World Baseball Classic Round two, Pool two: Puerto Rico – Venezuela 0-2
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The two Hernandez’ lead Venezuela to a 2-0 shutout over Puerto Rico and into the semi-finals of the 2009 World Baseball Classic. They now will face the winner of today’s Puerto Rico-USA game on Wednesday to determine first seed from Pool two. Before the start of yesterday’s match Puerto Rico was the lone undefeated team in the tournament.
The winner-winner matchup was a pitcher’s duel with Seattle Mariner ace Felix Hernandez (W 1-0) delivering. The 22-year-old right-hander allowed just four hits and four walks in 4 2/3 scoreless innings, striking out seven. The relievers Carlos Vazquez, Enrique Gonzalez, Ramon Ramirez and Francisco Rodriguez combined to give up just one more hit and two base on balls in the reminder of the contest. Rodriguez picked up his second save of the WBC with his second four-out appearance in the second round.
The offense Venezuela’s provided the necessary run support in the third, when Bobby Abreu walked, stole second and scored on a single to center field by Carlos Guillen. Ramon Hernandez doubled the lead in the seventh with a solo homerun to left center field. The hit first was ruled a triple, as the ball caromed back to the field. But after watching the replay, the umpiring crew overturned the first call. Hernandez finished with three hits.
Puerto Rico put runners on second and third several times, but failed to score against a focused opposing pitching staff. Ian Snell (L 0-1) struck out five in four innings, inducing five hits, one run and two walks. It was a solid game by the Puerto Rican hurlers, but didn’t receive any help from their offense.