The Caribbean Series is underway in Mexico, and there are a few Royals taking part.
By PETE GRATHOFF
The Kansas City Star
Teams from Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela are competing in a double-round-robin format. The top two teams will play for the championship on Feb. 7. All the games are being played in Hermosillo, Mexico.
The Dominican Republic is being represented by Leones del Escogido; Mexicos team is Yaquis de Ciudad Obregón; Criollos de Caguas is representing Puerto Rico and Navegantes de Magallanes is from Venezuela.
The second day of the Series was Saturday and the Royals Miguel Tejada went one for three with a double as the Dominican Republic rallied for a 6-2 victory against Puerto Rico. It was a 3-2 game in the eighth inning when the Dodgers Hanley Ramirez and Tejada each walked. Both scored on a three-run homer by Donell Linares.
For me its always been an honor to wear the Dominican Republic uniform. They know I will always be there for my country, Tejada told Baseball America.
In Saturdays other game, Venezuela scored two in the eighth inning and one in the ninth in a 4-3 win against Mexico. In the ninth inning, Jose Castillo walked with two outs, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Mario Lisson. Last year, Lisson was with the Royals' Class AA affiliate, Northwest Arkansas.
In the opening day of play Friday, Tejada was one for two with an RBI and a walk as the Dominican Republic beat Venezuela 7-2. In Mexicos 3-0 win against Puerto Rico, Royals pitcher Luis Mendoza scattered three hits and two walks in six shutout innings. He struck out three.
Former Royal Dennys Reyes relieved Mendoza, but got just one out and allowed one hit and one walk.
Mendoza figures to have an outside shot of landing the fifth spot in the Royals rotation this spring, but says hes ready to do whatever is needed.
"Spring training is always a battle," Mendoza told MLB.com. "Nobody has a solidified spot except (James) Shields and the first two or three starters. But I'm very happy with the team right now. I feel like we're going to compete more this year with a stronger group, and I'm happy to be with a team that's competing. I'll do what they ask, either long relief or starting."
Spring training starts Feb. 11, but Mendoza will leave camp a few weeks later for the World Baseball Classic. Hell represent Team Mexico.
Mendoza is not concerned about overwork.
"Like Kansas City said when I talked to them: Take care of yourself. We support you completely, but you know your body and you know your limits,' " Mendoza told MLB.com