Mets' Díaz hurts knee as Puerto Rico tops Dominicans in WBC
MIAMI (AP) — New York Mets star closer Edwin Díaz injured his right knee celebrating a win Wednesday night that advanced Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic and eliminated the Dominican Republic.
Díaz was taken off the field in a wheelchair in Miami soon after pitching a perfect ninth inning to close out Puerto Rico’s 5-2 win over the Dominicans.
The Mets later tweeted that Díaz injured his knee and would undergo further tests Thursday.
The Puerto Rican players were jumping together in the infield when Díaz collapsed to the ground, and he quickly reached for his right leg. Díaz was in tears and did not put any weight on the leg.
Díaz’s brother, Cincinnati pitcher Alexis Díaz, was also crying as Edwin was taken away. Mets teammate and Puerto Rico shortstop Francisco Lindor stood nearby with his hands on his head.
Christian Vázquez homered in a four-run third inning as Puerto Rico advanced to the WBC quarterfinals to face the winner of Pool C on Saturday in Miami.
It’s just the second time ever that Dominican Republic didn’t make it past the first round (2009).
After Vázquez’s solo homer off starter Johnny Cueto, Vimael Machin, Martin Maldonado, Francisco Lindor and Kiké Hernandez hit four straight singles to make it 3-0. MJ Melendez then grounded out on a play that allowed Lindor to score.
Cueto took the loss and was lifted before the end of the third after allowing four hits, three runs and striking out two.
Juan Soto made it 4-1 when he homered to deep center field -- 448 feet -- off Puerto Rico reliever Jovani Moran for his second home run of the tournament.
Soto finished the tournament 6vforv15 with three doubles and three RBIs.
Puerto Rico capped a dominant pool round in which it blanked Israel in a perfect 10-0 win Monday night.
CUBA 4, AUSTRALIA 3
TOKYO (AP) — Cuba earned a 7,500-mile flight to Miami for a trip to the WBC semifinals for the first time since 2006.
Alfredo Despaigne hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly and Yoelkis Guibert followed with a two-run single in three-run fifth inning.
Using current major leaguers for the first time at the WBC, Cuba plays on Sunday in Marlins Park against the winner of a quarterfinal between Venezuela and the second-place team from Group C: Canada, Colombia, Mexico or the U.S.
Former Philadelphia Phillies prospect Rixon Wingrove, who led Australia with seven RBIs in the tournament, hit a go-ahead RBI sngle in the second and had a two-run homer in the sixth off the Chicago Cubs’ Roenis Elías. Australia got two on later in the sixth before Elías retired Milwaukee Brewers prospect Alex Hall on a flyout.
Elías pitched a perfect seventh, Liván Moinelo worked around a pair of walks in a hitless eighth by striking out Ulrich Bojarski and retiring Tim Kennelly on an inning-ending flyout. Raidel Martinez pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for the save, striking out Darryl George on the eighth pitch of the at-bat for the final out.
Before a crowd of 35,061 at the Tokyo Dome, Luis Robert tied the score for Cuba with a run-scoring groundout in the third.
Cuba, which lost the 2006 final to Japan, had been eliminated in the second round of the previous three WBCs. The Cubans won their third straight game in this tournament after losing their first two.
Australia advanced past the group stage for the first time.
Yoán Moncada of the Chicago White Sox had two hits and two walks, and is hitting .421 wth five RBIs. Moncada sparked the third with a one-out double off Mitch Neunborn, who had walked Roel Santos leading off.
Winner Miguel Romero, the second of five Cuban pitchers, allowed one hit in 1 2/3 scoreless innings.
Former major leaguer Yoenis Céspedes left the team before the game for unspecified personal reasons, the Cuban Baseball Federation said.
MEXICO 10, CANADA 3
PHOENIX (AP) — Randy Arozarena had two doubles and five RBIs, Rowdy Tellez added a two-run single and solo homer, and Mexico pulled away late from Canada to earn a spot in the quarterfinals.
Mexico started the tournament with a surprising loss to Colombia in Group C at Chase Field but rallied with three straight wins, beating the U.S., Britain and Canada.
José Urquidy gave up two runs over four innings, striking out five to earn the win. Arozarena — the 2021 AL Rookie of the Year for the Tampa Bay Rays — hit a bases-clearing double in the sixth that broke the game open, giving Mexico a 6-2 lead.
Canada leadoff hitter Edouard Julien had two hits and an RBI and catcher Bo Naylor hit a solo homer. Rob Zastryzny took the loss after giving up three runs over two innings.
Canada played without Los Angeles Dodgers star first baseman Freddie Freeman, who left Tuesday’s game because of a hamstring injury.
VENEZUELA 5, ISRAEL 1
MIAMI (AP) — Eugenio Suárez homered, singled twice and had three RBIs and starter Jesús Luzardo struck out five in four scoreless innings to lead Venezuela, which already had clinched the Group D title and a quarterfinal berth.
Ronald Acuña Jr. had two singles while Eduardo Escobar also went deep for Venezuela, which finished with 10 hits.
Venezuela burst to a three-run lead in the first against Robert Stock. Acuña broke out of a tournament-starting 1-for-11 skid with an RBI single and Suárez hit a two-run single.
Escobar’s solo shot in the fourth made it 4-0 and Suárez connected with a leadoff drive in the sixth.
Jakob Goldfarb’s RBI single in the seventh snapped a 22-inning scoreless streak for Israel.
Venezuela joined Japan as the only group winners to finish unbeaten.
Israel finished 1-3 after reaching the second round in the 2017 tournament.
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The Associated Press