Mariano Rivera was proud to hold his country's flag during ceremonies for the World Baseball Classic, but he really would have loved to hold a baseball. As he continues to recover from arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder, the Yankees' closer had to instead settle for donning a uniform and serving as an ambassador for Panama, paying a three-day visit to the Classic in Puerto Rico.
With its second loss in two days -- a 9-0 setback to the Dominican Republic on Sunday in Pool D play -- Panama was eliminated from the World Baseball Classic.
Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz is in the lineup for Panama a day after suffering a strained neck in a 7-0 loss to Puerto Rico.
Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz suffered a strained neck playing in the World Baseball Classic on Saturday, when Panama lost to Puerto Rico, 7-0, at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The injury is not believed to be serious.
The Dominican Republic and Panama will face each other on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. ET at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in the third game of Pool D competition of the World Baseball Classic.
Team Panama dropped a 7-0 decision to the hometown Puerto Ricans on Saturday and now must face elimination against the Dominican Republic on Sunday.
Carlos Lee believes that his Panamanian team has an advantage over Puerto Rico when the two teams meet in Game 2 of Pool D play Saturday, at 5 p.m. ET at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan. For Lee, Panama will play with less pressure than Puerto Rico.
Carlos Lee would be a big bopper for any team he played on, but the Astros slugger plays an even bigger role for Panama's World Baseball Classic squad.
Starter Abraham Atencio and Arquimedes Nieto were sharp on the mound, but some shaky "D" did in Panama vs. the Astros on Thursday in a 7-5 defeat.
A six-run fifth inning that included contributions from Javier Castillo Angel Chavez and Audes De Leon provided the offense in Panama's 8-3 win over the Tigers on Wednesday.