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Puerto Rico Downs Venezuela In Caribbean Series

February 7, 1996

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) _ Leo Gomez hit a two-run homer and Ivan Rodriguez went 4-for-4 as Puerto Rico beat Venezuela 9-1 Tuesday in the Caribbean Series.

The Puerto Ricans rocked Venezuelan starter Edwin Hurtado, who gave up seven earned runs in 4 1-3 innings.

After Bernie Williams singled in the first, Gomez hit his second home run of the Series _ a towering line drive over the left-field wall. Tony Barron followed with a triple off the center-field wall and scored on a sacrifice fly by Hector Vargas.

Williams plays for the New York Yankees, Rodriguez for the Texas Rangers and Gomez for the Baltimore Orioles.

Puerto Rico added two more runs in the third. After Barron and Vargas singled, Rodriguez hit a hard grounder that Venezuelan shortstop Alvaro Espinoza could not handle, allowing Barron to score from second.

Rico Rossy followed with a sacrifice fly that scored Vargas.

Puerto Rico scored two more runs in the fourth and one in the seventh.

``It was precisely what we’ve been trying to do, score runs early and be aggressive from the start,″ Williams said.

Venezuela’s lone run off Puerto Rican starter Jose Melendez came in the fifth when Espinoza hit a leadoff homer. Melendez pitched seven innings of two-hit ball and struck out seven.

It was not all good news for Puerto Rico, however.

Before the game, it was announced that starting right fielder Ricky Otero would miss the rest of the series with a broken bone in his haned.

Otero, a speedy leadoff hitter who was expected to make the Philadelphia Phillies’ 25-man roster, fractured the bone sliding into first base in Monday night’s game against the Dominican Republic.

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