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Panama rallies to beat reigning champion Puerto Rico

The Associated Press — Associated Press

PANAMA CITY (AP) — Pinch-hitter Jilton Calderon hit a go-ahead two-run double in the top of the ninth inning and Panama rallied from a five-run deficit to beat Puerto Rico 8-7 on Wednesday night for its second win in the Caribbean Series.

Two-time reigning champion Puerto Rico led 6-1 after six innings, but the Panamanians scored four runs in the seventh and finished the comeback in the ninth. Calderon hit a line drive to left field, bringing home Jonathan Galvez and Rodrigo Orozco to make it 7-6. Calderon scored on a single by Allen Cordoba to make it 8-6.

Calderon went 2 for 2 with two RBIs and two runs. Panama is playing in this tournament for the first time since 1960.

David Vidal had an RBI single with one out in the bottom of the ninth as Puerto Rico tried to come back, but Manny Corpas got the last two outs in the ninth inning for the save.

The Toros de Herrera, from Panama, are 2-0 in the Series. The Estrellas Orientales, from The Dominican Republic, are 1-1, and Puerto Rico is 0-2.

In the first game, Wilfredo Boscan had a strong outing and Venezuela got its second victory in the tournament by beating Cuba 1-0.

Boscan allowed three hits and no runs in 6 2/3 innings for the the Cardenales de Lara, who are in first place in Group A. The Cuban team, Leneros de Las Tunas, are second at 1-1m and Mexico is last with at 0-2.

Venezuela was the host nation for this year*s championship, but the Caribbean Professional Baseball Leagues decided to move it to Panama for security reasons.

Alejandro De Aza produced the only run of the game for Venezuela with a sacrifice fly in the seventh.

Alexis Rivero (1-0), who relieved Boscan, got the last two outs of the seventh, and Pedro Rodriguez pitched the ninth inning and got the save.