In a crucial game to both teams, the Dominican Republic shut out Venezuela this evening in the World Baseball Classic by a score of 3-0 .
Edinson Volquez got the start for the DR and provided 4.1 scoreless innings. Volquez scattered four hits and two walks while striking out six batters. He has a 1.13 ERA in this year’s World Baseball Classic.
Jhoulys Chacin pitched pretty well on the other side, limiting the DR to just one run and three hits over 4.1 innings pitched. The only run off Chacin came in the fifth, when Gregory Polanco knocked a home run over the right field wall. He wen 2-for-4 on the night and is now 8-for-15 so far in the tournament.
Jose Reyes started for the DR at shortstop and knocked a double off Chacin. He was 1-for-3 on the night with a walk.
The Dominican lineup tacked on two more runs in the late innings, getting deep into the Venezuelan bullpen. They scraped together a little rally off Padres A-Ball pitcher Jose Castillo, as Robinson Cano drove in a run with an RBI single. He was 2-for-3 with a walk on the night. The Dominicans added on one more run in the eighth, as Nelson Cruz hit a solo shot, his third home run of the tournament, to make it 3-0.
Jeurys Familia came in to close it out for the Dominican Republic and get his second save of the tournament. He ran into trouble after striking out Victor Martinez and Carlos Gonzalez. Jose Altuve singled to right, later advancing to second. Yangervis Solarte then singled to left, but Altuve didn’t advance home. Familia ended the rally by striking out the next batter, Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar, to end the game.
Familia, who is expected to be suspended to start the season, has yet to allow a run in the tournament.
Venezuela is not eliminated from the tournament yet, but their odds are now very slim. They will need Team USA to go 3-0 to have any shot of advancing out of the second round pool. The Dominican Republic, meanwhile, is in much better position after a loss to Puerto Rico on Tuesday.
The next World Baseball Classic action will be tomorrow night at 10 p.m. Eastern Time, as the U.S. takes on Puerto Rico.