Venezuela beats Cuba 3-1, reaches Caribbean Series semis

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SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) Alex Romero, Jose Martinez and Sandy Leon drove in runs to lead Venezuela's Aragua Tigers over Cuba's Ciego de Avila 3-1 Thursday and advance to the Caribbean Series semifinals.

The loss dropped Cuba to 0-3, and it needs a victory Friday to avoid elimination.

''We still have life. We haven't played the best baseball, but we still have a chance tomorrow when we play against the Dominican Republic,'' said Cuba's Yosvani Alarcon.

The Aragua Tigers (3-1) moved into second place behind Mexico (3-0).

Also Thursday, Puerto Rico's Santurce Cangrejeros beat the Dominican Republic's Escogido Leones 2-1 when Neftali Soto homered in the bottom of the 14th inning. Puerto Rico's Fernando Cruz got the win with two innings of relief.

The Dominican team (0-3) will be eliminated unless it beats Cuba.