Venezuela tops Cuba in Caribbean series of baseball

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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 to a 3-1 victory Thursday over Cuba's Ciego de Avila and advance to the semifinals of the Caribbean Series.

The loss dropped the Cuban team to 0-3 and needing 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 Yosvani Alarcon of the Cuban side.

The Aragua Tigers, meanwhile, improved to 3-1, moving into second place in the Caribbean classic.

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

The loss drops the Dominican team to 0-3, facing a do-or-die game against also-winless Cuba. Mexico leads the Caribbean series at 3-0.