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Cuba leads Caribbean Series after first round

February 7, 2018

GUADALAJARA, Mexico (AP) — Raul Gonzalez hit a tiebreaking double in the seventh inning and reliever Leandro Martinez pitched four scoreless innings as Cuba defeated reigning champion Puerto Rico 6-3 on Tuesday night to finish with the best record in the first round of the Caribbean Series.

Frank Morejon scored on Gonzalez’s hit while Martinez (1-0) did not allow a hit.

The Granma Alazanes (3-1) are trying to give Cuba their ninth championship in the tournament. The Cubans returned to the Caribbean Series in 2014 after a 54-year absence.

In 2017, the Alazanes lost in the semifinals to Mexico’s Mexicali Aguilas. They will face the Dominican Republic on Wednesday night.

In the other semifinal, Puerto Rico (2-2) will play Venezuela, also on Wednesday.

Puerto Rico is trying to win back-to-back championships for the first time since 1992-1993.

After Gonzalez broke a 3-3 tie in the seventh, Guillermo Aviles hit a two-run double in the eighth.

In the late game, Sergio Mitre pitched six strong innings and Mexico beat the Dominican Republic 8-1.

Mitre (1-0) allowed one run and six hits over six innings with three strikeouts for the Culiacan Tomateros (1-3), who were eliminated before the game.

Japhet Amador and Justin Green homered for the Tomateros.

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