Mariners prospects help Dominicans advance in OLY qualifying

Seattle Mariners prospects Julio Rodriguez and Luis Liberato hit early home runs, and the Dominican Republic coasted to a 13-3 rout of Nicaragua and a berth in the super round of the Americas Olympic qualifying tournament

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Seattle Mariners prospects Julio Rodriguez and Luis Liberato hit early home runs, and the Dominican Republic coasted to a 13-3 rout of Nicaragua on Tuesday and a berth in the super round of the Americas Olympic qualifying tournament.

Rodriguez homered twice and drove in three runs, combining with Yefri Perez for back-to-back home runs in the seventh. Former major leaguer Juan Francisco added a solo homer in the eighth.

Dario Álvarez, also a former big leaguer, won with two hitless innings of relief.

Second- and third-place teams advance to a final qualifier in June in Mexico, which will include Australia, Netherlands and Taiwan.

Rodriguez, who plays for High-A Everett, hit a two-run homer in the first off Elias Gutierrez following a leadoff walk by Emilio Bonifacio, putting the Dominicans ahead 2-1.

Liberato, who is at Triple-A Tacoma, hit a three-run homer that increased the lead to 5-1 in the third.

The United States’ game against Puerto Rico, which has no implication on the super round, was rained out and rescheduled for Friday.

Venezuela beat Canada 5-0 at West Palm Beach in a game that will carry over to the super round standings. Washington Nationals prospect Ramón Flores and Texas Rangers prospect Yonny Hernandez hit run-scoring singles in the second, Oakland’s Carlos Pérez hit a two-run homer in the fourth and Arizona Diamondbacks prospect Juniel Querecuto homered in the seventh.

Boston Red Sox prospect Oddanier Mosqueda pitched two hitless innings for the win.

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