Day 1 is in the books in the 2017 Caribbean Series. Cuba (Granma Alazanes) defeated the Dominican Republic (Tigres del Licey) 4-0 to claim the first win of the series.
Cuba jumped out in front in the top of the 1st inning and never looked back. Lead off hitter Roel Santos (2-for-4) tripled to lead off the game. He would score two batters later when Dominican catcher Webster Rivas allowed a passed ball letting Santos scamper home from third with the first run of the game.
Later in the 5th inning, Cuba would add 3 more to finish all the scoring for the game. The inning began with a ground out and then things started to go downhill from there for the Dominican Republic pitching staff. Carlos Benitez walked on 4 straight balls. Frank Morejon followed Benitez with a single to right. After a quick trip to the mound, Yoelkis Cespedes singled to load the bases.
With the bases loaded and just one out, Edgar Garcia comes in to relieve Ivan Pineyro and promptly uncorked a wild pitch to make it 2-0 Cuba. On the very next pitch Roel Santos was back again doing damage. This time he doubled to right to score both Morejon and Cespedes to make it 4-0.
That would be all that Cuba would need as Lazaro Blanco (W, 1-0) shut down the Dominican bats for 6.1 innings. He struck out 6 and gave up just 5 hits to pick up the win. Livan Moinelo (S, 1) pitched the last 2.2 innings giving up just 2 hits to pick up the save.
Ivan Pineyro (L, 0-1) would take the loss going 4.1 innings allowing all 4 runs on 4 hits.
Cuba has Thursday off and will return to the field on Friday to face Puerto Rico. The Dominican Republic will try and bounce back again tomorrow night against Mexico in their second game.
Game 2 – Mexico Puerto Rico
Former Braves and Orioles farmhand Daniel Rodriguez had a no-hitter going into the 5th inning. He made it 4.2 innings before it was broken up on a dying single to center field. Mexicali Centerfielder Chris Roberson (2-for-4) almost made a great sliding catch to keep the no-no alive, but the ball bounced out of his glove before falling safely. Rodriguez, pitching at home in Culiacan, last pitched in affiliated ball in 2015.
Matching Rodriguez inning for inning was Orlando Roman for Puerto Rico who tossed 5 shutout innings before being relieved by William Oliver in the 6th.
Daniel Rodriguez was relieved by Derrick Loop (W, 1-0) in the 7th inning only to give up a solo home run from David Vidal (1-for-3) giving Puerto Rico a 1-0 lead. Vidal turned on a pitch and blasted it down the left field line for only the 2nd hit for Puerto Rico.
Mexico rallied in the bottom of the 7th putting runners at the corners with 1 out and getting a run when Puerto Rico couldn’t turn a double play. One pitch later Chris Roberson blasted a 2-run home run to left-center field putting Mexico up 3-1 after 7.
In the top of the 8th, Ivan de Jesus (2-for-3) made it 3-2 with a blast to left field off of Mexicali reliever Sergio Romo. But Yuniesky Betancourt (1-for-4) got the 2-run lead back in the bottom of the 8th with an opposite field home run making it 4-2 Mexico.
Jake Sanchez (S, 1) came in to close it down in the 9th picking up the save.
2017 Caribbean Series Schedule:
Wednesday, February 01:
- Cuba 4, Dom. Rep. 0 – Full Box Score
- Puerto Rico 2, Mexico 4 Full Box Score
Thursday, February 02:
- Venezuela vs. Puerto Rico 5:00 p.m.
- Mexico vs. Dom. Rep. 9:00 p.m.
Friday, February 03:
- Puerto Rico vs. Cuba 5:00 p.m.
- Venezuela vs. Mexico 10:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 04:
- Dom. Rep. vs. Puerto Rico 3:00 p.m.
- Cuba vs. Venezuela 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 05:
- Dom. Rep. vs. Venezuela 3:00 p.m.
- Mexico vs. Cuba 7:00 p.m.
Monday, February 06:
- TBD vs. TBD 3:00 p.m.
- TBD vs. TBD 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, February 07:
- TBD vs. TBD 3:00 p.m.
All times ET
2017 Caribbean Series Standings:
- Cuba 1-0
- Mexico 1-0
- Venezuela 0-0
- Dominican Republic 0-1
- Puerto Rico 0-1
Eric Bynum is Managing Editor here at BaseballdeWorld. He spent three years as an ESL teacher in South Korea, and is now working on his master's degree in history with a focus on baseball and WWII. He has played and/or written about baseball for the past 30 years and is an avid Atlanta Braves fan.