Netherlands Defeats Cuba To Kick Off World Baseball Classic

Image credit: Josh Palacios (Gene Wang/Getty Images)

Chadwick Tromp hit the decisive two-run single and Netherlands pitchers combined on a three-hitter to lead the Dutch to a 4-2 win over Cuba on Tuesday in the first game of the World Baseball Classic.

Former Tigers prospect righthander Tom de Blok held Cuba to one hit and one run over three innings for the Netherlands. Derek West, Eric Mendez, Kevin Kelly, Franklin Van Gurp and Wendell Floranus followed in relief and held Cuba to just two hits over the final six innings.

The Netherlands broke an early 1-1 tie with a three-run sixth inning. Pirates prospect Josh Palacios bounced a tie-breaking RBI single up the middle to give the Netherlands its first lead and Tromp dropped a shallow flare off the end of the bat into left-center for a two-out, two-run single to extend the Dutch lead to 4-1.

Cuba cut the deficit to 4-2 on an RBI groundout by Yadil Mujica in the seventh, but the Dutch bullpen kept the score there.

Roger Bernadina went 2-for-3 with a run scored and Didi Gregorius went 1-for-3 with an RBI single for the Netherlands. Mendez, a 23-year-old D-backs prospect, picked up the win with 1.1 scoreless innings of relief and Floranus retired the side in order in the ninth for the save.

Mujica went 1-for-3 with a double and drove in both runs for Cuba, which got little contributions from its current and former MLB stars. White Sox center fielder Luis Robert went 1-for-4 with three strikeouts for Cuba and was thrown out at second base to end the eighth inning after straying too far off the bag on a pitch in the dirt. White Sox third baseman Yoan Moncada went 0-for-3 with a walk and former all-star Yoenis Cespedes went 0-for-2 with two walks.

Former Dodgers lefthander Onelki Garcia took the loss after allowing two runs in an inning of relief.

Comments are closed.

Download our app

Read the newest magazine issue right on your phone