D.R. gets chance at revenge on Dutch

MIAMI — As a reward for their latest victory, the Dominicans get a World Baseball Classic rematch against the team that eliminated them in 2009.

Wandy Rodriguez pitched six innings, and three relievers, including the Rays' Fernando Rodney, completed a three-hitter to help the unbeaten Dominican Republic top Puerto Rico 2-0 Saturday.

Both teams had already qualified for the semifinals in San Francisco, and the game merely determined seedings. Puerto Rico plays two-time defending champion Japan tonight, and the Dominicans face the Netherlands on Monday night, with the winners advancing to the championship game Tuesday.

The Dominicans were eliminated from the 2009 WBC when they lost twice to the Netherlands in a first-round upset.

"We're not thinking of the past; we're thinking of the present," Dominican manager Tony Pena said. "They're going to be tough. We're going to be tough also."

Puerto Rico faces Japan for the first time.

"They're the two-time champions of the WBC for a reason," Puerto Rican manager Edwin Rodriguez said. "They know how to play the game, and they put a lot of emphasis on the little things. We'll have to play an almost perfect game."

The Caribbean carnival that provided a soundtrack all week reached a crescendo on the final day in Miami, with the steady beat of drums and the bleat of air horns from a crowd of 25,846.

"This was like the World Series," said Dominican second baseman Robinson Cano, who was selected MVP for the second round in a row. "It was a great atmosphere."

Rodriguez allowed two hits and departed with a 1-0 lead. He retired all five batters he faced with runners in scoring position, and the Puerto Ricans finished 0-for-8 in those situations.

Carlos Santana broke a scoreless tie for the Dominicans, 6-0 in the tournament, with his second home run in the fifth inning. Rodney gave up a hit for the first time and threw 13 pitches, earning his fifth save to extend his WBC record. Dominican relievers improved their ERA to 2.01. Rays catcher Jose Molina entered in the bottom of the sixth for Puerto Rico but played first base.

CRAWFORD'S RETURN: Dodgers leftfielder and former Ray Carl Crawford is tentatively scheduled to make his spring debut today as the DH against the Padres. Crawford is working his way back from reconstructive elbow surgery and was shut down late last month with tightness in his left forearm.

MARLINS: Third baseman Placido Polanco was 2-for-3 with a double in his return from an oblique strain.

METS: Justin Turner, the leading candidate to replace injured David Wright at third, left the game against the Marlins after spraining his right ankle and was taken for precautionary X-rays.

ORIOLES: Right-hander Dylan Bundy, one of baseball's top pitching prospects, was optioned to Double-A Bowie.

RANGERS: Right-hander Kyle McClellan could miss the first month of the season because of a strained lat muscle.

RED SOX: Right-hander John Lackey, coming back from reconstructive elbow surgery, said he felt good after giving up a run and four hits in five innings against the Rays' Triple-A Durham squad.

WHITE SOX: Left-hander John Danks, who has an 11.74 spring ERA and has shown diminished velocity, could start the season on the disabled list, pitching coach Don Cooper told the Chicago Sun-Times.

.FAST FACTS

World Baseball Classic

SATURDAY'S RESULT

Dominican Republic 2, Puerto Rico 0

TONIGHT

Puerto Rico vs. Japan, 9 (San Francisco), ESPN

D.R. gets chance at revenge on Dutch 03/16/13 [Last modified: Saturday, March 16, 2013 10:39pm]

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