By Eric Edwards
February 2, 2005
2005 CARIBBEAN WORLD SERIES
Mexico 7, Puerto Rico 5
The Mexican League champion Mazatlan pounded Bill Pulsipher for five innings Wednesday night on their way to a 7-5 victory over the Mayaguez Indians of the Puerto Rican league to their 4-0 opening game shutout of Venezuela the night before.
Mexico is the only undefeated team in the four-team tournament, as Venezuela bounced back to knock off the Dominican Republic in the early game on Wednesday.
Vinny Castilla (Nationals) had another big night for Mexico driving in the game-tying run with an opposite-field single in Mexico's five-run third inning. He added a solo home run in the fifth.
The win puts Mexico in a comfortable position heading into Thursday’s games. Mexico (2-0) plays the Dominican Republic (0-1) in Thursday's featured game, while Puerto Rico (0-1) takes on Venezuela (1-1).
Puerto Rico broke through in the third inning on a leadoff solo home run by Julius Matos. Mexican starter Elmer Dessens (Dodgers) then retired the next two batters before Mayaguez put together a rally.
Andres Torres (Rangers) dribbled a ground ball through the right side and Luis Figueroa (Reds) drew a four-pitch walk before Alex Cintron (Diamondbacks) found an open patch in shallow center field for his broken bat blooper to score Torres with Mayaguez's second run.
The lead didn't last long as Mexico's lineup had Pulsipher timed by the third inning.
Adan Amezcua's just missed a first pitch home run when his drive down the left line hooked just foul, but it was a harbinger of the big inning to come.
Amezcua eventually reached base on a single. Three batters later, Miguel Flores singled home Mexico's first run. Castilla tied the game with an opposite-field single, and Erubiel Durazo (Athletics) beat out the relay throw on what might have been a rally-killing double play ground ball. Durazo’s hustle set the stage for Derrick White, who golfed a low fastball over the left field fence, giving Mexico a 5-2 lead.
Johnny Gomes (Devil Rays) led off the fourth inning with home run and Castilla added his solo shot in the fifth for some insurance.
Puerto Rico tried to rally with two runs in the eighth, but Torres flew out to the warning track in center field, ending Mayaguez's threat.
Puerto Rico added a run in the ninth against Mazatlan closer Greg Hansell (Diamondbacks), but Orlando Merced grounded out and Raul Gonzalez (Cardinals) flied out to right field to end the game.
Venezuela 7, Dominican Republic 5
Alex Romero (Twins) hit a two-run home run to get Venezuela on the board in the second inning, then doubled and scored the team's third run Wednesday as Aragua held off Aguilas, 7-5 in the Dominican Republic’s champs delayed debut at the Caribbean Series in Mazatlan, Mexico.
The win evened Venezuela’s record at 1-1.
Four Venezuelan pitchers, led by starter Josmir Romero, managed to shut down a powerful Dominican lineup until the ninth inning, where the Dominicans rallied before Francisco Butto (Phillies) escaped with the save.
After being held scoreless for eight innings, the Dominicans loaded the bases in then ninth for Miguel Tejada (Orioles), who cleared them with a double. Matt Cepicky (Nationals) drew the Dominicans to within three runs, scoring Tejada with a double. Pedro Benitez added a single and Ronnie Belliard (Indians) made it 7-5 with an RBI single, but Diones César, the potential winning run with runners at the corners, grounded out to shortstop on a 3-2 pitch to end the game.
Josmir Romero pitched 4 2/3 innings, walking one and striking out six, as he fell an out short of picking up the win.
After being held to four hits in a shutout loss to Mexico, Aragua picked up 10 hits on Wednesday. In addition to Romero’s heroics, Alex Delgado (Brewers) had an RBI single and Luis Rodríguez (Twins) added a run-scoring double in a two-run fifth inning.
Venezuela added three more runs in the seventh, one coming on a passed ball and another on a muffed fly ball.
Before the game, it was announced that the game between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic that was postponed Tuesday after the Dominicans travel troubles was rescheduled for Monday at 2 p.m. (local time). The game had initially been rescheduled as a doubleheader Friday by the Caribbean Baseball Confederation, but the Puerto Rican team general manager, Carlos Pieve blocked that option.
“They never consulted us. They are going to penalize us for their problem? No way,” said Pieve, who convinced tournament organizers to switch the game to Monday.
Should there be a need for a tiebreaking game to determine the Series champion it would be played Monday afternoon following the makeup game.