Mexico, Venezuela are first-day winners

Updated: February 3, 2009, 10:00 PM ET
Associated Press

MEXICALI, Mexico -- Adrian Gonzalez drove in two runs and Mexico's Mazatlan Venados beat Puerto Rico's Ponce Lions 3-2 on Monday, the first day of the Caribbean Series.

The San Diego Padres slugger broke a 2-all tie in the seventh inning with a sacrifice fly against Puerto Rico reliever Todd Moser. Gonzalez's brother, Edgar, drove in the other run for Mexico.

Mexico starter Walter Silva and his Puerto Rico counterpart Giancarlo Alvarado each struck out 11.

In the series opener, Brad Knox pitched hitless ball into the seventh inning and Luis Maza drove in the decisive run in the ninth to help Venezuela's Aragua Tigers beat the Dominican Republic's Licey Tigers 3-2.

Knox did not allow a hit against the defending champions but was lifted with one out in the seventh after issuing his fifth walk. Washington Nationals infielder Ronnie Belliard homered on the first pitch by Venezuela reliever Yohan Pinto to tie the score 2-all.

Maza, who went 4-for-5 with two RBIs, drove in Ramon Castro with the go-ahead run against reliever Victor Marte.

Knox struck out five in a no-decision. The only no-hitter in Caribbean Series history was pitched by Thomas Fine in 1952 for Havana against Cerveceria Caracas.

Puerto Rico plays the Dominican Republic on Tuesday, and Mexico faces Venezuela.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press