Yoennis Yera threw 3.1 innings allowing six hits, three earned runs, and four strikeouts in the first game for Cuba in a 4-3 win against Colombia at the Pan American Games (Photo Courtesy WBSC Americas)
By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
On the third day of the 2023 Pan American Game baseball tournament, world No. 8 Cuba beat No. 15 Colombia 4-3 in both nations first game of Group B in Cerrillos, Chile.
Cuba is coming off a gold medal win from the 2023 Caribbean Cup in Puerto Rico beating Curacao in the final game of their last international senior event.
Four Cuba pitchers – starting pitcher Yoennis Yera and relievers Renner Rivero, Yankiel Mauris and Frank Abel Alvarez – combined to allowed seven hits, three earned runs, two walks, and seven strikeouts in the win.
Colombia’s pitching staff combined to allow eight hits, four earned runs, three walks, and two strikeouts during Friday’s loss.
In the bottom of the first inning, Cuba third baseman Dayan Garcia’ placed an RBI’s single to left field scored center fielder Roel Santos for a 1-0 lead.
During the top of the second inning, Colombia tied the game at one a piece when catcher Carlos Martinez led off the inning with a solo home run down the left field line, the first home run of the 2023 Pan American Games.
In the bottom of the third inning, Cuba regained the lead when third baseman Roberto Baldoquin launched a mammoth solo home run over the left field wall to put Cuba up 2-1.
Colombia manager Jose Mosquera then took out starting pitcher Randy Consuegra after only two innings. Consuegra allowed six hits, two earned runs, one walk, and one strikeout. Shortly thereafter, Cuba left fielder Luis Gonzalez’s groundout to Colombia third baseman Pertuz drove in right fielder Yoelkis Guilbert came in to score to make it 3-1.
In the top of the fourth inning, Colombia tied the game up at three when Pertuz stroked a two-run home run over the left field fence, scoring Arroyo.
Yera left the game during the top of the fourth inning, yielding to Rivero after throwing 3.1 innings and allowing six hits, three earned runs, and four strikeouts.
During the bottom of the fifth inning, Cuba would break the tie once again as second baseman Yadil Mujica reached on a fielder’s choice between first base and second base. As catcher Andrys Perez was thrown out at second, Gonzalez came in to score the go-ahead run and Cuba took a 4-3 lead.
In the top of the seventh inning, Alvarez came into the game to record the final three outs, and Colombia designated hitter Jose Ramos struck out looking to end the game.
On October 21, two games will be played at Cerrillos Bicentennial Park. World No. 10 Dominican Republic will go up against No. 3 Mexico in Group A at 8:30 a.m. EDT. Host nation Chile will go up against No. 12 ranked Panama at 2 p.m. EDT.
Cuba will play sixth-ranked Venezuela at 2 p.m. EDT at Cerrillos Bicentennial Park on October 22. Colombia will play No. 23 Brazil at 8:30 a.m. EDT at Cerrillos Bicentennial Park on October 22.
All the 2023 Pan American Games will be live streamed for free on https://www.panamsportschannel.org/main.