At the Caribbean Series being played in Puerto Rico
HAVANA TIMES — The Cuban team playing in the highly competitive Caribbean Series suffered a double loss on Tuesday. First they lost to the Dominican Republic, their second consecutive defeat in the tournament. Then they saw two of their key players, Vladimir Gutiérrez and Dainer Moreira, abandon the team, presumably hoping to land a Major League contract, reported Café Fuerte.
With an offense unable to take advantage of numerous opportunities, combined with a hard hitting Dominican Republic line-up, saw the Cubans go down 6-1 in their second outing in San Juan. In all the Dominicans pounded out 14 hits to 12 by Cuba.
Rafael Perez picked up the win for the Dominicans (allowing six hits in 5.1 scoreless innings) while Norge Luis Ruiz took the loss for Cuba (9 hits in 5.0 innings and 3 earned runs).
The Dominicans took the lead 1-0 in the second inning and broke it open to 5-0 with four more in the sixth including a two run homer by centerfielder W. Garcia off reliever Jonder Martínez, ineffective for the second straight day.
Cuba’s only run came in the seventh on a triple by pinch hitter William Saavedra and RBI single by shortstop Dainer Moreira..
Moreira, 30, and the young pitching prospect Vladimir Gutierrez, 19, abandoned the team following the game.
“It’s confirmed they abandoned the team, it’s a hard blow to Cuba’s hopes to reach the finals,” a member of the Cuban delegation told Café Fuerte in San Juan. “It’s something that hurts a lot, but the dream of reaching the Major Leagues is very strong at all levels of Cuban baseball,” he added.
At press time, the whereabouts of the two players was unknown.
Gutierrez was the rookie of the year in the 2013-2014 season helping Pinar del Rio to the championship as a reliever with a 5-5 record and 3.90 ERA. This season, still in progress, he lowered his ERA to 2.45 and had a 3-5 record with 49 strikeouts.
Moreira, extremely fast on the base paths, debuted in the Cuban League in 2006 playing with Guantanamo, although he moved to Matanzas since the 2013-2014 season. In seven seasons he put together a .316 batting average. In the current 2014-2015 season he was a member of the league All Star team.
The Caribbean Series continues for Cuba on Wednesday with a 6:30 pm game against the host Puerto Rico. Both teams are 0-2 thus far in the tournament.