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Puerto Rico wins back-to back Caribbean Series titles

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GUADALAJARA, Mexico (AP) Jonathan Morales hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning, and Puerto Rico won its second straight Caribbean Series title, rallying past the Dominican Republic 9-4 on Thursday night.

Down 4-3 in the seventh, Morales blasted his first home run of the tournament to give the Puerto Ricans their first lead of the game.

The Caguas Criollos, who rallied from a four-run deficit in their semifinal against Venezuela, gave Puerto Rico their 16th title in the tournament. Only the Dominican Republic (19) has more.

Rusney Castillo also homered for the Puerto Ricans, who played a shortened season after Hurricane Maria devastated the island last September.

“We overcame a big test because of the storm, but after Hurricane Maria I felt like we were going to win this, it was not normal what I felt, but we did it for the island,” Morales said. “We were tested but we overcame them because we are tough.”

Puerto Rico won back-to-back championships for the first time since 1992-93.

“Before the tournament I did not want to talk about the back-to-back championships because I did not want to put extra pressure on the guys, but they made it a reality,” Puerto Rico manager Luis Matos said. “Hurricane Maria was a disaster, the season was shortened and we played during the day and with lower salaries. There were a lot of things going on but we needed to put a fight, and we did it.”

The Dominican Republic was trying to win its first title since 2012.

Royals, Alex Gordon close to contract agreement

Alex Gordon
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MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that the Royals and outfielder Alex Gordon are “getting close” to an agreement on a one-year contract. Terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but the Royals could make it official within the next few days.

Gordon, who turns 36 years old next month, hit .266/.345/.396 with 13 home runs and 76 RBI over 633 plate appearances with the Royals this past season. His offense has waned, owning an adjusted OPS of 84 since 2016 (100 is average), but he still plays decent defense.

Gordon has spent all 13 years of his major league career with the Royals. With the club in a rebuilding phase, he will serve as the clubhouse leader and be a mentor to younger players on the roster.