Brewers' Villar sparks Aguilas Cibaenas' victory

Infielder logs 3 hits to help set up Serie de las Americas title game

Brewers' Villar sparks Aguilas Cibaenas' victory

MIAMI -- No matter where they play, the Aguilas Cibaenas and Tigres del Licey rivalry is intense. The setting on Saturday night just happened to be at Marlins Park in the inaugural Serie de las Americas.

As anticipated, an energized atmosphere -- complete with screaming fans, many blowing horns and banging drums -- followed the two Dominican Winter League powers. Each side was well represented, but the edge on the field went to Aguilas, who prevailed 4-2.

Cardenales de Lara rolls in Americas opener

Jonathan Villar, who was recently traded to the Brewers, had three hits and drove in two runs, while right-hander Jose Adames, a Marlins' Minor Leaguer, allowed one hit over five shutout innings.

With the win, Aguilas will face the Cardenales de Lara on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET for the championship. The game will be televised on MLB Network.

Also on Sunday, Licey will face Navegantes del Magallanes at 2 p.m.

Licey was held to one hit through six innings before Jason Rogers, who had four homers in 86 games for the Brewers, went deep in the seventh inning.

Adames and Licey's Yunesky Maya each were flirting with perfection early. Adames allowed his first hit with two out in the fifth inning on Kyle Kubitza singled to center.

Maya ran into trouble in the fifth inning, allowing a leadoff single to Wilin Rosario. After two straight strikeouts, Danny Richar walked and Angel Franco opened the scoring with an RBI single to left.

After the hit, Maya, who struck out six and scattered three hits in 4 2/3 innings, was lifted due to an injury.

In the first four innings, both starters were in command.

The first hit came in the fourth when Villar singled.

Villar, actually, opened the game being hit by an off-speed pitch, but he was caught stealing. Maya didn't allow another baserunner until Villar's single. Even in the fourth, Maya faced the minimum because Villar was picked off second base by catcher Tyler Heineman.

Adames, meanwhile, retired the first nine in order, before he walked Roman Quinn to open the fourth. But Adames was able to retire his next three batters, prolonging his no-hitter.

Aguilas tacked on a pair of runs in the seventh inning, opening a 3-0 lead. Francisco Pena delivered a two-out RBI single, and Villar laced a triple to left-center.

In the eighth inning, Emilio Bonifacio's two-out, RBI single closed Licey's gap to 3-2. But Aguilas' reliever Lay Batista worked out of a second-and-third jam by retiring Rogers on a grounder to third.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.