Latest Stories

Baseball: Puerto Rico ousts US stars from World Classic

Nelson Figueroa #27 of Puerto Rico pitches during a World Baseball Classic second round game against the United States at Marlins Park on March 15, 2013 in Miami, Florida. Mike Ehrmann/AFP

MIAMI – Nelson Figueroa pitched six shutout innings and Puerto Rico edged the United States 4-3 on Friday to claim the last semi-final berth in the World Baseball Classic.

Figueroa, a 38-year-old right-hander for the Arizona Diamondbacks, silenced a US lineup of Major League Baseball’s best sluggers to secure Puerto Rico’s first berth in the final four of the global baseball showdown.

Puerto Rico joins two-time defending champion Japan, Dominican Republic and the Netherlands in the semi-finals on Sunday and Monday in San Francisco with those winners meeting in Tuesday’s championship game.

On Saturday, the Puerto Ricans and Dominicans will meet to decide which will be the top seed from the Miami group. The winner will face the Dutch in the semi-finals while the loser must meet Japan in the semi-finals.

The US squad remains the greatest disappointment in the international showcase of the American pastime, having been ousted in the second round again as they were in the inaugural 2006 Classic. They fell in the semi-finals in 2009.

This time, the Americans were eliminated by a Puerto Rico lineup that they routed 7-1 on Tuesday in the double-elimination round. The US stars also fell to the Dominicans 3-1 on Thursday.

Mike Aviles singled in a run in the first inning to put Puerto Rico ahead to stay and the visitors padded the margin to 4-0 in the sixth inning while starter Figueroa allowed only two hits and one walk while striking out two.

US pitcher Vinnie Pestano issued a bases-loaded walk to Carlos Rivera and Andy Gonzalez followed with a two-run double to fight field.

The Americans answered in the seventh inning when Giancarlo Stanton singled to left field to drive in the first US run.

Ryan Braun hit a run-scoring double to left field in the eighth and Puerto Rican relief pitcher Fernando Cabrera walked Ben Zobrist with the bases loaded to pull the Americans within the final margin.

Eric Hosmer grounded out to end the US rally and in the ninth, Puerto Rico brought in closing relief pitcher J.C. Romero to complete the victory.

US slugger Adam Jones struck out swinging, Shane Victorino was called out on strikes and Jimmy Rollins flew out to end the game.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks , Baseball , MLB , Nelson Figueroa , Puerto Rico , US , World Classic

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Russia promises support to ending Ukraine crisis
  • Busted valve delays water interruption
  • Cardinal Tagle decries human ‘commercialization’
  • Religion builds bridges in ethnically split Cyprus
  • Iran general urges Tehran to make new UN pick
  • Sports

  • Vettel hoping for resurgence at Chinese GP
  • MLB pitcher donates $100,000 for Sewol ferry victims
  • Hamilton takes pole at Chinese Grand Prix
  • Duke’s Rodney Hood joining Jabari Parker in NBA draft
  • Phelps entered in 3 events at comeback meet
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • Fiat-Chrysler to produce iconic Jeep in China from 2015
  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • DOH to continue tracking co-passengers of OFW infected with MERS virus
  • 5 Filipinos with MERS in UAE reported in stable condition
  • PH boosts MERS monitoring after UAE nurse scare
  • Canadians back PH plea to take back waste
  • We treasure our Sierra Madre
  • Marketplace