The Caribbean Series kicked off last Monday (February 2nd) with the four Caribbean League Champions, along with Cuba, vying for supremacy.
Cuba, who started the series 0-2, finished pool play at 1-3 and just squeaked into the semifinals. They upset the undefeated Venezuelans and then beat Mexico in Sunday’s title game to claim their first Caribbean Series title since 1960.
Obviously, there were zero Kansas City Royals players on team Cuba, but there were a few Royals that took part in the Caribbean Series.
Let’s start with Day 1. Mexico beat Cuba and Venezuela beat host Puerto Rico. Balbino Fuenmayor went 0-for-4 with a strikeout in the game for Venezuela. He also committed a fielding error. Reymond Fuentes went 1-for-1 with two walks and a run scored for Puerto Rico.On Day 2, the Dominican Republic beat Cuba and Mexico beat Puerto Rico. Fuentes went 0-for-4 in that game and also committed a fielding error. He made up for the error in the same inning, when he picked up an outfield assist to end the inning.
On Day 3, Venezuela beat the Dominicans and Cuba beat Puerto Rico in ten innings. Despite not playing for Gigantes during the winter ball season, catcher Francisco Pena made his debut in the Caribbean Series for the DR and went 1-for-3 with a double and a strikeout. Meanwhile, Fuentes went 1-for-3 with two walks in the loss for Puerto Rico.
In Day 4’s matchups, Venzuela beat Cuba and the DR beat Mexico. Fuenmayor went 3-for-4 with a solo home run and two RBIs in the win for Venezuela. Jandel Gustave made his Caribbean Series debut for the DR. He walked two in his one inning of relief. Gustave induced three ground outs in the sixth and left in the seventh after a leadoff walk (which came around to score on an error).
On the final day of pool play (in which host Puerto Rico was eliminated), Venezuela beat Mexico and Puerto Rico walked off against the Dominican Republic. Fuenmayor went 1-for-4 with a run scored. Fuentes went 1-for-4 with an RBI and a strike out. Pena went 0-for-3 with a strikeout for the DR. Former Royal Tony Pena Jr took the loss for the DR.
Now to the semifinals, where Mexico beat the Dominican Republic in the afternoon game and Cuba beat Venezuela in the night cap. Cuba was down 4-0 heading into the sixth and won 8-4. In Venezuela’s final game, Fuenmayor went 2-for-4 with a run scored.
In recap, Fuenmayor went 7-for-19 in the Caribbean Series. Fuentes went 3-for-8. Pena went 1-for-6. Gustave pitched once (1IP, 0H, R, 0ER, 2BB, 0K).