By Julian Guilarte
World Baseball Network
Leones Del Caracas represented Venezuela with authority against the Agricultores of Cuba on Saturday night at La Rinconada in Caracas, Venezuela.
Venezuela valiantly battled back from a 1-0 deficit early, putting up seven runs in the bottom of the first and never taking their proverbial foot off the gas on the way to a 20-3 victory. Both teams entered the game with a record of 1-1 in the Caribbean Series. Venezuela was coming off of a 6-1 loss against Mexico and Cuba lost 3-1 to the Dominican Republic.
Cuba scored the first run of the game off Venezuelan starter Guillermo Moscoso, who pitched 70 games in MLB with the Texas Rangers, Oakland Athletics, San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies. The Cuban starting pitcher Yoel Mogena got roughed up, giving up five runs and only recording one out. Venezuela would go on to score two more runs in the inning to make it 7-1 after one inning. This would only begin the nightmare for Cuba.
In the first, the designated hitter Wilfredo Jose Tovar got the scoring started with an RBI double. Outfielder Danry Vásquez drove in the second run with an RBI single and outfielder José Gregorio Rodón brought in the third run with an RBI single. Catcher Francisco Antonio Arcia pushed across two more runs with an RBI single and shortstop Orlando Arcia drove in the sixth run with a single. The seventh and final run of the inning came on a fielder’s choice. Venezuela batted around and sent more than 10 batters to the plate in the first inning.
In the second inning, Vazquez hit a solo home run and Rodón added to his RBI total with a double to make it 9-1. Moscoso settled in nicely, allowing two runs in six innings and striking out eight for Venezuela.
The Venezuelan bats were methodical, scoring in every inning except the third and seventh and pounded out a Caribbean Series record 25 hits, the most hits in a game since 1977, when the Dominican Republic had 23 hits against Mexico. Venezuela had eight players with multi-hit games. Rodón ended his night with six RBI and he had the second and final home run for Venezuela. Vazquez, Francisco Arcia and Orlando Arcia each had three RBI.
The 20 runs Venezuela posted was the most in a Caribbean Series game since the Naranjeros de Hermosillo, representing Mexico, trounced the Senatores de San Juan representing Puerto Rico 20-8 at the 1990 Caribbean Series.
Cuba will try to rebound against Mexico Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET and Venezuela will look to stay hot against the Dominican Republic at 6:30 p.m. ET. Both games will be played at La Rinconada. All Caribbean Series games are streamed on ESPN Deportes and ESPN+.