The Dominican Republic continued its dominance of the 2013 World Baseball Classic on Monday, defeating the Netherlands 4-1 to clinch a berth in the championship game on Tuesday night. They will play Puerto Rico in the matchup of two first-time WBC finalists. The DR is 7-0 in the tournament and has outscored opponents 33-14.
Although the Netherlands jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning, it was only a matter of time before the DR's star-laden lineup broke through. Jose Reyes gave his club the lead with a two-out, full-count bloop single in the fifth:
The four-run fifth-inning rally was energized by Fernando Rodney's "rally plantain," the DR's good-luck charm. He explains:
Rodney then used the power of the plantain to close out the game in the ninth while a flock of seagulls descended upon center field:
Congrats to the Dominican Republic for advancing to the final, and congrats to the Netherlands, as well. They put together a really impressive run despite being underdogs nearly every time out.
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