GUADALAJARA, Mexico -- The Caribbean Series continued Monday at Estadio de Beisbol Charros de Jalisco, with games between Puerto Rico and Venezuela in the first game and Cuba and the Dominican Republic in the nightcap.GAME 1Puerto Rico scored eight runs in the first two innings to build a comfortable lead
GUADALAJARA, Mexico -- The Caribbean Series continued Monday at Estadio de Beisbol Charros de Jalisco, with games between Puerto Rico and Venezuela in the first game and Cuba and the Dominican Republic in the nightcap.
Puerto Rico scored eight runs in the first two innings to build a comfortable lead and cruise past Venezuela, 12-7.
With the victory, Puerto Rico (2-1) joins Cuba (2-0) and Venezuela (2-2) in the semifinals, which begins Wednesday. The Dominican Republic joined them with a win over Cuba on Monday night.
• Caribbean Series scoreboard
Puerto Rico third baseman David Vidal had two hits in the game, including a three-run home run to cap the four-run first inning. The club never looked back. Red Sox outfielder Rusney Castillo added a two-run home run in the second, and designated hitter Johnny Monell and Vidal each drove in a run later in the frame to push the lead to 8-0.
Puerto Rico was up by nine runs before Venezuela got on the scoreboard with two runs in the third inning.
Phillies Minor Leaguer Jesmuel Valentin and A's farmhand Anthony Garcia added back-to-back home runs in the eighth to give Puerto Rico a comfortable 12-3 lead.
• Caribbean Series info
Garcia had another big game. The outfielder went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and one RBI. He is sporting a .500 batting average after four games, with an OPS of 1.533.
PLAY OF THE GAME
A contest that was expected to be an evenly matched, low-scoring affair turned into a blowout after two innings. Vidal's three-run home run in the first inning set the tone for the game.
The Dominican Republic used a strong start from right-hander Bryan Evans and timely hitting to dominate Cuba, 7-1, on Monday night to advance to Wednesday's semifinals at Estadio de Beisbol Charros de Jalisco.
The team from the D.R. (2-1) joins Cuba (2-1), Puerto Rico (2-1) and Venezuela (2-2) in the next round. Mexico (0-3), which will conclude Caribbean Series play against the Dominican Republic on Tuesday night, has been eliminated from championship contention.
After scoring the first run of the game in the first inning on an Edwin Espinal, Junior Lake opened the Dominican lead with a two-run home run in the fifth. D.R. scored four more runs on five hits in the seventh inning to put the game away.
Meanwhile, Evans kept Cuba's potent offense in check for seven innings before yielding to right-hander Wirfin Obispo. His lone blemish was a solo home run by Cuba center fielder Roel Santos in the sixth.
Cuba will play Puerto Rico on Tuesday afternoon, while Venezuela has the day off.
Evans kept the Cuban hitters off-balance with a steady dose of fastballs with breaking pitches sprinkled in. He had outstanding command -- eight K's, zero walks -- in allowing one run on five hits in seven strong innings.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Lake's monstrous two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth sent the crowd into a frenzy and ignited the Dominican Republic's offense while deflating Cuba's confidence.
Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook.