Baseball

Former Blue Jay Jose Bautista helps lead Dominican Republic past Mexico in Olympic baseball

Melky Cabrera hit a run-scoring single with two outs in the fifth inning, Jose Bautista threw out the potential tying run at home plate and the Dominican Republic beat Mexico 1-0 Friday at the Olympics to even its record at 1-1.

Angel Sanchez allows 2 hits over 5 innings in a win

Dominican Republic players celebrate winning the game 1-0 against Mexico on Friday at the Tokyo Olympics. (Jorge Silva/Reuters)

Melky Cabrera hit a run-scoring single with two outs in the fifth inning, for Toronto Blue Jays star Jose Bautista threw out the potential tying run at home plate and the Dominican Republic beat Mexico 1-0 Friday at the Olympics to even its record at 1-1.

Charlie Valerio, a 30-year-old catcher with Sioux Falls in the independent American Association, doubled leading off the inning against Theodore Stankiewicz (0-1), a 27-year-old right-hander who pitched in Boston's minor league system and now is with Tijuana. Cabrera, a 15-year big league veteran who last played with Pittsburgh in 2019, sliced a single to left.

Mexico threatened in the sixth after Isaac Rodriguez reached on a bunt single; a video review reversed the initial out call by the first base umpire. Rodriguez advanced on Valerio's passed ball, and Joey Meneses singled to left.

Bautista, a six-time All-Star in his 10 seasons with the Jays, is 40 and made his last big league appearance in 2018, threw a one-hop strike to Valerio for the tag. With two on and two outs, Daniel Espinoza hit a flyout that centre fielder Emilio Bonifacio snagged with a backhand grab on the warning track.

Jumbo Diaz walked his leadoff batter in the eighth and Mexico advanced a runner to third with one out before Sebastian Elizalde flied to Bonifacio in short center — pinch runner Jose Cardona held on Bonifacio's off-line throw — and Meneses flied out.

Angel Sanchez (1-0), a 31-year-old right-hander whose only time in the major leagues was eight games with Pittsburgh in 2018, allowed two hits in five innings. Luis Castillo, a 25-year-old Arizona Triple-A right-hander, got three straight outs for the save, completing a four-hitter.

Stankiewicz allowed six hits in 4 2/3 innings, struck out five and walked one in a nearly empty Yokohama Stadium.

The Dominican Republic (1-1) was coming off an opening loss to Japan (1-0) in which it wasted a ninth-inning lead. Mexico was playing its Group A opener.

Dominican second baseman Gustavo Nunez was shaken up in a third-inning collision with Seattle prospect Julio Rodriguez on a flyout by Isaac Rodriguez that the right fielder grabbed as he struck Nunez's face. Nunez was replaced by Yefri Perez to start the fourth.

Bautista sent a drive just outside the left-field foul pole leading off the fourth, a call upheld by a video review.

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