Beltran, Molina Star for Puerto Rico at WBC
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.
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