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Dominicans' unforgiving lineup on display


CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Tony Pena, the manager of the Dominican Republic team in the World Baseball Classic, was saying before Tuesday's exhibition game against the Phillies that he hoped his team could score enough runs to take advantage of its strong bullpen.

That wasn't a worry, as the Dominicans pounded out an incredible 28 hits in a 15-2 win at Bright House Field.

Third baseman Miguel Tejada, who didn't play in the Majors last season, went 4-for-6 with a double. Jose Reyes, Robinson Cano and Hanley Ramirez all homered; Ramirez added two doubles and a single.

Tejada and Reyes both said they'd never played on a team that got that many hits before.

"I didn't even watch [the scoreboard]," Tejada said. "I was just talking to the guys and one of the guys said, 'We need two more to get 30 hits.' And I said, 'Wow, that's incredible.'

"We have a great lineup. I think the important part is we have a little bit of everything. We have power, we have guys who can do a hit-and-run, we have guys who can steal a base. I think that's going to be the difference for us this year."

Pena conceded that the Dominican team may not have as many sluggers as in previous years, but said he's more comfortable with this lineup.

"No question," Pena said. "For a power hitter to get his timing down at the plate is very tough. It's easier for a line-drive hitter to get his timing down, because they're going to put the ball in play and they're going to run."

Said Reyes: "It shows our lineup is very good, because we were able to face one of the best left-handers in Cole Hamels and were able to score eight runs. That's not easy to do. That doesn't happen very often. So we feel very good about our chances. We just need to continue to go out on the field and give everything that we have.

"The chemistry that we have is unbelievable. We have a lot of energy because we're hungry to play the game. We all know what happened the first two [World Baseball Classics], and we know this is our chance, our opportunity."

Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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