SAN DIEGO (AP) — Nelson Cruz hit his third home run of the tournament and Gregory Polanco also went deep, leading defending World Baseball Classic champion the Dominican Republic to a 3-0 victory Thursday night that pushed Venezuela to the brink of elimination.

The Dominican Republic (1-1) had won 11 straight WBC games until losing to Puerto Rico in the Pool F opener on Tuesday night.

Venezuela (0-2) fell victim to a United States comeback on Wednesday night.

The Americans play Puerto Rico on Friday night. On Saturday, Puerto Rico faces Venezuela and the Dominican Republic faces the United States. The top two teams advance to the semifinals at Dodger Stadium. The Pool F winner plays the Netherlands on Monday while the Pool F runner-up plays Japan on Tuesday. The championship game is Wednesday night.

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