Starling Marte homers, collects three hits in Dominican Republic’s win over United States
Starling Marte wasn’t the hero in the Dominican Republic’s come-from-behind 7-5 win against the United States Saturday night, but he provided insurance. After Nelson Cruz’s three-run, go-ahead blast in the eighth, Marte smoked a solo shot to right field off left-hander Andrew Miller.
Marte, starting in center field and batting eighth, was 3 for 4 with a single, double and the home run. Last season, he batted .311 with a career-best .818 OPS and won his second consecutive Gold Glove award in left field. This season, he will play center field for the Pirates.
The homer was an especially encouraging sign. Not only was it off Miller, the Cleveland Indians’ dominant lefty reliever, but Marte had only three homers in the second half last season, and none of his nine homers last year could have been considered so opposite-field as this one.
On defense, there was this notable miscommunication between Marte and Cruz.
Fellow Pirates Gregory Polanco, Andrew McCutchen and Josh Harrison did not play Saturday.
Catcher Francisco Cervelli was 3 for 6 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI for Italy in an 11-10 extra-innings loss to Venezuela.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: email@example.com and Twitter @stephenjnesbitt.
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