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Yadier Molina steps up for Puerto Rico

Catcher's two-run double highlights a three-run rally in the eighth inning to help defeat the Netherlands, 3-1, and advance to the next round.

March 10, 2009|Associated Press

Catcher Yadier Molina's go-ahead double keyed a three-run rally in the eighth inning, and host Puerto Rico defeated the Netherlands, 3-1, Monday night to advance to the second round of the World Baseball Classic.

The Netherlands protected a 1-0 lead until the eighth inning of the Pool D game in front of a sold-out crowd of 19,479 at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan.

Carlos Delgado and Alex Rios opened the inning with walks. After Ivan Rodriguez struck out, Mike Aviles walked to load the bases and Molina followed with a two-run double to left field against Leon Boyd that put Puerto Rico in front.

Alex Cora flied out, but Jesus Feliciano's single made it 3-1. Molina was thrown out at the plate on the hit.

J.C. Romero and Fernando Cabrera combined for a perfect ninth, sending Puerto Rico to Miami for second-round play beginning Saturday.

The Netherlands will face the Dominican Republic in an elimination game tonight, with the winner playing Puerto Rico on Wednesday for first place in the pool. The Netherlands defeated the Dominican Republic, 3-2, Saturday.

Right-hander Ian Snell started for Puerto Rico and gave up one run and three hits in four innings. He struck out five and walked one.

South Korea 1, Japan 0 -- Kim Tae-kyun drove in the only run at Tokyo to help South Korea beat the WBC defending champion and finish first in Pool A.

The teams already had advanced to the second round, and the game was to determine the seedings for the next round.

Italy 6, Canada 2 -- Chris Denorfia was four for four, including three doubles, and Italy eliminated Canada from the WBC in a Pool C game at Toronto.

Denorfia reached base five times and scored twice. He drove in two runs and made a diving catch on Joey Votto's sinking liner to center field in the seventh inning.

Justin Morneau had four hits for Canada.

Mexico 14, South Africa 3 -- Adrian Gonzalez had two home runs and a double and drove in six runs in a Pool B game at Mexico City to help eliminate South Africa.

Jorge Cantu had two doubles and a home run to back up right-hander Elmer Dessens, who gave up three hits in six innings for Mexico.

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