Caribbean Series 2017: Cuba gets the pitching in shutout over the Dominican Republic 4-0

February 2, 2017


Camilo Morejon of Cuba’s Granma celebrates a home run in the third inning, during a Caribbean Series game against the Dominican Republic’s Licey Tigers, in Culiacan, Mexico, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Luis Gutierrez)
Cuba 4, Dominican Republic 0

By Lewis Rubman

Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico–The Dominican Republic’s Licey Tigers didn’t play fundimentally souund baseball in the opening game of this years’s Caribbean Series and the Sorrel Horses from the Cuban province of Granma did. That and the stellar pitching of right handed starter, Lázaro Blanco, were the keys to Cuba’s victory

The first Cuban batter to face Licey’s starter, righty Ivan Piñeyro, laced a line drive to deep left field that Mel Rojas, Jr. misplayed into a triple. Two batters later, passed ball by Webster Rivas allowed the first Cuban run.

The Cubans tacked on three more in the top of the fifth when a walk to Carlos Benítez and singles to Frank Morejón loaded the bases with one out. At this point, right handed Edgar García came in to relieve Piñeyro. García’s first act was to throw a wild pitch that allowed Benítez to score Cuba’s second run moved the two other runners up a base. Roel Santos prompted drove them in with a double, and the score was 4-0.

Santos and Alexander Ayala led the Cubans with two hits each out of the seven that the Sorrels connected. Zolo Almonte and Webster Rivas did the same for the Tigers, who also hit safely seven times. Blanco went six and a third innings, giving up five hits, striking out six, and walking three batters to earn the win. Liván Moinelo covered the rest of the route, shutting out down the Dominicans on two hits and no walks while fanning two of the ten batters he faced. Piñeyro pitched four and a third innings and was chargedwith all of Cuba’s runs, all earned. The other Dominican ptchers were Edgar García, Leyson Séptimo, Ramon Ramírez, and Wirfin Obispo.

The Caribbean Series is a week-long carnival of baseball in which the champions of the most important Latin American winter leagues face each other for the crown of the Spanish-speaking baseball world. The teams and the countries they represent are the Alazanes (Sorrel Horses) de Granma, Cuba; Tigres (Tigers) of Licey, Dominican Republic; Aguilas (Eagles) de Mexicali, Mexico; Criollos (Creoles) de Caguas, Puerto Rico; and Aguilas (Eagles) del Zulia, Venezuela.

In the first five days of the tournament, each team plays two games against each rival and has one day off. On the sixth day, the second and third place teams play each other in the afternoon, and the first and fourth place teams duke it out in the evening. At 6:00 o’clock Pacific Time, of the last day of play, scheduled for February 7, the winners of those two games face each other for the championship.

Tonight’s contest will be between Puerto Rico and Mexico. Right hander Orlando Román is scheduled to start for Puerto Rico,while lefty Daniel Rodríguez is expected to toe the rubber for Mexico. At 2:00 o’clock tomorrow afternoon, Puerto Rico will return to take on Venezuela, with Mexico and the Dominican Republic following them at 7:00 o’clock. (All times are Pacific).





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