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    Notes: Dominican Republic remains unbeaten in WBC

    As a reward for their latest victory, the Dominicans get a World Baseball Classic rematch against the team that eliminated them in 2009.

    Wandy Rodriguez pitched six innings, and three relievers completed a three-hitter to help the unbeaten Dominican Republic top Puerto Rico, 2-0, Saturday in Miami.

    Both teams already had qualified for the semifinals in San Francisco, and the game merely determined seedings. Puerto Rico plays two-time defending champion Japan Sunday night, and the Dominicans face the Netherlands Monday night, with the winners advancing to the championship game Tuesday.


    The Dominicans were eliminated from the 2009 WBC when they lost twice to the Netherlands in a stunning first-round upset.

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    ‘‘We’re not thinking of the past; we’re thinking of the present,’’ Dominican manager Tony Pena said. ‘‘They’re going to be tough. We’re going to be tough also.’’

    Puerto Rico will face Japan for the first time.

    ‘‘They’re the two-time champions of the WBC for a reason,’’ Puerto Rico manager Edwin Rodriguez said. ‘‘They know how to play the game, and they put a lot of emphasis on the little things. ’’

    US at a loss

    A day after Joe Mauer, Brandon Phillips, and the latest United States team again failed to reach the WBC championship game, there was plenty of talk around the sport about what Friday night’s 4-3 loss to Puerto Rico in Miami meant.


    Some wondered whether the US should put together an even more packed roster next time. Others say the US has lost its hold on the game it invented. Many suggest the format of the tourney needs a tweak.

    Puerto Rico’s Nelson Figueroa, a 38-year-old righty who was born in Brooklyn and has pitched all over the globe, threw a fastball that never topped 88 miles per hour and still led his team into the semifinals with six shutout innings while eliminating manager Joe Torre’s side.

    Turner sprains ankle

    Justin Turner, the leading candidate to replace the injured David Wright at third base for the Mets, left New York’s game against the Marlins Saturday at Port St. Lucie, Fla., after spraining his right ankle. Placido Polanco was 2 for 3 with a double for Miami in his return from an oblique strain that had sidelined him since March 1 . . . Rangers righthander Kyle McClellan could miss the first month of the season because of a strained lat muscle. The Rangers scratched McClellan from his start Sunday against Seattle with the injury. Texas says in a release Saturday that McClellan should need 3-4 weeks of recovery before throwing again . . . Brennan Boesch made his Yankees debut, starting in right field and going 0 for 3 as a New York split squad lost, 7-0, to the Phillies in Tampa. New York agreed to a one-year contract with Boesch Friday. Boesch was released by the Tigers Wednesday. Domonic Brown hit his fourth spring training homer for the Phillies, a three-run drive in a four-run fourth against Hiroki Kuroda.