By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
MIAMI- The Dominican Republic grabbed their first win of the 2023 World Baseball Classic, beating qualifier Nicaragua and knocking them out of the tournament 6-1 on Monday.
Dominican Republic manager Rodney Linares assigned starting pitcher Christian Javier to quiet the bats of the Nicaraguan offense, and Javier went four innings, allowing two hits, no earned runs, one walk and striking out four. Juan Soto and Manny Machado both hit solo home runs for the D.R.
The Dominican Republic got on the board in the top of the first inning when Rafael Devers doubled on to left field, and Nicaraguan outfielder Norlando Valle bobbled the baseball, allowing Soto to score the first run of the game.
During the top of the third, Nicaragua starting pitcher J.C. Ramirez was taken out of the game after walking Soto to start the frame. Ramirez pitched 2.2 innings, allowing two hits, one earned run, walking two batters and striking out two, yielding to relief pitcher Dilmer Mejia.
Mejia walked Devers, the first batter he faced, and the next batter Eloy Jimenez singled on a line drive to center field, sending Soto in to score for a 2-0 lead.
During the top of the fourth inning, the Dominican Republic’s Francisco Mejia singled on a ground ball to right field, and Jeimer Candelario scored to make it 3-0. A few batters later, Rodriguez singled to left field as Candelario came in to score to go up 4-0.
In the top of the sixth inning, the Dominican Republic kept the pressure on. Juan Soto sat back and drove a solo home run deep to right field to make it 5-0.
Machado, in his first three at bats flew out to center field, sending Juan Diego Montes back to the wall each time. Each at-bat, he narrowly missed hitting a home run, until finally sending one over the wall in the top of the seventh inning, when he launched a solo home run over the right center field wall to put the Dominican Republic up 6-0.
The Dominican Republic’s pitching staff combined to allow five hits, one earned run, four walks and 10 strikeouts and eliminated Nicaragua from the 2023 World Baseball Classic.
The Dominican Republic, 1-1, will play Israel tomorrow at 7 p.m. EDT on Fox Sports 1. Nicaragua, 0-3 will play their final game of the 2023 World Baseball Classic against Venezuela at 12 p.m. EDT on Fox Sports 2.