After suffering its first loss in World Baseball Classic play since 2009, Team Dominican Republic bounced back by shutting out Team Venezuela in their Pool F matchup.
Six Dominican Republic pitchers combined to shut out Team Venezuela Thursday, in a 3-0 victory in the World Baseball Classic. D.R. starter Edinson Volquez pitched 4.1 innings, allowed zero runs on four hits and two walks. He also struck out six batters.
Along with the pitching, Team D.R. had offensive success too. Much like Wednesday’s game between Team USA and Venezuela, both teams struggled to score early on. It wasn’t until the fifth inning that the first run crossed the plate.
D.R. outfielder Gregory Polanco led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a line drive home run over the left field wall. Venezuelan pitcher Jhoulys Chacin allowed the homer. Despite surrendering the long ball, Chacin pitched well for Venezuela. He finished with 4.1 innings pitched, three hits, three walks, three strikeouts and the lone run allowed.
As for Polanco, he went 2-for-4 in the game. He now has eight hits in the tournament and is batting .533.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the D.R. took a two-run lead after an RBI-single from second baseman Robinson Cano. He went 2-for-3 and provided his first RBI of the tournament.
D.R. outfielder Nelson Cruz got into the action in the bottom of the eighth inning with a solo home run. The blast gave the D.R. a three-run lead. Cruz’s home run was his third of the tournament. He leads the D.R. in home runs and moved into a tie for the most RBI (5) along with Jose Bautista and Welington Castillo.
The seventh, eighth and ninth inning relief pitching combo for the D.R. proved too much for Venezuela. Dellin Betances, Alex Colome and Jeurys Familia struck out six batters and closed out the game for the D.R. Familia earned his second save of the World Baseball Classic.
With the win, D.R. sits at 1-1 in Pool F. While Venezuela falls to 0-2 in the second round.
Team USA (1-0) and Team Puerto Rico (1-0) square off at 7 p.m. PST, Friday. The two teams aim for a shot at becoming 2-0 and increasing their chances of moving on to the semifinals. Seth Lugo and Marcus Stroman take the bump for their respected teams.
On Saturday, two games take place. Team Venezuela faces Team Puerto Rico at 12:30 p.m. PST, and Team Dominican Republic battles Team USA at 7 p.m. PST.