Once again, the United States could only watch as an opposing pitcher celebrated at the World Baseball Classic.
This time it was 38-year-old right-hander Nelson Figueroa, who became the pride of Puerto Rico on Friday night when he led his team into the semifinals and eliminated the Americans, 4-3.
After Figueroa threw his last pitch to end the sixth inning, he leaped off the mound, then ran to catcher Yadier Molina to share a hug.
On Thursday, demonstrative Dominicans dominated the All-Star-laden U.S. lineup. The Americans endured a scoreless streak of 14 innings spanning the two defeats, and Figueroa limited them to two singles in six shutout innings.
J.C. Romero escaped a bases-loaded jam in the eighth and retired the final four batters for his first save. The last out triggered a pileup of Puerto Ricans behind the mound.
Clearing the bases
New York Mets third baseman David Wright has a moderate strain on the left side of his rib cage that will shut him down until next week, leaving his status for opening day uncertain. … The New York Yankees have agreed to terms on a one-year major league contract with outfielder Brennan Boesch. The 27-year-old Boesch hit .240 with 12 home runs and 54 RBIs in 132 games with Detroit last season. … The Tigers reported that minor league right-hander Cesar Carrillo has been suspended 100 games for violating baseball’s minor league drug prevention and treatment program.