The Caribbean Series began yesterday in Culiacan, Mexico with a double header. Every team (there are five) plays each other once and then the top four play in the semifinals on Monday, February 6th. The finals are the following day.
Despite the fact that there were a bunch of current KC Royals playing winter ball this season, when checking the rosters for the Caribbean Series, there are zero participating. But I will continue to update on the progress of the tournament.
In the opening game of the Caribbean Series, Cuba shut out the Dominican Republic, 4-0. The Dominicans committed two errors which cost them two runs (both by shortstop Sergio Alcantara of the Arizona Diamondbacks).
Yoelkis Cespedes, the younger brother of NY Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, showed off his defensive ability and arm in right field for Cuba. He also went 1-for-4 with a run scored in the ninth spot in the order. Cuban leadoff hitter Roel Santos doubled and tripled, while driving in two runs.
The Dominicans collected just seven hits, two each by Zoilo Almonte (Mexico) and catcher Webster Rivas (SD Padres).
In the night cap, host Mexico defeated Puerto Rico, 4-2. There was close to 20,000 in attendance.
Former Royal Yunieksy Betancourt (who plays in the Mexican League) hit a solo home run in the 8th inning. Outfielder Chris Roberson (who also plays in Mexico) hit a two out, two-run home run in the seventh that gave Mexico the lead.
Puerto Rico collected just five hits, two by Ivan Dejesus, Jr (Milwaukee), one of which was a solo homer in the top of the 8th inning against former SF Giants closer Sergio Romo. They had just one hit through six innings (a Dejesus single with two outs in the fifth) off Mexican starter Daniel Rodriguez (Mexico).
Former Royal Rey Navarro went 1-for-4 while playing second base for Puerto Rico. Former Royal Ruben Gotay went 0-for-3 with a walk as the DH.
*Venezuela will play their first game today against Puerto Rico. Host Mexico will face the DR tonight.