By Circles Robinson
HAVANA TIMES, July 1 — Yadier Pedroso won his second game with relief help from Ismel Jimenez as Cuba blanked Holland at the World Port Tournament in Rotterdam on Friday.
The win positions Cuba with a good chance to make the one-game finals against first place Taiwan with only a game with Germany standing in the way on Saturday.
Nonetheless, Germany has shown surprise strength in the tournament having barely lost to Cuba 4-3 in 10 innings and on Friday lost a cliffhanger 3-2 to Taiwan.
Cuba’s bats were once again quieted by opposition pitching and RBIs by Donald Duarte and Rusney Castillo produced the games only run in the fourth inning.
Holland out batted the islanders 10 hits to five and blew numerous chances to score. Those included the top of the ninth inning when DH Bryan Engelhardt grounded out with the bases loaded to end the game.
Pedroso was not at his best allowing six hits and six walks while striking out six and committing a wild pitch in 6.2 innings. Jimenez picked up the save allowing four hits with no walks while striking out three in 2.1 innings.
After Friday’s games the standings are as follows: Taiwan (which beat Cuba twice in the qualifying round) 7-1, Cuba 4-3, Holland 4-3, Curacao 2-5 and Germany 1-6.