Puerto Rico stops Venezuela, keeps DR from title
MARGARITA ISLAND, Venezuela (AP) Puerto Rico's Indios de Mayaguez defeated Venezuela's Leones del Caracas 7-1 on Saturday to send the title chase for the Caribbean Series into the final day.
A victory by Venezuela would have clinched the title for the Dominican Republic's Leones del Escogido, which defeated Mexico's Naranjeros de Hermosillo 7-2 earlier in the day.
The Dominicans are 4-1 and can clinch the title by beating the Venezuelans (1-4) on Sunday. If the Dominicans lose, Puerto Rico (3-2) can force a playoff game on Monday by beating the Mexican club.
Brodie Downs pitched four strong opening innings for Indios with outstanding relief by Efrain Nieves and Juan Padilla. Nieves got the victory.
Dominican hitters Fernando Martinez, Kevin Barker and Juan Francisco smacked home runs - good for six of their seven runs - and winning pitcher Heath Phillips struck out seven in seven innings, yielding only three hits and two runs to the Mexicans.
Luis Garcia accounted for Mexico's only runs with a two-run homer in the first inning.
Updated February 6, 2010