HAVANA TIMES, Sept. 23 — Cuba and Nicaragua began a five-game exhibition series in San Jose de las Lajas on the outskirts of the Cuban capital on Wednesday evening with the hosts defeating the visitors 5-1.

The two teams are getting ready for the October 1-13 Pan American Games and World Cup Qualifying Tournament to take place in Puerto Rico.

Cuba’s offense was led by outfielder Yoennis Cespedes who went 3-for-4 including a homer and triple with two RBIs and two runs scored.

A total of five Cuban pitchers held Nicaragua to five hits and struck out 12 with starter Yulieski Gonzalez getting the win with five innings thrown.

Nicaraguan manager Davis Hodgson was pleased with his starter Berman Espinoza who held the tough Cuban lineup to one hit during the first four scoreless innings before allowing a run in the fifth and being knocked out after giving up four runs in the sixth.

The Nicaraguans only run came off Cuban veteran Pedro Luis Lazo who allowed a double, infield hit and sacrifice fly in the eighth.

Game two of the exhibition series is tonight at 8:00 p.m.  The games are being broadcast live on Cubavision Internacional


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