The Dominican Republic now officially stands alone atop the baseball world, shutting Puerto Rico (5-4) out 3-0 Tuesday night in the 2013 World Baseball Classic title game at San Francisco’s AT&T Park.
The Dominicans, 8-0 overall in the tournament, went 3-0 vs. their Puerto Rican counterparts, limiting their Caribbean neighbors to two runs over three games.
Story of the game: The Dominican Republic went 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position, while Puerto Rico went 0-for-11.
Dominican first baseman Edwin Encarnacion broke the ice in the first, blasting a double to deep right-center off Giancarlo Alvarado (L, 0-1) (1.0 IP, 2H, 2R) that scored Jose Reyes and Robinson Cano. Erick Aybar upped the Dominican Republic’s lead to 3-0—the eventual final—with an RBI double in the fifth.
Dominican pitching: Dominican pitchers held Puerto Rican hitters to just three hits on the night. And as in the teams’ previous meeting last Saturday, they kept Puerto Rico’s offense off the scoreboard. Starter Samuel Deduno (W, 1-0) pitched five scoreless innings, after which Puerto Rico’s goose egg was preserved by the quartet of Octavio Dotel (1.0 IP), Pedro Strop (1.0 IP), Santiago Casilla (1.0 IP) and Fernando Rodney (S, 1) (1.0 IP).
Shortstop Mike Aviles reached base in the ninth on third baseman Miguel Tejada’s fielding error, but Rodney would ensure a bad ending to Puerto Rico’s Cinderella story in this year’s Classic. Rodney induced a pop-out to second from Alex Rios and struck Carlos Rivera and Luis Figueroa out to seal the victory for the Dominican Republic.
After the game, second baseman Robinson Cano was named MVP of the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Cano had a WBC-record 15 hits in 32 at-bats (.469), two home runs and six runs batted in.