Venezuela 4, Dominican Republic 3
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) _ Luis Polonia grounded into a game-ending double play, and Venezuela upset the Dominican Republic 4-3 in second-day action Sunday at the Caribbean Series.
Lauded as the Caribbean’s ``Dream Team″ with major leaguers such as Raul Mondesi, Julio Franco amd Polonia, the Dominicans dropped to 0-2, dimming their Series hopes.
Earlier action Sunday, Roberto Alomar and Bernie Williams delivered big hits early, and Puerto Rico defeated Mexico 9-2 Sunday to move into first place at 2-0.
The Venzuelans, represented by the Magallanes Voyagers, came back from a 3-1 deficit in the bottom of the sixth inning when Rogers Cedeno, Luis Raven and Carlos Martinez reached base with no outs against Dominican starter Hipolito Pichardo.
Manager Terry Francona brought in Yorkis Perez, who gave up a sacrifice fly to Bob Abreu. With two outs, Melvin Mora lined an offering from reliever Mel Rojas for the go-ahead hit.
The Dominicans threatened in the bottom of the ninth as Tony Pena drew a walk from reliever Dave Evans and Domingo Cedeno was hit by a pitch with one out.
But reliever Huck Flener got Polonia to hit a soft grounder to second for the second out, and pinch-runner Tony Batista was caught in a rundown to end the game.
The Dominicans scored twice in the third inning on doubles by Polonia and Julio Franco and an RBI single by Mondesi. They added a run in the sixth when Felix Fermin reached base on a force play and scored on a single by Pena.
In the early game, Puerto Rico scored seven runs in the first two innings.
Puerto Rico leads the four-team, round-robin tournament, which pits the champion clubs from the winter leagues.
Puerto Rico scored four runs in the first inning. Ricky Otero drew a leadoff walk from Esteban Loaiza and then Alomar, Williams and Tony Barron followed with consecutive hits for a 3-0 lead, and Leo Gomez added an RBI double.
Mexican manager Francisco Estrada brought in Julio Cesar Miranda, who stopped the scoring by getting Ivan Rodriguez to ground out and striking out Orestes Marrero.
In the second, Rico Rossy led off with a double and scored when Alomar singled hard to right. Doubles by Williams and Barron helped make it 7-0.
``We are playing extremely good baseball right now,″ Puerto Rico manager Pat Kelly said. ``We’re getting on the board early and our starting pitchers are giving us six strong innings.″
Puerto Rican starter Kris Ralston gave up one run in six innings.
``There’s a lot of baseball left,″ Puerto Rican catcher Ivan Rodriguez said. ``The Dominicans are a good team and we can’t let two wins make us feel comfortable.″