MAZATLAN, Mexico -- It's been three games in the making, but the highly touted and once highly favored Dominican Republic team found the victory column for the first time in the 2005 Caribbean Series.
By virtue of Friday's 8-3 win against Puerto Rico's Mayaguez, the Aguilas improve to 1-2 in round-robin play. The Puerto Rican club, which finished the 2004 Caribbean Series with a 0-6 record, fell to 0-3 in this year's version.
"Everything was better and different today," Dominican Republic manager Felix Fermin said. "We played a lot better than we have the past two games."
Aguilas starter, veteran journeyman Doug Linton, was sharp through seven shutout innings, allowing only three hits and striking out eight. Puerto Rico starter Jonathan Albaladejo, who pitches for Pittsburgh, was not as effective. He was charged with six runs, three earned, in 6 2/3 innings for the loss. He also walked one batter and struck out two.
"Nobody likes to lose," Puerto Rico manager Mako Oliveras said. "We have to come back out and play better tomorrow."
In the third inning, Cleveland's Ronnie Belliard scored the Dominican Republic's first run of the game and Baltimore's Miguel Tejada added a run when he trotted home in the fourth for an early 2-0 lead.
Furcal extended the Dominican Republic's advantage to 6-0 with a two-run homer in bottom of the seventh and Castillo followed with a two-run homer of his own for the seventh and eighth runs in the eighth inning.
Mayaguez center fielder Andres Torres hit a two-run triple as part of Puerto Rico's three-run ninth inning to snap the Aguilas' shutout bid.
Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.