Almonte lifts Aguilas Cibaenas past Cardenales de Lara
MIAMI (AP) Zoilo Almonte broke a tie with a two-run single in the top of the ninth inning to lead Aguilas Cibaenas to a 4-3 victory over Cardenales de Lara on Sunday night in the championship game of the inaugural Serie de las Americas professional baseball tournament at Marlins Park.
Almonte, a switch-hitting free agent who played for the New York Yankees in 2013 and 2014, lined his single between first and second base as the Aguilas, from the Dominican Republic Winter League, took advantage of an error by Cardenales shortstop Gabriel Noriega.
''I think Zoilo was the perfect guy to get that opportunity,'' said former star major league shortstop Miguel Tejada, who made his debut as Aguilas manager this weekend.
The Cardenales, from the Venezuelan Winter League, had trouble with Aguilas shortstop Jonathan Villar, who hit a solo home run to start the game. Villar, who was traded from Houston to Milwaukee on Thursday, had two hits, two walks and three runs scored.
The biggest baseball stars of the night were in the stands.
Miami Marlins pitcher Henderson Alvarez, a 2014 National League All-Star and a native of Venezuela, was in attendance, no doubt rooting for his home-country team, the Cardenales.
Orlando ''El Duque'' Hernandez, a native of Cuba and a four-time World Series champion with the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox, threw out the first pitch.
The attendance was 9,006.