Olympics-Baseball-One-time MLB vets lift Dominican Republic over Mexico 1-0

YOKOHAMA, Japan, July 30 (Reuters) - Well-known former Major League Baseball players gave the Dominican Republic a 1-0 victory over Mexico on Friday, evening out the Caribbean country’s record at Tokyo 2020.

One-time New York Yankees outfielder Melky Cabrera pushed a liner to the left-field wall in the fifth inning to bring home Dominican Republic’s lone run.

An inning later, former Toronto Blue Jays infielder Jose Bautista, playing left field for the Dominican team, prevented Mexico from scoring by throwing out Isaac Rodriguez, who had been trying to score on a double. Mexico lost a video challenge to the call.

Longtime Florida Marlins outfielder Emilio Bonifacio later in the inning chased down a ball deep in left center.

Dominican starter Angel Sanchez and reliever Ramon Rosso held Mexico to two hits each over six innings, and a trio of other pitchers did not allow a hit the rest of the game.

On the other side of the ball, Mexico designated hitter and former San Diego Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez had a hit and a walk in four plate appearances.

Dominican Republic right fielder Julio Rodriguez and second baseman Gustavo Nunez collided knees in the third inning while chasing a fly ball that Rodriguez caught. Rodriguez also took a punch in the face on the collision. They stayed in the game after several minutes of medical attention.

Play also stopped for 30 seconds amid heavy downpour with two outs in the top of the first inning.

Dominican Republic now stand at 1-1 and Mexico 0-1. Japan (1-0) face Mexico on Saturday, and, afterwards, the team with the best record among the three will not have to play again until Monday’s quarterfinals. The other two face off on Sunday with their counterparts from the South Korea-United States-Israel tournament grouping. (Reporting by Paresh Dave Editing by Shri Navaratnam)