The Dominican Republic used five pitchers to shut out Mexico and Melky Cabrera knocked in the only run in a 1-0 win in Olympic baseball pool play on Friday.
Starting pitcher Angel Sanchez went five innings, giving up just two hits and one walk. Ramon Rosso struggled in the sixth, but the rest of the pitchers gave Mexico very little — Dano Alvarez retired all three batters in the seventh, Jose Diaz gave up a walk but allowed no other base-runners in the eighth, and Luis Castillo closed with two strikeouts in a three-up, three-down ninth. Castillo plays for the Reno Aces, the AAA affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Cabrera, who played more than 500 games for the New York Yankees in the late 2000s and went on to play several more seasons with a succession of major league clubs, hit a two-out single in the fifth to drive home Charlie Valerio, who opened the inning with a double.
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Mexico threatened in the sixth. Isaac Rodriguez bunted his way to first base and moved to second on a passed ball, but he was thrown out at home while trying to score on a Joey Meneses hit thanks to a perfect throw from left fielder Jose Bautista, of Toronto Blue Jays fame. Meneses reached second while Rodriguez was being tagged out at home and reached third on another passed ball, but after a walk to Adrian Gonzalez, a fly ball by Daniel Espinoza ended the inning.
Neither team is eliminated from the running for a playoff bye. The Dominican Republic, which dropped its opener 4-3 to Japan, is 1-1. Mexico is 0-1. If Japan beats Mexico, Japan will claim the playoff bye, but if Mexico wins, the group win will be determined by a tiebreaker roughly akin to soccer's goal difference rule, with runs scored vs. runs allowed figured into a formula that takes innings played into account.