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With seven saves, Rodney key to D.R.'s run

The final game of the World Baseball Classic ended like every other for the Dominican Republic -- with closer Fernando Rodney and his teammates pointing to the sky as part of the closer's unique victory celebration.

Rodney pitched around an error in a scoreless ninth inning to preserve the Dominicans' 3-0 victory over Puerto Rico in Tuesday's championship game. It was the seventh save of the tournament for Rodney, who was on the mound to finish each of the Dominicans' eight Classic victories.

After Mike Aviles reached on an error to start the ninth on Tuesday, Rodney forced Alex Rios to pop out before striking out Carlos Rivera and Luis Figueroa back-to-back to kick off the Dominicans' on-field celebration.

Rodney notched a save in each of the Dominicans' final seven games, going without a save in only the club's tournament-opening 9-3 victory over Venezuela. Even then, Rodney pitched a scoreless ninth inning in a non-save situation.

Rodney, the only Dominican pitcher to appear in all eight games, finished the Classic allowing just one hit while striking out eight and walking three over 7 1/3 shutout innings.

Paul Casella is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella.
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