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.
Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen told reporters Thursday he’s “95 percent sure” that he will join The Netherlands in the semifinals of the World Baseball Classic. Jansen is a native of the Central American island of Curacao, a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
The Netherlands will play the winner of Pool 2 — either the U.S., Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic — on March 18 in San Francisco. Jansen will reportedly remain with the Dodgers until Sunday.
Jansen represented The Netherlands in the 2009 WBC, when he was still a catcher. He went 1 for 13 in six WBC games.
That headline came later than expected, which is progress enough for a country that’s produced one major leaguer in the last half-century.
Italy lost 4-3 to Puerto Rico in Miami on Wednesday night, ending its Cinderella run in the World Baseball Championship. Dodgers infielder Nick Punto went 1 for 4 and scored Italy’s second run in a three-run fifth inning for Italy, which upset both Mexico and Canada in pool play.
Down 3-0, Puerto Rico pounced on Italy’s bullpen — just as the Dominican Republic did a night earlier — to win the game in comeback fashion.
Punto is expected back in Arizona to resume his spring training with the Dodgers. He sent the following tweet Wednesday night:
Italy, the Cinderella team of the World Baseball Classic, almost did it again.
The Dominican Republic trailed Italy 4-0 in the second-round opener for both teams Tuesday, before clawing back to win 5-4 in Miami. Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez‘s sacrifice fly tied the game 4-4 in the seventh inning and Nelson Cruz‘s RBI single sealed the Italians’ fate. Ramirez finished 1 for 2 with a walk and a single in four plate appearances.
Ramirez played the entire game at third base, with Jose Reyes playing shortstop and Erick Aybar DHing.
Dodgers utilityman Nick Punto reached base in three out of his four plate appearances, scoring one run and driving in another.
Ronald Belisario, whose Venezuelan team was eliminated from the tournament over the weekend, arrived in the Dodgers’ clubhouse Tuesday afternoon.
Luis Cruz said Monday that he “lost it.” Over and over and over again.
But what, exactly, did he lose when he induced a brawl in the WBC game between Canada and Mexico on Saturday? Did he lose the formula for “Team Quality Balance”? Here it is again:
To fit that formula on the back of his hand, Cruz and the rest of the participants in the World Baseball Classic would have to write fairly small. It’s an important formula, the one that determines which of three teams tied with identical records, and no head-to-head tie-breaking games, advances out of pool play into the second round of the tournament.