PR snaps 11-game losing streak
Leones de Ponce blanks Dominican Republic's Tigres de Licey
MEXICALI, Mexico -- Puerto Rico's Leones de Ponce will not leave the 2009 Caribbean Series as a title-holder, but in this case, that was the goal.
On Friday afternoon, Puerto Rico edged the Dominican Republic's Tigres de Licey, 3-0, for the club's first victory this week at Estadio Casas GEO. The victory keeps them out of the record books, snapping an 11-game losing streak in the Caribbean Series dating back to 1982.
Mexico's Hermosillo Naranjeros maintains the record for the most consecutive losses in the Caribbean Series, with 12.
Puerto Rico (1-4) will wrap up Caribbean Series play against Venezuela's Tigres de Aragua in the matinee on Saturday. The Dominican Republic (1-4) will face Mexico in the final game of the round-robin tournament on Saturday night.
The Leones wasted little time in Friday's matinee.
Center fielder Jesus Feliciano led off the game with a solo home run off Tigres starter Julio Mateo, and the Leones tacked on a run in the third inning, when third baseman Gabriel Martinez scored on a single by shortstop Luis Figueroa to extend the lead.
In the sixth, right fielder Andy Gonzalez drove a pitch from Mateo over the wall in center field for Puerto Rico's third run of the game.
It was more than enough. Puerto Rico starter Josue Matos allowed only two hits in five innings against the Dominicans before handing the ball to the bullpen.
Pitching in relief of Matos, Juan Padilla retired one of the two hitters he faced in the sixth inning before yielding to Josh Rainwater, who followed with three innings of scoreless relief. Ivan Maldonado retired the final two hitters in the ninth inning for the save.
Mateo received the loss after allowing six hits in 5 1/3 innings for the Tigres.
Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.