Royals farmhand comes up big for Puerto Rico
HERMOSILLO, Mexico -- Royals prospect and Puerto Rico native Rey Navarro picked a good time to come alive in this Caribbean Series.
At Estadio Sonora on Monday, with his team one loss away from being mathematically eliminated and facing an undefeated Dominican Republic powerhouse, the young infielder homered, had two hits, drove in four runs and finished as the hero.
When Navarro stepped to the plate for a big at-bat in the top of the eighth -- his Criollos de Caguas down two, with two outs and runners on second and third -- he was 1-for-10 in this series and had left seven runners on base in the game.
The 23-year-old switch-hitter then proceeded to line a game-tying single up the middle. Two innings later, Navarro gave his team its second lead of an ugly, back-and-forth game with a two-run homer to right-center field, propelling Caguas to a 6-4 victory and its first win in four tries.
The Dominican's Leones del Escogido, seeking back-to-back Caribbean Series titles, moved to 3-1 and will wait another day to clinch a spot in Thursday's championship game.
"In baseball, anything is possible," said Navarro, who batted .257 with four homers, 48 RBIs and 10 steals while playing mostly in Double-A last year. "We had lost three in a row and didn't receive the big hit, but today we played with a little more confidence and got the job done."