Venezuela beats Dominican Republic, reaches Caribbean semis
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) Cuba beat Puerto Rico 3-2 in 10 innings Wednesday night for its first victory in the Caribbean Series.
The win came a day after two Cuban players apparently left the team, which lost to Mexico and the Dominican Republic earlier this week. This is Cuba's second appearance at the Caribbean Series in more than five decades.
Center fielder Roel Santos got the decisive hit for Cuba in the 10th inning.
Cuba plays Venezuela on Thursday, and Puerto Rico faces the Dominican Republic on Friday.
The missing Cuban players were identified as 19-year-old pitcher Vladimir Gutierrez and 29-year-old shortstop Dainer Moreira. Gutierrez had not yet played in the series. Moreira drove in Cuba's only run against the Dominican Republic.
Earlier on Wednesday, Venezuela beat the Dominican Republic 6-5 to reach the semifinals of the tournament. Niuman Romero homered and Oscar Salazar knocked in two runs.
Venezuela (2-0) joined Mexico (2-0) in the next round.
Romero hit a solo shot in the second inning off Chicago Cubs reliever Carlos Pimentel (0-1), who allowed two runs and three hits in two innings. Venezuela chased starter Edward Valdez after two outs with four runs in the first inning.
Venezuela starter Yeiper Castillo allowed four runs, three earned, and three hits in 1 1-3 innings. The rightly struck out one and walked two.
Chicago White Sox minor leaguer Leury Garcia went 3 for 3 with a walk, scoring two runs and driving in one for the Dominican Republic (1-1).