The Dominican Republic entered the World Baseball Classic with a star-studded roster of Major League standouts and finished as champions, defeating Puerto Rico, 3-0, in a soggy championship final at AT&T Park.
The Dominicans became the first team to roll through the Classic undefeated, keeping their momentum going by jumping into an early lead Tuesday night and holding on for the shutout before 35,703 fans. Their first Classic title follows back-to-back titles by Japan in the first two editions of the international tournament.
Dominican starter Samuel Deduno earned the victory with five shutout innings against Puerto Rico, and Jose Reyes led the offensive attack with a double and a triple. Pedro Strop shut down a late rally, Santiago Casilla pitched a scoreless eighth before his home Giants fans and Fernando Rodney finished off the Puerto Ricans with a Classic-record seventh save, starting a wild celebration on the infield.
Reyes led off the bottom of the first with a double to right field and scored along with Robinson Cano on a double to right-center by Edwin Encarnacion as the Dominicans took the first lead of the much-anticipated championship game, upping their lead to 3-0 on an RBI double in the fifth by Erick Aybar, who had a pair of hits on the night.
Puerto Rico tried to stage a rally with light rain falling in the seventh, with Mike Aviles leading off the inning with a single and Alex Rios walking. But Strop came in and stopped the rally with two strikeouts and a foul pop, with Miguel Tejada running toward the bullpen, reaching out and crashing to the ground while catching the ball off Jesus Feliciano's bat.
Dominican Republic runs table en route to 2013 World Baseball Classic title
MLB.com | Mar 20