Hey! Miguel Tejada - Thearon W. Henderson
Yadier Molina and company fall a game short; Puerto Rico couldn't get their offense going against the Dominican Republic's suffocating pitching.
Puerto Rico may have knocked off the defending champions, but they couldn't become the 2013 World Baseball Classic champions themselves—Edwin Encarnacion doubled in two first-inning runs and that was all Sam Deduno needed as the Dominican Republic cruised to a finals win by a final score of 3-0. The Dominican Republic finishes the WBC 8-0 having scored 36 runs and allowed just 14, which is fewer than seven of the eight teams who played just three games.
The Dominicans stung early, with Jose Reyes hitting a leadoff double against Puerto Rico starter Giancarlo Alvarado. Alvarado was made to intentionally walk Robinson Cano following a sacrifice bunt from Erick Aybar, which proved to be a bad idea: Edwin Encarnacion, the Dominican Republic cleanup hitter, doubled the bases empty to put the DR on top. The Dominicans added another run in the fifth on an Erick Aybar double, but with Puerto Rico held to three hits through eight innings it didn't seem very necessary. An error from DR third baseman Miguel Tejada(!) put Mike Aviles on with nobody out in the ninth inning, but Fernando Rodney got out of the jam to earn the four-out save.
Puerto Rico's bats have been relatively quiet all tournament, but the credit for Tuesday's win goes to Minnesota Twins pitcher Sam Deduno, who's emerged as the Dominican's pitching star after making his first extended big league stint last year at 28. Overall he allowed just one earned run in 13 WBC innings, striking out 17 and walking five.
The St. Louis Cardinals duo who made up the middle of the Puerto Rican order struggled in the finals; Yadier Molina grounded into a double play to wipe Beltran out in their only time on base. But nobody's impressed against the Dominican Republic all year, and they're now the undefeated champs of the 2013 World Baseball Classic.