Red Sox's Gonzalez leads Venezuela to victory

Updated: February 8, 2006, 5:17 PM ET
ESPNdeportes.com news services

MARACAY, Venezuela -- Boston Red Sox shortstop Alex Gonzalez was once again the center of a dramatic comeback for the Caracas Lions against the Licey Tigers, and this time it resulted in Venezuela's first Caribbean Series championship since 1989.

Three days after defeating the Tigers (Dominican Republic) with a three-run, ninth-inning home run in Game 6 of the round-robin tournament, Gonzalez tied the deciding game Tuesday against the Dominicans in the bottom of the ninth with a run-scoring single. And when Dominican shortstop Erick Aybar lost Henry Blanco's fly in the lights, Gonzalez scored from second base to give host Venezuela (6-0) the title.

The Dominicans (4-2) took a 3-0 lead off Venezuelan starter Jeremi Gonzalez, but Venezuela chipped away and tied the score in the sixth.

The Dominican Republic took back the lead quickly, 4-3 on Sandy Martinez's solo home run in the seventh, and was three outs from forcing a one-game playoff for the championship before Gonzalez's heroics in the bottom of the ninth off Atlanta Braves pitcher Jorge Sosa.

Victor Moreno picked up the win in relief for Venezuela; while Sosa took the loss for the Dominican Republic.

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