Licey claims Caribbean Series title for Dominican Republic

5:06 AM UTC

The Dominican Republic, represented by the Tigres del Licey, won the 2023 Caribbean Series with a 3-0 victory over host club Venezuela in Caracas on Friday night. It marks the 11th time the Tigres have won the title and the first time since 2008. No other club has won more Caribbean Series titles, and the Tigres’ win clinched the 22nd Caribbean Series championship for the Dominican Republic.

The D.R. scored single runs in the top of the second, fifth and ninth innings, but the biggest lift came from the mound, where starter César Valdez threw 6 1/3 scoreless frames while yielding only three hits, walking none and striking out six. The 37-year-old right-hander threw 78 pitches — 54 for strikes — before turning things over to the bullpen, which silenced Venezuela’s bats the rest of the way.

Valdez was named Caribbean Series MVP after throwing 12 1/3 scoreless innings while giving up only six hits, walking none and striking out 10.

César Valdez won the title game and was named Caribbean Series MVP. (Fernando Llano/AP)

The D.R. got on the scoreboard in the second inning, when Kelvin Gutiérrez drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. In the fifth, Gustavo Nunez opened with a single and came around to score on a single by Yamaico Navarro. And in the ninth, the D.R. got an insurance run thanks to a throwing error by Venezuela third baseman Hernan Perez.

Relievers Jonathan Aro (two-thirds of an inning), Fernando Abad (one) and Jairo Asencio (one) blanked Venezuela for 2 2/3 hitless innings to clinch the championship for the D.R.

Robinson Canó (center) and teammates pose with the championship trophy. (Ariana Cubillos/AP)

Mexico wins third-place game over Colombia
In a taut pitchers’ duel, Mexico defeated Colombia, 1-0, to capture third place in this year’s Caribbean Series. Left-hander Jeff Kinley started for Mexico and tossed six strong innings, scattering four hits while walking none and striking out one.

Colombia starter Carlos Quevedo matched zeroes with Kinley for five of those frames, giving up just three hits while walking one and fanning four. But when he gave way to reliever Kevin Escorcia for the bottom of the sixth, Mexico broke through with the game’s only run.

Escorcia hit the first two batters he faced but got the next batter, Reynaldo Rodriguez, to ground into a double play. That’s when Mexico DH Joey Terdoslavich delivered a clutch RBI single that would prove to be the difference in the contest.

Mexico celebrates its victory in the Caribbean Series consolation game. (Fernando Llano/AP)

César Vargas pitched a scoreless seventh and a scoreless eighth for Mexico, and Jake Sanchez came in to close the game out for his fourth save of the tournament, stranding the tying run on second base.

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