Dominican Republic beats Puerto Rico 3-0 for WBC title
Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-run double in the first inning as the Dominicans capped a dominant, unbeaten run through the World Baseball Classic.
SAN FRANCISCO — Cheers of "Dominicana! Dominicana!" rang out through the rain at AT&T Park all the way to the lively streets of Santo Domingo.
The Dominican Republic has its World Baseball Classic crown, at last.
Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-run double in the first inning that held up, and the Dominicans capped a dominant, unbeaten run through the WBC with a 3-0 win against Puerto Rico for the championship Tuesday night.
"Tomorrow will be a national holiday," said Moises Alou, the proud Dominican general manager. "It was a tremendous win."
Robinson Cano earned MVP honors and Erick Aybar added an RBI double to back winner Samuel Deduno. Cano, the New York Yankees' star second baseman, finished his sensational Classic batting .469 (15 for 32) with two home runs, two doubles and six RBI.
The Dominican fans — fanaticos, indeed — didn't let the Bay Area's wet weather keep them from dancing in the stands, waving flags and tooting horns. Flags became makeshift ponchos.
The championship game drew 35,703 fans on a cool, drizzly night. Some 50,000 more supporters gathered to watch on televisions inside and outside Estadio Quisqueya in Santo Domingo, the Dominican capital city.
"There will not be anybody watching any other channel — soap opera, news, nothing," manager Tony Pena said before the game.
Now, the Dominicans get their long-awaited fiesta. A party they figured to have in 2009, when the Netherlands spoiled the plan by beating them twice for a stunning first-round exit.
After Fernando Rodney struck out Luis Figueroa to end it, Dominican players rushed the mound, each waving his own flag.
The Dominicans (8-0) won it in the city where countrymen Felipe, Jesus and the late Matty Alou made history in 1963 when they appeared in the same Giants outfield for several games. Moises Alou is the son of former San Francisco skipper, Felipe.
Puerto Rico had eliminated two-time reigning Classic champion Japan with a 3-1 victory Sunday night to make it an all-Caribbean final.
The championship game was available on television to 440 million households worldwide in 200 countries and territories, and in 15 languages.
Attendance for the semifinals and title game at the Giants' ballpark was 96,913. The tournament total of 885,212 surpassed the previous record of 801,410 in 2009.
• In Clearwater, Fla., SS Derek Jeter was removed from Yankees' lineup against the Phillies for "precautionary" reasons because his surgically repaired left ankle felt "stiff." Domonic Brown hit his sixth homer of the spring in the Phillies' 4-1 win, all but assuring himself a starting outfield spot.
• RHP Roy Halladay said he lost 10 pounds in two days because of a stomach virus, but still expects to pitch the second game of the Phillies' season-opening series in Atlanta.
• 1B Albert Pujols played in the field for the first time since offseason surgery on his right knee. He went 0 for 2 in the Angels' 6-1 loss to the Brewers in Phoenix. Plate umpire Seth Buckminster's hand was broken by a pitch during the game. Tim McClelland called pitches from behind the mound for four batters while the remaining umpire, Anthony Johnson, changed into home-plate gear.
• Cincinnati reassigned 22-year-old OF Billy Hamilton to its minor-league camp. The switch-hitter set a minor-league record with 155 stolen bases last season.