Puerto Rico's pitchers shut down Dominicans

Updated: March 13, 2006, 12:45 AM ET
Associated Press

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Jose Cruz Jr. went 3-for-5 with three RBI, and four Puerto Rico pitchers combined to shut down the Dominican Republic in a 7-1 win in the second round of the World Baseball Classic on Sunday night.

Pitchers Javier Vazquez, Jose Santiago, Kiko Calero and J.C. Romero combined to limit the Dominicans to one run and six hits.

"Who's got more pitching? Who's got more hitting? You have to show that on the field," Vazquez said. "Everyone knows the Dominicans have great hitters and there's no doubt about it. But I hope that the people who had doubts about our pitching staff start to recognize that we too have good pitching."

Los Angeles Angels starter Bartolo Colon matched Vazquez in the early going, allowing one run and four hits in five innings, but Puerto Rico roughed up reliever Damaso Marte in the sixth.

Carlos Beltran walked and Javy Lopez doubled to left to open the inning. Cruz then drove in both runners with a base hit and went to second on a throwing error by center fielder Willy Taveras. He went to third on Jose Valentin's single and scored on Alex Cintron's bunt hit to give Puerto Rico a 4-1 lead.

Valentin had a two-run single in the seventh to extend the lead to 7-1.

Vazquez allowed a solo homer to Seattle Mariners third baseman Adrian Beltre in the second but settled down after that, giving up one run and three hits in five innings. He struck out five and didn't walk a batter.

Santiago followed Vazquez with 1 2/3 shutout innings, allowing two hits and a walk. Calero walked one in 1 1/3 innings, and Romero shut out the Dominican Republic in the ninth.

Moises Alou went 2-for-4 for the Dominican Republic.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press