Dominican Republic Beats Spain, Improves To 2-0

Robinson Cano had three hits, Carlos Santana homered and Nelson Cruz drove in two runs for the Dominican Republic in a 6-3 victory to improve to 2-0 in the Pool C of the World Baseball Classic.

The Dominicans struck early. In the second inning, Cruz singled home Edwin Encarnacion, then took second when Spain center fielder Engel Beltre (who was born and signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2006) threw home. Cruz scored two batters later when Ricardo Nanita singled to right field to make it 2-0.

Jose Reyes led off the third inning with a walk, then scored on Cano's double to left field to make it 3-0. With the bases loaded following an intentional walk to Encarnacion and a walk to Hanley Ramirez, Cano scored on a single to left field by Cruz. The Dominican Republic made it 5-0 when Santana grounded out to the pitcher, allowing Encarncion to score.

Dominican starter Sam Deduno pitched well, striking out five in four shutout innings, but Spain did get to the Dominican bullpen late in the game. Spain made it 5-1 in the seventh, when Salomon Manriquez drew a leadoff walk, took second on a wild pitch, then scored when Beltre laid down a bunt toward second base that Cano mishandled, allowing Manriquez to score. The Dominican Republic got that run back in the top of the eighth, when Santana hit a solo homer to right field to make it 6-1. Spain rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth to make it 6-3, but Fernando Rodney retired Rafael Alvarez with the bases loaded to end the game.

Spain, which fell to 0-2, will face Venezuela tomorrow afternoon, though by that point they could be already eliminated if Puerto Rico beats Venezuela tonight. The Dominican Republic faces Puerto Rico tomorrow night.