Puerto Rico wins 6th straight in WBC, routs Venezuela 13-2
Puerto Rico catcher Roberto Perez (55) tags out Venezuela's Victor Martinez at home during the second inning of a second-round World Baseball Classic baseball game Saturday, March 18, 2017, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
JAY PARIS, Associated Press
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Mike Aviles got four hits and drove in three runs as Puerto Rico, already assured a spot in the World Baseball Classic semifinals, beat Venezuela 13-2 Saturday for its sixth straight win in the tournament.
Puerto Rico, runner-up to the Dominican Republic in the 2013 WBC, will play the Netherlands on Monday night at Dodger Stadium.
Kennys Vargas hit a two-run homer and Angel Pagan added a double and two singles as Puerto Rico got 17 hits. A day earlier, Carlos Correa, Carlos Beltran and Yadier Molina helped Puerto Rico hold off the United States 6-5.
Starter Jose De Leon pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings for the win. Martin Perez took the loss.
Venezuela lost to Puerto Rico for the second time in this year's WBC. It fell 11-0 in an abbreviated first-round game shortened because of the mercy rule.
Puerto Rico put the game out of reach with a five-run seventh after Venezuela pulled to within 5-2 on Rougned Odor's two-run homer in the sixth.
Reymond Fuentes' RBI double and Pagan's run-scoring single made it 5-0 in the sixth.
Aviles' two-out single pushed Puerto Rico to a 3-0 lead in the fifth. Carlos Correa, who had walked for the second time, scored on the hit.
Correa doubled in the third and scored an unearned run when T. J. Rivera's slow roller to the right side was fielded cleanly by first baseman Hernan Perez, who made an errant throw to Martin Perez at first.
Venezuela loaded with the bases loaded and one out in the second. Hernan Perez lifted a shallow fly ball to left, but Victor Martinez was late returning to third base to tag up. Martinez attempted to score, but he was an easy out at the plate on Pagan's throw.