SAN DIEGO – (Wire Service Report) – For the first time in eight years, the Dominican Republic lost a game in the World Baseball Classic. Puerto Rico held the defending champion, who had won 11 straight in the tournament during an eight-year span since 2009, in check Tuesday night at Petco Park in San Diego and claimed a 3-1 victory in Pool F.
After a 404-foot lead-off home run by Nelson Cruz of the Seattle Mariners in the second inning, the Dominicans were held scoreless the rest of the way and finished with six hits. They came into the game batting .342 with 26 runs in their first three contests.
Puerto Rico used a collection of pitchers to silence the Dominican bats, led by Chinese Professional Baseball League starter Orlando Roman. He escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the first inning with help from Eddie Rosario of the Minnesota Twins, who threw out Jean Segura of the Mariners from right field on a fly ball.
Yadier Molina of the St. Louis Cardinals drove in Puerto Rico’s first run with a two-out single in the first inning that scored Francisco Lindor of the Cleveland Indians.
Rosario gave Puerto Rico a 2-1 lead in the fourth with an RBI double after Javier Baez of the Chicago Cubs reached second on a throwing error by third baseman Adrian Beltre of the Texas Rangers.
Molina capped the scoring with a solo shot — his second home run in the tournament — that gave the Puerto Ricans a 3-1 lead in the sixth. He is 5 for 12 with five RBIs and four runs scored in three games.
The Dominicans face a must-win game against Venezuela on Thursday. Puerto Rico plays the United States on Friday