Cuba shutout rival Venezuela, while the host Dutch pounded Spain to highlight World Cup action Wednesday in Europe.
In the Netherlands:
• The Dutch beat Spain 10-5 to move to 3-0. A seven-run second made it 9-0 for the fightin’ Rod Delmonicos, and the Netherlands held off a Spanish rally to stay unbeaten in the second round.
• Norge Vera and Yadier Pedroso combined on a four-hitter as Cuba beat Venezuela 10-0. The two teams have had some testy games over the last few years, but this one was a yawner on the scoreboard. Alfredo Despaigne hit yet another home run in the fourth inning, his fourth of the event; he’s 10-for-21 overall in six victories.
• Puerto Rico edged disappointing South Korea 3-2 behind seven shutout innings by righthander Mario Santiago (Royals). Santiago, 24, spent the season at high Class A Wilmington, going 6-13, 4.30. Former Orioles outfielder Luis Matos and DH Alex Cintron (Mariners) knocked in the three Puerto Rican runs.
• Nicaragua edged Great Britain 4-1 behind a complete-game five-hitter by Diego Garcia Sandino, a veteran of Nicaraguan national team play. Garcia earned his second victory of the Cup. UK righthander Tom Boleska (Pirates) pitched two scoreless innings of relief, striking out three, and has 11 whiffs in 7 2/3 World Cup innings. He pitched primarily at high Class A Lynchburg this season.
• In the Italy pool, Team USA had the day off. It next plays Taiwan, which beat Japan 3-1 in 10 innings to stay unbeaten in the second round. Taiwan starter Chih-Lung Huang, a 20-year-old veteran of international competition at several age levels, went the distance, striking out four in 10 innings for the victory. He’s a 5-foot-9 righthander whose fastball typically sits in the 86-90 mph range, according to Taiwanbaseball.blogspot.com.
• Team Canada bounced back from a pair of second-round losses to beat Mexico 4-2. Third baseman Shawn Bowman (Mets) had RBI singles in the fourth and sixth innings, and Brett Lawrie (Brewers) and Tim Smith (Royals) knocked in runs. Canada used five pitchers from affiliated ball, with 19-year-old Nick Bucci (Brewers) tossing four shutout innings. Reliever Trystan Magnuson (Blue Jays) got the win with a scoreless fifth, while lefty R.J. Swindle (Indians) got the final out to register the save. Former Dodgers farmhand Saul Soto homered for Mexico.