TOKYO (AP) — Yasmany Tomas hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning, helping Cuba rout Taiwan 14-0 Saturday in the second round of the World Baseball Classic.
Tomas’ second home run of the tournament gave Cuba a 6-0 lead at Tokyo Dome, and the 2006 runner-up added eight runs in the sixth before the game was ended under the mercy rule.
“After losing yesterday, this was an important game for us,” Tomas said. “So my three-run homer meant a lot, it brought a lot of positive energy to the team. The manager told me to sit on the outside pitch and make good contact, and I was able to do that.”
Cuba plays the loser of Sunday’s game between Japan and the Netherlands on Monday for a chance to advance to the March 17-19 final round in San Francisco. Taiwan was eliminated.
Jose Fernandez’s bases-clearing double and Jose Abreu’s two-run homer highlighted the sixth, when Cuba sent 11 batters to the plate.
Cuba starter Danny Betancourt allowed three hits in six innings for the win. Taiwan starter Ching-Lung Lo, the loser, gave up two runs and two hits in 2 2-3 innings.
“In order to get a victory over a team like Cuba, you have to have good pitching,” Taiwan manager Chang-Heng Hsieh said. “We got that yesterday against Japan but didn’t have it tonight.”
Cuba hit four home runs in the game and displays the type of power of a title contender.
“We lost yesterday, so we knew it was important to score early and keep them off the scoreboard,” Cuba manager Victor Mesa said. “I reminded my players that today was an elimination game, so we needed to win.”