championship game at Estadio Sonora.
Thanks to that big frame -- sparked by a two-out, bases-loaded walk by Luis Jimenez, a two-run single by Abraham Almonte, an RBI single by Julio Lugo and a three-run homer by Jose Ramirez -- Escogido is 4-1 and in good shape to notch its third title in four years.
Thursday's finale, which starts at 7 p.m. MT and is the first of its kind at the Caribbean Series, will pin Escogido against the team with the second-best record. In the previous format, which was strictly double-round robin play, they would've already been champions -- like last year, when they clinched with two days left.
Mexico, Venezuela and Puerto Rico are all 2-3 with one game left for each. The first tiebreaker to determine teams that advance to the final is head-to-head matchups; the second is run differential.
Earlier on Tuesday, Puerto Rico's Criollos de Caguas notched a second straight victory by beating Venezuela's Navegantes de Magallanes, 4-1. Efrain Nieves pitched five innings of one-run ball, Jesus Feliciano had three hits and Ramon Castro homered for the Criollos.