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Cuba wins opener over Brazil 5-2

Mar 3, 2013, 2:04 AM EST

BASEBALL-WORLD-CUB-BRA Getty Images

Feisty Brazil was able to hang in another game, holding Cuba scoreless until the top of the fifth, only to eventually succumb 5-2 and fall to 0-2 in Pool A play in the World Baseball Classic.

Cuba got 4 2/3 scoreless innings from ace Ismael Jimenez to win its opener. Designated hitter Frederich Cepeda went 2-for-4 with a walk from the cleanup spot, and No. 9 hitter Erisbel Arruebarruena finished 2-for-4 with two RBI.

The Cuban team finally got on the board thanks to a hit and run in the fifth. It looked like Brazilian starter Andre Rienzo would escape a first-and-third jam, but the potential inning-ending double-play grounder he induced was undone by the runner taking off from first. Brazil did get the one out at first, but Cuba took a 1-0 lead. That was the end of the day for Rienzo, who had reached the 65-pitch limit imposed on hurlers. After Rienzo left, Cuba got one more run in the fifth and three in the sixth.

Aided by some shoddy Cuban defense, Brazil was able to rally for two runs in the bottom of the sixth. It might have put together another threat in the seventh, but Juan Carlos Muniz was called out on appeal for failing to touch first on his leadoff double. Replays indicated that he did, in fact, touch the bag on the way by, though it was close. Puerto Rican umpire Carlos Rey made the call.

Cuba is next scheduled to take on China on Monday. Brazil’s next game is also against China. That’s scheduled for Tuesday.

  1. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Mar 3, 2013 at 4:06 AM

    Viva la Revoluc….errr….ahh….béisbol Cubano.

    • Old Gator - Mar 3, 2013 at 1:38 PM

      Easy now, Ozzie. I know it’s that time of year, but really, think outside the great cycle of life for a change, will you?

  2. pgcubano - Mar 3, 2013 at 8:06 AM

    woohoooo

  3. bkh405 - Mar 3, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    Isn’t Barry Larkin coaching team Brazil? Too bad they can’t scratch out a win for the guy.

    • jwbiii - Mar 3, 2013 at 4:37 PM

      That pool is, by IBAF rankings,
      1. Cuba
      3. Japan
      18. China
      20. Brazil

      China is their best shot for a mild upset. The tournament has gone as expected so far, I think, but I don’t put much faith in the difference in quality between the #18 team and the #20 team. Japan also has a stronger team than they usually send to international tournaments.

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