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Mexico Shuts Out Cuba; Venezuela, Curacao, D.R. Win on Day 1 of Central American & Caribbean Games

 Leif Skodnick  |    Jun 25th, 2023 10:11am EDT

By Julian Guilarte
World Baseball Network

Mexico’s pitching staff made a strong statement in a 4-0 win against Team Cuba Saturday in the first game of the Central American and Caribbean Games in San Salvador, El Salvador in Saturnino Bengóa Baseball National Stadium. All the games in this tournament are seven innings. 

Mexico got to Cuba early with a run in the second inning against Cuba’s starting pitcher Carlos Viera.  Viera was wild in the second, giving up a leadoff walk to Mexico’s right fielder Fernando Villegas and a wild pitch that resulted in a run. They took a 2-0 lead in the fourth and Viera was pulled after giving up two runs over 3.2 innings pitched. Villegas scored again when he was driven in by Mexico’s third baseman Jesus Avila on an RBI double. 

Mexico’s starter Wilmer Rios pitched five scoreless innings with three strikeouts and only two hits allowed. 

Mexico scored their third run in the sixth with an RBI single by Avila to bring in Villegas who scored their first three runs. In the seventh, Villegas continued his big night with an RBI single that scored Edson Garcia to make it 4-0. 

Mexico (1-0) will play their next game against the host country El Salvador on June 25 at 10 p.m. ET. Cuba (0-1) will play their next game against Curaçao on June 25 at 3 p.m. ET.

Venezuela Edges Puerto Rico 4-3

Venezuela edged Puerto Rico 4-3 Saturday, capitalizing on a late throwing error to tie the game and then sending the winning run home with an RBI single by Juan Infante.

Venezuela scored the first run of the game in the second against Puerto Rico’s pitcher Luis Cruz on an error by third baseman Osvaldo Martinez. Crux went four innings giving up just that one run.

Puerto Rico scored two runs in the third to take a 2-1 lead on a triple by first baseman Kevin Luciano. Venezuela’s starting pitcher Brayan Salaya gave up the triple and didn’t allow any more runs in his 4.2 innings pitched.

Venezuela tied the game at two in the fourth with a double from right fielder Juan Infante. The game would remain 2-2 until the sixth.

Puerto Rico got a run after two hits and an RBI double from Martinez to take a 3-2 lead going into the bottom of the sixth. Venezuela responded with a leadoff walk and three singles in the inning that resulted in them taking a 4-3 lead.

Venezuela’s tying run came on a throwing error by Puerto Rico’s right fielder Bryan Miranda in the sixth. The go-ahead run scored on an RBI single from Infante, the next batter, who had a big day going 2-3 with two RBI.

Puerto Rico relief pitcher Freddie Cabrera took the loss and Venezuela’s relief pitcher Carlos Chourio got the win.

Venezuela (1-0) will play the Dominican Republic (1-0) at 11:30 p.m. ET and Puerto Rico 0-1 will play Nicaragua 1-0  at 6:30 p.m. ET. 

Dominican Republic Tops Nicaragua 6-5 in Eight Innings 

The Dominican Republic won 6-5 in eight innings in their first matchup of the Central American Games against Nicaragua. 

The Dominican Republic scored first in the third inning on an RBI double from first baseman Darlin Germán. 

Nicaragua answered back with two runs in the bottom of the third against Dominican Republic pitcher Yelmison Peralta. Peralta gave up a two-run double to center fielder Juan Diego Montes and Nicaragua led 2-1 after three. 

The game went back and forth several times, and the D.R took the lead back in the fourth with a two-run inning with sacrifice flies by Carlos Paulino and Adrian Valerie. 

Osman Gutierrez started for Nicaragua and pitched three innings, giving up three runs. 

The Dominican Republic added an insurance run in the fifth when right fielder Seully Matias hit a solo home run to give the D.R a 4-2 lead. 

Nicaragua erupted in the sixth for three runs to retake the lead on a home run by third baseman Alegria Benjamin. 

Nicaragua was up 5-4 going into the seventh, but the Dominican Republic tied it when Germán delivered his second hit, a single to left field that scored Irving Ortega. 

Designated hitter Wildert Pujols hit an RBI single to give the Dominican Republic a 6-5 lead in the eighth. Hansel Paulino pitched two scoreless innings with four strikeouts and got the win for the D.R. 

The Dominican Republic (1-0) will play Venezuela (1-0) 11:30 a.m. ET and Nicaragua will play Puerto Rico at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Curaçao blows out host Nation El Salvador in Opener

Curaçao won 12-4 over the host nation El Salvador in their first game of the Central American Games.

El Salvador went up 2-0 in first on a passed ball and RBI single from designated hitter Ronald Lopez. was up 2-0 after one, but the wheels fell off quickly.

Curaçao scored in every inning except the first and seventh.

Going into the third, Curaçao was down 2-1. The defense for El Salvador unraveled with three errors that caused three runs to score. Curaćao added one more run in the fourth to make it a 5-2 lead.

El Salvador committed seven errors on defense that were responsible for eight runs. Curaćao put up three runs in the fifth and four more in the sixth. Curaçao’s shortstop, former MLB player Andrelton Simmons was one of the standout performers with three hits and two RBI and a run in four at-bats.

Curaçao (1-0) will play Cuba (0-1) today at 3 p.m. ET and El Salvador (0-1) will play Mexico (1-0) today at 10 p.m. ET.