GUADALAJARA, Mexico — Raul Gonzalez hit a tiebreaking double in the seventh inning, and reliever Leandro Martinez pitched four scoreless innings as Cuba defeated reigning champion Puerto Rico 6-3 on Tuesday to finish with the best record in the first round of the Caribbean Series.
Frank Morejon scored on Gonzalez’s hit, and Martinez (1-0) did not allow a hit.
The Granma Alazanes (3-1) are trying to give Cuba its ninth championship in the tournament. The Cubans returned to the Caribbean Series in 2014 after a 54-year absence.
In 2017, the Alazanes lost in the semifinals to Mexico’s Mexicali Aguilas. They will face the Dominican Republic on Wednesday night.
In the other semifinal, Puerto Rico (2-2) will play Venezuela, also on Wednesday.
Puerto Rico is trying to win back-to-back championships for the first time since 1992-1993.
After Gonzalez broke a 3-3 tie in the seventh, Guillermo Aviles hit a two-run double in the eighth.
In the late game, Sergio Mitre pitched six strong innings, and Mexico beat the Dominican Republic 8-1.
Mitre (1-0) allowed one run and six hits over six innings with three strikeouts for the Culiacan Tomateros (1-3), who were eliminated before the game.
Japhet Amador and Justin Green homered for the Tomateros.