Andruw Jones hits HR as Netherlands beats Padres
The Netherlands has done a lot of travelling for the World
The journey started with a training camp in Arizona. Then the
Dutch national team opened the international tournament in
Taichung, Taiwan, flew to Tokyo for the second round and stopped in
Arizona for a two exhibitions before they head to San Francisco for
the WBC semifinals.
Andruw Jones hit a towering home run and the Netherlands
defeated the San Diego Padres 9-3 Thursday night in their first
exhibition. The Dutch will play against Seattle on Friday.
Few, if any, expected the Netherlands to rack up frequent-flyer
miles. A first-round exit was realistic, and a second-round exit
seemed certain in a pool with Japan, Chinese Taipei and Cuba.
The Netherlands kept on advancing, and these underdogs are now
two wins from a WBC championship. Next up is a to-be-determined
opponent in Monday’s semifinal.
The Netherlands took Wednesday off to recover from jet lag, but
got back to work Thursday with a focus that has carried the Dutch
through tough times.
”We’re not just happy to be here. We believe we can win this
tournament,” Netherlands manager and former major leaguer Hensley
Meulens said. ”We consistently have good at bats, we have
excellent range in the field and we’re aggressive on the base
paths. If we can throw strikes, we can compete with anybody.”
The Dutch showed a combination of defensive speed and gap power
against the Padres, who fell behind early and never recovered.
Jones, a former major league outfielder who will play in Japan
after the WBC, is the only big name on the roster. He went 2 for 2
with two runs scored and two RBIs.
After his homer in the second inning, he walked in the fourth
and singled in the sixth.
”Andruw is our leader. The entire team takes their cue from
him,” Meulens said. ”He hasn’t been swinging for the fences. He’s
been focused on quality at bats and making solid contact, and the
others are followed suit that’s what makes us tough to play.”
Padres starter Eric Stults allowed two runs and four hits and a
walk over four innings. Stults, the team’s No. 4 starter, has
allowed two runs or more in four spring starts.
Shortstop Everth Cabrera was 2 for 3 and scored once as part of
a San Diego lineup with several minor leaguers. Padres outfielder
Jaff Decker had a home run and a double with two RBIs
NOTES: Los Angeles Dodgers P Kenley Jansen was added to the
Netherlands’ roster for the rest of the WBC. INF Jurickson Profar
was also added to the roster, replacing Yurendell de Caster
(plantar fasciitis). … The Padres brought up 18-year old
minor-league C Rodney Daal up for the exhibition. He was born in
Amsterdam. … With Italy eliminated from the WBC, Padres OF Chris
Denorfia will come back to camp on Friday or Saturday. Padres
manager Bud Black said he’ll get a few days off afer playing so
much during the WBC. … Black expects CF Cameron Maybin (back) and
RF Will Venable (side) to play on Friday in one of two split-squad