SAN FRANCISCO – Samuel Deduno pleaded with Tony Pena to leave him in the game – the outing of his life, his country across his chest.
Pena stuck with the demonstrative Dominican Republic right-hander – with his island nation’s World Baseball Classic hopes hanging on that managerial move. Deduno made Pena change his mind, and he never changes his mind.
The pitcher did his part by striking out Angel Pagan, and four innings later it was finally time for a party four years in the making.
The Dominicans have their World Baseball Classic crown, at last. Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina called right away to offer his congratulations after his countrymen beat Puerto Rico 3-0 on Tuesday night.
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 as the first winner not from Japan in the tournament’s short history.
Around the leagues
New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter missed his second consecutive exhibition game because of inflammation in his surgically repaired left ankle, and general manager Brian Cashman said there was a chance he could begin the season on the DL. In Glendale, Ariz., Ryan Court hit a tiebreaking two-run single against Dylan Axelrod in the eighth inning to lift Arizona to a 4-2 win over the White Sox.