Stunned twice by a pesky Netherlands team, the Dominican Republic is done at the World Baseball Classic. Former Mariner Eugene Kingsale...
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Stunned twice by a pesky Netherlands team, the Dominican Republic is done at the World Baseball Classic.
Former Mariner Eugene Kingsale singled in the tying run and scored the winner in the 11th inning Tuesday night as the Netherlands rallied for a 2-1 victory over the heavily favored Dominicans, earning a surprise spot in the second round.
After an error by first baseman Willy Aybar allowed the winning run to score, Netherlands players rushed out of the dugout and piled all over each other in a raucous celebration that resembled a World Series finale.
Jose Reyes, Robinson Cano and other Dominican stars slumped quietly in the dugout, staring ahead in shock.
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“It’s a miracle. Our guys came together and won. I’m not saying we’re better than them, but we came together,” Netherlands manager Rob Delmonico said in tears.
It was the second time in four days that a Netherlands squad made up of little-known players upset the Dominican Republic, considered one of the favorites coming into the 16-team tournament thanks to a roster filled with major-league All-Stars.
In a game in Toronto, Bobby Abreu and Miguel Cabrera hit consecutive long balls to start a four-homer outburst in the fifth inning that powered Venezuela to a 10-1 victory over Italy.
Jose Lopez added a two-run shot, Ramon Hernandez followed with a mammoth drive and Venezuela eliminated Italy from the 16-team tournament with its second win over the Italians in four days.
Venezuela will play the United States tonight to decide the winner of Group C.
• Manny Ramirez is scheduled to make his spring-training debut Thursday when the Los Angeles Dodgers play South Korea’s World Baseball Classic team.
The exhibition game won’t count in Cactus League standings, but Ramirez’s return to the Dodgers after agreeing to a $45 million, two-year contract last week will make it a major attraction.
Los Angeles manager Joe Torre said he isn’t sure if Ramirez will play the outfield or be the designated hitter, but the slugger will get a start on the 50 or so at-bats he’s expected to receive before opening day.
• Yankees general manager Brian Cashman thinks he’s unlikely to acquire a fill-in third baseman to replace Alex Rodriguez.
“I’m not optimistic about doing anything,” Cashman said. “I’m not going to be proactive in trying to do something. If something represents itself that makes sense, then maybe it will be different. I think our answer is here in camp.”
• Jon Lester, the Bellarmine Prep product, is among 19 players who have agreed to one-year contracts with the Boston Red Sox. Lester’s agent has been working on a long-term deal with the Red Sox, but the pitcher said an agreement had not yet been completed.
Meanwhile, Mike Lowell and the Red Sox were encouraged by his first game since hip surgery.
Lowell, the 2007 World Series MVP returned to the lineup, getting three at-bats during Boston’s 5-1 loss to the Baltimore Orioles in Fort Myers, Fla.
Lowell was the DH and finished 1 for 3 with a single to left in his final trip to the plate.
• Reliever Duaner Sanchez was released by the New York Mets after failing to regain form after two shoulder operations.
• Oakland third baseman Eric Chavez remains optimistic that he can play by opening day despite a setback in his shoulder rehabilitation.