Baseball / MLB

U.S. tops Dominican Republic, moves on to second round of Olympic qualifying

AP

Oakland’s Mark Payton, Tampa Bay’s Jake Cronenworth, Philadelphia’s Alec Bohm and the New York Yankees’ Erik Kratz homered as the United States built a six-run lead and hung on to beat the Dominican Republic 10-8 Monday night to advance to the second round of Olympic baseball qualifying.

Brandon Dickson, who last pitched in the major leagues with St. Louis in 2012, allowed Alfredo Marte’s two-out RBI single in the ninth, then struck out Carlos Puguero on a full-count pitch with a man on for the save.

Mexico (2-0) and the U.S. (2-1) will advance from Group A of the Premier12 tournament to a super group in Japan. The top finisher from the Americas qualifies for next year’s Olympic baseball tournament in Japan. Second- and third-place finishers from the Americas go to a final qualifying tournament in March or April.

Payton hit a solo homer in the first. The Americans, coached by Scott Brosius, built a 4-0 lead in the second on Cronenworth’s solo homer and Kratz’s RBI single off Carlos Sano, and a run-scoring single by the Los Angeles Angels’ Jo Adell against Bryan Valdes.

Edwin Espinal hit a two-run single in the second against Oakland’s Parker Dunshee, but Bohm’s three-run homer in the third off Christopher Sanchez and an RBI single by Boston’s Bobby Dalbec in the fourth made it 8-2.

Espinal had an RBI single off Seattle’s Penn Murfee in the bottom half, but Kratz homered in the fifth off Carlos Pimentel for a 9-3 lead.

The Dominicans closed to 9-7 with a four-run fifth that included Carlos Peguero’s RBI grounder off Kansas City’s Bryan Flynn and Charlie Valerio’s three-run homer.

Adell had an RBI single in the eighth against former big leaguer Neftali Feliz.

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