The Dominican Republic completed its perfect run through the World Baseball Classic with a 3-0 win against Puerto Rico in the championship game.
Edwin Encarnacion of the Toronto Blue Jays had a two-run double in the first inning and Erick Aybar of the Los Angeles Angels had a run-scoring double in the fifth last night at AT&T Park, home of Major League Baseball’s San Francisco Giants.
Jose Reyes of the Blue Jays doubled and tripled for the winners, who held Puerto Rico to three hits to finish 8-0 in the third edition of the international tournament. Japan won the first two titles.
“This is an unforgettable moment,” said Reyes, 29, who played for the New York Mets from 2003 to 2011. “This is one of the greatest moments of my career.”
Reyes and several teammates now will return to their MLB teams to continue spring training workouts before the regular season begins in less than two weeks.
Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees was selected as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player after hitting .469 for the Dominican Republic.
“Tonight we’re going to celebrate, tomorrow we’re going to celebrate and Thursday we’ll worry about spring training,” Cano, 30, said in a news conference.
The stadium had a distinctly Latin flavor last night, with most public address announcements in Spanish and anthems from the two Caribbean finalists sharing pregame ceremonies with “The Star Spangled Banner.”
Hits were celebrated with the banging of drums and the blaring of air horns. Dominican and Puerto Rican bands played between innings, trying to maintain enthusiasm in a crowd thinned by a steady rain that started in the fourth inning.
The Dominicans reached the final by defeating the Netherlands. Puerto Rico ousted defending champion Japan in the other semifinal.