Lindor homers twice, Puerto Rico beats Mexico 9-4
GUADALAJARA, Mexico (AP) Francisco Lindor hit two home runs, Jorge Lopez pitched 4 1/3 solid innings and Puerto Rico inched closer to the second round of the World Baseball Classic with a 9-4 win over Mexico on Saturday night.
Lindor hit a two-run shot in the first inning and added a solo homer in the seventh. The Cleveland shortstop had three hits and three RBIs.
''Any win is a good win, but we knew that this one was special,'' Lindor said. ''But we know that the job here in Mexico is not finished and we have to go out tomorrow to get another win.''
There was some concern in the stands in the eighth inning, when a fight broke out among some fans. Players from Puerto Rico came out of the dugout because many of their families were seated close to the area. Javier Baez even attempted to jump the fence to make sure his family was OK.
''I was scared,'' Baez said. ''I heard the game's announcer asking us to return to the dugout, but I noticed that the problems were in the section where my family was. I just wanted to check because my mother was there and she is very important for me.''
Lopez allowed two hits and one run while striking out five.
Baez hit a three-run homer in the ninth to secure the win for Puerto Rico, which lost in the WBC final four years ago. The Puerto Ricans lead Group D with a 2-0 record, while Italy and Venezuela are both 1-1 and Mexico is 0-2.
The Puerto Ricans can qualify for the next round with a win over Italy on Sunday. The top two teams from the group will advance.
''This team has what it takes to win a championship,'' Lindor said. ''We have good chemistry, great batting and solid pitching. We just need to keep playing the right way.''
Chicago White Sox pitcher Miguel Gonzalez took the loss, allowing four hits and four runs in four innings.
Mexico is still in contention, but needs a win over Venezuela and a loss by Italy against Puerto Rico.
''We are still alive and we need to win against Venezuela to play a fourth game (on Monday),'' Mexico manager Edgar Gonzalez said. ''We are still positive. We are going to go all out to try to win tomorrow.''