3/19/2013 12:55 A.M. ET
Birthday boy Rodney wraps up sixth save for DR
By Andrew Simon / Special to MLB.com
Fernando Rodney celebrated his 36th birthday on Monday night with his sixth save of the World Baseball Classic, authoring a perfect ninth inning in the Dominican Republic's 4-1 semifinal win over the Kingdom of the Netherlands in San Francisco.
Rodney, the Rays' relief ace, punctuated his frame with his signature bow-and-arrow celebration, as his teammates joined him on the AT&T Park mound.
The Dominican Republic advanced to Tuesday night's championship against Puerto Rico, which will start at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on MLB Network and ESPN Deportes. Rodney will come in having pitched in all seven of his team's Classic contests, although this would be his first chance to appear on consecutive days.
"I think if I have the opportunity to do it [Tuesday], I"m going to be ready," Rodney said on MLB Network after the game.
In Monday's ninth inning, Rodney induced an infield popup from Andruw Jones, struck out Curt Smith swinging on his devastating changeup, then caught Jonathan Schoop looking at another changeup to finish the victory. He got through the frame on 13 pitches.
For the tournament, Rodney has allowed one hit in 6 1/3 innings, walking three and striking out six.
Andrew Simon is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.