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Dominican exhibition a family affair for O's Pena

Special to MLB.com

SARASOTA, Fla. -- It was a delightful and memorable afternoon for Francisco Pena. The Orioles catcher had the opportunity to play against the Dominican Republic's World Baseball Classic team, managed by his father, Tony.

Four years ago, Pena was a member of the Dominican team that won the Classic, playing for his father, the former manager of the Kansas City Royals and current coach for the New York Yankees. The catcher played in two games.

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SARASOTA, Fla. -- It was a delightful and memorable afternoon for Francisco Pena. The Orioles catcher had the opportunity to play against the Dominican Republic's World Baseball Classic team, managed by his father, Tony.

Four years ago, Pena was a member of the Dominican team that won the Classic, playing for his father, the former manager of the Kansas City Royals and current coach for the New York Yankees. The catcher played in two games.

View Full Game Coverage

On Tuesday, Pena went 1-for-2 with a walk in the Orioles' 5-4 win in the exhibition vs. the Dominican Republic. He left after seven innings.

"I had fun, especially controlling the game the way I did it," Pena said.

Pena was teased by the Dominican players, all of whom he's familiar with.

"The guys, when they were coming to hit, they were like, 'Hey, you know us all, you've got to throw us fastballs,' they joked," Pena said.

"You guys don't throw me fastballs when I'm hitting," Pena retorted.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter was happy to see Pena play against his father's squad.

"It's a big moment for him," Showalter said.

Tony Pena had words for his son from the third-base dugout.

"He was telling me, 'You've got to let those balls go through,' all those balls in the dirt," Pena said. "I blocked a lot of balls today. He was very proud today. I know that."

Tony Pena has been in nearby Bradenton, Fla., with the Dominican team, and Francisco has gotten to spend some extra time with his father and mother this spring.

"He was very happy the way that I competed," Pena said. "We're going to talk about it at dinner tonight. He'll probably pick up the check."

Rich Dubroff is a contributor for MLB.com.

Baltimore Orioles, Francisco Pena