(Thursday, March 14th)
Final Score: Dominican Republic 3, United States 1
Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Erick Aybar and Jose Reyes had an RBI apiece in the top of the ninth inning, lifting the Dominican Republic over Team USA, 3-1, in a Pool 2 matchup at the World Baseball Classic.
With the score tied, the Americans sent Craig Kimbrel (0-1) to the mound in the ninth. Nelson Cruz started the frame with a double to right field, moved to third on Carlos Santana's groundout and raced home on Aybar's single to right. Aybar stole second and scored on Reyes' single up the middle, making it 3-1.
Fernando Rodney tossed a perfect home ninth to send the Dominican Republic to the Championship Round in San Francisco. Samuel Deduno got the start and allowed one run on five hits while striking out seven over four innings. Pedro Strop (2-0) pitched a scoreless eighth to pick up the win.
The U.S. went with the National League's reigning Cy Young Award winner in R.A. Dickey, who allowed one run on five hits over five frames. The Americans will face Puerto Rico in an elimination game on Friday.
Team USA played without slugger David Wright, who was scratched from Thursday's game because of sore ribs. Wright said he'll be examined Friday by a Mets doctor at the team's complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Wright was hitting .438 with 10 RBI through four games of the tournament.
Eric Hosmer's bases-loaded walk in the first gave the Americans a 1-0 lead. Hanley Ramirez, though, tied the game in the second on a solo shot to left.
03/14 23:06:21 ET