Hanley Ramirez delivered the first of three runs for the Dominican Republic in its 3-1 win over the United States on Thursday, a home run in the second inning off R.A. Dickey that traveled 451 feet and was the fourth-longest ball ever hit at Marlins Park.
It was the only run allowed by Dickey in five innings, and Dominican starter Samuel Deduno was just as stifling in his four innings. The game was tied 1-1 in the ninth inning when Atlanta Braves closer Craig Kimbrel allowed two runs on back-to-back RBI singles by Erick Aybar and Jose Reyes.
Ramirez served as the DH in the game. Reyes played shortstop.
With the win, the Dominican Republic clinched a spot in the semifinal round, which begins Sunday in San Francisco. The U.S. plays Puerto Rico tomorrow for the right to advance to Saturday’s championship game against the Dominican Republic. It’s possible that the U.S. and D.R. would play twice more: Saturday and Tuesday in the championship game.
It’s also possible that Kenley Jansen could wind up facing Ramirez, his Dodgers teammate, at some point this weekend.
Jansen was added to The Netherlands’ roster. He said earlier Thursdaythat he was “95 percent” certain he’d be playing in the WBC since the Netherlands advanced to San Francisco. He’ll take the spot of pitcher Jonatan Isenia, who has a strained right elbow.