Cardinals

Beltran, Molina Star for Puerto Rico at WBC

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Carlos Beltran #15, and Yadier Molina #4 of Puerto Rico stand for the national anthem before their game against Spain during the first round of the World Baseball Classic at Hiram Bithorn Stadium on March 8, 2013 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Carlos Beltran #15, and Yadier Molina #4 of Puerto Rico stand for the national anthem before their game against Spain during the first round of the World Baseball Classic at Hiram Bithorn Stadium on March 8, 2013 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP)- Carlos Beltran’s RBI double keyed a three-run first inning and three Puerto Rico pitchers combined on a five-hitter in a 3-0 victory over Spain at the World Baseball Classic on Friday.

In the tournament opener for both teams, Angel Pagan got Puerto Rico started with a leadoff single against Sergio Perez. One out later, Alex Rios was hit by a pitch and Beltran drove in Pagan with a double to right.

Yadier Molina reached on an error and Mike Aviles hit a sacrifice fly. Consecutive walks to Pedro Valdes and Carlos Rivera forced in another run.

Puerto Rico starter Giancarlo Alvarado struck out four in four innings of one-hit ball. Hiram Burgos followed with 4 2-3 innings and Xavier Cedeno threw a called third strike past pinch-hitter Salomon Manriquez with a runner on to end it.

Puerto Rico joined the Dominican Republic atop the Group C standings. The Dominicans beat Venezuela 9-3 in their opener Thursday night.

Spain faces the Dominican Republic in the early game Saturday. Puerto Rico plays Venezuela.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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