Wednesday, March 11, 2009

World Baseball Classic - 3/11

Time to catch you up on the World Baseball Classic. The US is back in action tonight (6:30 EDT) against Venezuela. That's because the South American squad pounded Italy last night, 10-1. Bobby Abreu, Miguel Cabrera, Ramon Hernandez, and Jose Lopez each homered.

One of the big surprises in the tournament was the elimination of the Dominican Republic last night by the Netherlands. It was the second time one run loss handed to the D.R. by the Netherlands in the tourney.

The game was scoreless in the 11th inning, when the D.R. broke through. The frame started out harmless enough when the first two batters were retired, but Jose Reyes walked and scored from first base when right fielder Gene Kinsgale misplayed Jose Bautista's fly ball.

The Cubs' Carlos Marmol came on to close things out in the bottom of the 11 for the D.R., but Sidney de Jong led off with a double. A ground out moved to de Jong to third, giving Kingsale a chance to redeem himself. And he did just that. Kingsale singled to right field to tie the game up.

Marmol then made an errant pick off throw to first, allowing Kingsale to scamper to third. Marmol struck out Scharlon Shoop for the second out, and intentionally walked Randall Simon to set up a force play. But first baseman Willy Aybar mishandled Yurendell de Caster's grounder to allow the winning run to score.

The Netherlands will now take on Puerto Rico later this afternoon.

Cuba, the runner up in last year's tourney, beat Australia 5-4. The Aussies led 4-3, but Yosbany Peraza hit a go-ahead 2-run home run off Angels prospect Rich Thompson in the eighth inning.

Australia will play Mexico tonight, with the winner facing Cuba tomorrow. The loser will go home.

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