Miscues cost Dominicans in opener
Despite three errors, Alou focuses on lack of hitting vs. Dutch
By Will Gonzalez / Special to MLB.com
The Dominican team collected eight hits and was issued eight walks, but only was able to score twice.
One run came off the bat of Miguel Tejada, who hit a solo home run off Netherlands starter Sidney Ponson in the fourth inning.
The other run came on a sacrifice fly by Hanley Ramirez in the fifth inning with the bases loaded and no outs.
The two Dominican runs only narrowed the 3-0 lead that the Netherlands assembled in the first inning, thanks to erratic fielding from the Dominican infield.
Eugene Kingsale led off with an infield single, and Sharlon Scoop followed him with a well-executed bunt that the Dominican catcher, Miguel Olivo, had trouble with throwing to first and was subsequently charged with an error.
Dominican starter Edinson Volquez retired the next two batters, but he ended up loading the bases when he walked Yurendell de Caster.
Volquez was not sharp in the first inning. He followed that walk with a wild pitch to the next batter, Sharnol Adriana, which allowed the Netherlands to score the first run of the game.
In the first inning, Volquez used 29 of the maximum 70 pitches he could throw in the first-round game.
Adriana pushed in two more runs against Volquez when he hit a sharp grounder to Dominican shortstop Ramirez, who stopped it with a dive to his left, but threw off first base for an error.
Despite all three of the Netherlands' runs being unearned, Alou focused his concern on the poor state of hitting by the Dominicans.
"I did not feel very comfortable with this game," said Alou. "I managed this team for the three games before the Classic, and it only batted in one game, which was the first game."
The Dominican team won its first exhibition game against Major League clubs, 10-1, against the Marlins, but lost, 6-1, to the Orioles, and 4-1 to the Cardinals.
"In the last 27 innings, with today, we have scored only four runs," said Alou.
The Dominican manager does not plan to make massive changes for his team's next game. On Sunday at 4:30 p.m. ET, the Dominicans meet the loser of the Saturday evening game between Puerto Rico and Panama.
"Jose Reyes will start at short," Alou said, "and I may change who plays in left field and catcher," but the manager said that those were planned moves because he is trying to get as many players a chance to start a game.
Alou also defended Willy Taveras' decision to attempt to steal third base with one out and Ramirez at bat in the bottom of the ninth inning.
"There was no sign of stealing or staying," Alou said. "So it was a decision that he took as a veteran to get to third with less than two outs."
The Dominican team will send Johnny Cueto to the mound Sunday.
"We have to come back tomorrow and win, because if we don't win, we won't be able to keep on playing," said Alou, referring to the Classic's double-elimination format.
Will Gonzalez is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.