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Díaz van Mets hurt after Puerto Rico’s WBC victory over the Dominicans


MIAMI (AP) — New York Mets star closer Edwin Díaz appeared to sustain a major injury to his right leg Wednesday night as he celebrated a victory that moved Puerto Rico forward in the World Baseball Classic and eliminated the Dominican Republic.

Díaz was taken off the field in Miami in a wheelchair shortly after pitching a perfect ninth inning to cap off Puerto Rico’s 5–2 victory over the Dominicans.

The exact injury and its severity were not immediately known. The Puerto Rican players were jumping together in the infield when Díaz fell to the ground and he quickly grabbed his right leg. Díaz was in tears and did not put any weight on the leg.

Díaz’s brother, Cincinnati pitcher Alexis Díaz, also cried 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 4-run third inning as Puerto Rico advanced to the quarterfinals of the WBC to face the winner of Pool C in Miami on Saturday.

It is only the second time ever that the Dominican Republic has not progressed past the first round (2009).

After Vázquez’ solo homer off starter Johnny Cueto, Vimael Machin, Martin Maldonado, Francisco Lindor and Kiké Hernandez had four consecutive singles to make it 3-0. MJ Melendez then grounded out on a play that enabled Lindor to score.

Cueto took the loss and was waived before the end of the third inning after giving up four hits, three runs and two strikeouts.

Juan Soto made it 4-1 when he homered to deep center — 148 feet — off Puerto Rico reliever Jovani Moran for his second home run of the tournament.

Soto finished the tournament with 6vforv15 with three doubles and three RBI’s.

Puerto Rico closed out a dominant pool round on Monday night beating Israel in a perfect 10-0 win.


TOKYO (AP) — Cuba earned a 7,500-mile flight to Miami for the first time since 2006 for a trip to the WBC semifinals.

Alfredo Despaigne hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly and Yoelkis Guibert followed with a two-run single in a three-run fifth inning.

Cuba will play for the first time with current Major Leaguers in the WBC on Sunday at Marlins Park against the winner of a quarterfinal between Venezuela and the second team from Group C: Canada, Colombia, Mexico or the US.

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 Roenis Elías of the Chicago Cubs. Australia gave up two later in the sixth before Elías forced out Milwaukee Brewers prospect Alex Hall on a flyout.

Elías threw a perfect seventh, Liván Moinelo worked around a pair of walks in a hitless eighth by striking out Ulrich Bojarski and striking out Tim Kennelly on an inning-ending flyout. Raidel Martinez threw a 1-2-3 ninth for the save and struckout Darryl George on the eighth pitch of the at bat for the final out.

In front of a crowd of 35,061 at the Tokyo Dome, Luis Robert tied the score for Cuba with a runscoring groundout in the third inning.

Cuba, who lost the 2006 final to Japan, had been knocked out in the second round of the previous three WBCs. The Cubans won their third game in a row 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 hits .421 with five RBI’s. Moncada sparked the third with an one-out double off Mitch Neunborn, who had walked Roel Santos.

Winner Miguel Romero, the second of five Cuban pitchers, gave up one hit in 1 2/3 scoreless innings.

Former big leaguer Yoenis Céspedes left the team before the game for unspecified personal reasons, according to the Cuban Baseball Federation.


PHOENIX (AP) — Randy Arozarena had two doubles and five RBIs, Rowdy Tellez added a two-run single and solo homer, and Mexico pulled out of Canada late to earn a spot in the quarterfinals.

Mexico started the tournament with a surprise loss to Colombia in Group C at Chase Field, but rallied with three consecutive victories, beating the USA, Great Britain and Canada.

José Urquidy gave up two runs in four innings, struckout five to earn the win. Arozarena—the 2021 AL Rookie of the Year for the Tampa Bay Rays—hit a base-clearing double in the sixth that broke open the game to give Mexico a 6–2 lead.

Canadian 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 in two innings.

Canada played without Los Angeles Dodgers star first baseman Freddie Freeman, who left Tuesday’s game with a hamstring injury.


MIAMI (AP) — Eugenio Suárez homered, singled twice and had three RBI’s and starter Jesús Luzardo struckout five in four scoreless innings to lead Venezuela, which had already captured the Group D-title and a quarterfinal spot.

Ronald Acuna Jr. had two basehits while Eduardo Escobar also went deep for Venezuela, which ended with 10 hits.

Venezuela burst into a three-run lead in the first against Robert Stock. Acuña broke out of a tournament-starting 1-for-11 slip 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 an opening drive in the sixth.

Jakob Goldfarb’s RBI single in the seventh set up a 22-inning scoreless streak for Israel.

Venezuela joined Japan as the only group winners to finish undefeated.

Israel finished 1-3 after reaching the second round in the 2017 tournament.


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Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.