Tiburones de La Guaira manager Ozzie Guillen lost Jhoulys Chacin before the game started, and it went downhill from there. (Photo courtesy of the CBPC)
By Leif Skodnick
World Baseball Network
MIAMI – The fourth day of the Caribbean Series started going poorly for Venezuela’s Tiburones de La Guaira before a single pitch had been thrown.
Well, at least, before a single pitch in their afternoon game at the 2024 Caribbean Series Sunday against Puerto Rico, which they lost 6-2.
Warming up in the bullpen, announced Venezuelan starter Jhoulys Chavin felt a twinge of pain in the bicep of his throwing arm while throwing pitches and was scratched, forcing manager Ozzie Guillen to ‘bullpen’ the game, with Tiago Da Silva serving as the opener.
Puerto Rico wasted no time jumping on Da Silva, scoring in the top of the first when JC Escarra drove in Bryan Torres with a single to center. With two outs and runners on first and second Jonathan Morales hit a ground ball or shortstop that was bobbled by Venezuela’s Ehire Adrianza, allowing Escarra to score before Adrianza recovered and fired home to get Torres at the plate for the third out.
They added another in the top of the second when Torres hit into a fielder’s choice at second, allowing Emmanuel Rivera to score from third when Venezuela second baseman Alcides Escobar threw to first to get the sure out.
Nelson Velasquez led off the top of the fourth with a triple, and then scored when Jack Lopez hit a sacrifice fly to right field.
Alexi Amarista’a fourth inning sacrifice fly scored Hernan Perez got Venezuela on the board in the bottom of the fourth.
They’d cut the Venezuela lead to 5-2 in the bottom of the sevent when Ramon Flores’ RBI single sent Amarista home. After fly outs by Luis Torrens and Yasiel Puig, Hernan Perez walked to load the bases for Odubel Herrera, who who fanned on a low changeup to end the Venezuela threat.
The loss dropped Venezuela to 2-1, while Puerto Rico improved to 3-1.
Venezuela will play Mexico (0-3) on Monday at 3:30 p.m., while Puerto Rico will face Panama (3-0) at 8:30 p.m. Monday. Every game is telecast live on ESPN Deportes.