By Conor Liguori
World Baseball Network
The Dominican Republic and Panama both came into Monday’s matchup with 2-2 records so far in the Caribbean Series, making it a very important contest for the two teams. The D.R. was coming off a one-run loss in extra-innings to Venezuela on Sunday, while Panama defeated Puerto Rico 3-2 with help from a quality start from Steven Fuentes.
Panama opened up the scoring in the bottom of the second with a single from Joshwan Wright, scoring Jhonny Santos, who reached base with a single of his own earlier in the inning.
The D.R. got their offense going in the top of the third. An error from Panama third baseman Joshwan Wright came back to bite him, with three runs scored as a result. Gustavo Nunez drove a double down the line, driving in Webster Riveras, who reached on the error. With the game tied at one, Yamaico Navarro launched a fastball over the left field wall, and possibly into the ocean, to put the D.R. ahead 3-1. Panama starting pitcher Ernesto Silva was charged with any earned runs on the account of the error from Wright.
The D.R. would tack on three more runs in the fifth and sixth innings. In the fifth, a single from Gustavo Nunez moved Los Angeles Angels outfielder Luis Barrera to third. Barrera reached on an error to start the inning. A double from former MLB veteran Emilio Bonifacio scored both baserunners to put the D.R. ahead 5-1. In the sixth, Panama reliever Elvin Liriano walked two hitters before recording an out. Mel Rojas Jr., the first batter to be walked, would later score on a fielder’s choice to extend the D.R. lead to 5.
In the eighth, Panama gave the D.R. another run with poor pitching. Kelvin Guitierrez singled to lead off the inning, and came in to score all the way from first with two wild pitches and one balk to make it a 7-1 ballgame.
The D.R. lineup left no doubt in the ninth, tacking on three more runs, with an RBI double from Melvin Rojas Jr. and a two run single from Kelvin Guitierrez. Panama would be shut off in the ninth for a final score of 10-1.
The starter for the Dominican Republic, Steven Moyers, threw an impressive ballgame. In eight innings, he allowed just one earned run on eight hits and struck out five. Panama starting pitcher Ernesto Silva threw five complete innings and allowed two earned runs. He struck out three hitters and walked one.
Panama will play Mexico tomorrow, February 7 at 11:30 a.m. EST. The Dominican Republic will take on Colombia at 3 p.m. EST. Every game of the 2023 Caribbean Series is available via ESPN Deportes and streamed online on ESPN+.