Rain and cold didn't stop the Dominican Republic on Tuesday night, just like nothing else slowed it down during the World Baseball Classic.
Minnesota Twins right-hander Samuel Deduno pitched five innings and combined with four relievers on a three-hit shutout as the Dominicans capped an undefeated run through the WBC with a 3-0 victory over Puerto Rico in the championship game at AT&T Park.
The Dominican Republic went 8-0 and became the first time to go unbeaten in a WBC. It also was the first team other than Japan to win the event. Japan captured the inaugural tournament in 2006 then repeated as champion in 2009.
Heavy rain began falling in the third inning. Though it tapered off later in the game, the precipitation made for a miserable night at the waterfront ballpark, where the game time temperature was 58 degrees.
The poor weather didn't bother Deduno, who has just five career wins in the major leagues. He allowed two hits while walking three and striking out five in getting the win.
Deduno continually frustrated Puerto Rico, holding them hitless in seven at-bats he faced with runners in scoring position. In all, the Puerto Ricans were 0-for-10 with runners on second or third.
The Detroit Tigers' Octavio Dotel, the Texas Rangers' Pedro Strop, the San Francisco Giants' Santiago Casilla and the Tampa Bay Rays' Fernando Rodney blanked Puerto Rico over the final four innings. Rodney notched his seventh save of the tourney and the Dominican bullpen did not allow a run in its final 25 1/3 innings.
The only downside in the win was that Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Hanley Ramirez left the game after five innings with a jammed thumb.
The Dominicans beat Puerto Rico, which went 5-4, in each of the tournament's three rounds. The Puerto Ricans failed to score in the last 23 innings of those three games.
The Dominican Republic jumped on Puerto Rico starter Giancarlo Alvarado in the bottom of the first inning to open the scoring on Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Edwin Encarnacion's two-run double.
Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes led off by doubling high off wall in right field. After a sacrifice bunt by Los Angeles Angels shortstop Erick Aybar advanced Reyes to third base, Puerto Rico manager Edwin Rodriguez decided to intentionally walk New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, who was 15 for 29 in the tournament to that point.
While the move was understandable, it backfired badly when Encarnacion drove a double into the right-center field gap to score Reyes and Cano.
Alvarado, who recently signed a minor-league contract with the Colorado Rockies after spending the last three seasons in Japan, was pulled after the first inning in favor of Milwaukee Brewers prospect Hiram Burgos.
Burgos held the Dominicans in check until the fifth inning when they increased their lead to 3-0. Aybar's two-out double into the right-field corner scored Chicago White Sox center fielder Alejandro De Aza, who had singled.
Reyes and Aybar, the top two hitters in the batting order, had two hits each.
Puerto Rico's best chance came in the seventh inning when Cleveland Indians infielder Mike Aviles led off with a single off Dotel and Chicago White Sox right fielder Alex Rios walked. However, Strop came on and escaped trouble by striking out Carlos Rivera and Pedro Valdes then getting to getting Jesus Feliciano to foul out as Kansas City Royals infielder Miguel Tejada made a tumbling catch while falling over the bullpen mound.
NOTES: St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina was in Puerto Rico's lineup and batting cleanup after missing Monday's workout because of illness. ... Tejada, who has played for the Dominican Republic in all three WBCs, expressed an interest in managing the team when the event is next held in 2017 ... Attendance was 35,703 in the 41,503-seat ballpark.