Behind excellent pitching and under a drizzle of rain, the Dominican Republic defeated Puerto Rico, 3-0, on Tuesday at AT&T Park in San Francisco to win the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
After closer Fernando Rodney struck out Luis Figueroa swinging to record the final out, the Dominican players charged the mound, and pointed to the sky. Moments after the celebration, the two rival Carribbean nations hugged on the infield.
It was a convincing title run for the Dominican Republic. Manager Tony Pena's squad went 8-0 in the tournament, and defeated their championship opponent Puerto Rico three times. They outscored Puerto Rico 9-2 in the three games.
Starter Samuel Deduno pitched five shut-out innings for the victory, and allowed just two hits and three walks. It was a strong outing for the right-hander, who only became a starter in the Majors in 2012, when he threw just 79 innings with a 4.44 earned-run average.
The bullpen was even more effective. Octavio Dotel, Pedro Strop, Santiago Casilla, and Rodney combined to allow just one base hit and two walks in four innings. It was Rodney's seventh save of the tournament.
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The Dominican Republic scored three runs off eight hits, with Jose Reyes contributing double and triple. The Dominicans got two runs in the first inning when Edwin Encarnacion double to deep center to score Reyes and Robinson Cano.
Puerto Rico starter Giancarlo Alvarado only lasted for one inning. He was relieved by Hiram Burgos, who pitched four and two-thirds innings, and gave up just one run off five hits.
In its third installment of the tournament, the Dominican Republic earned their first title. Japan won the title in 2006 and 2009.