Cuba defeated Nicaragua by a score of 3-0 at the Latinoamericano Stadium in Havana, in the first of a 5-game match prior to Toronto 2015 Pan-American Games.
The right-hander Lazaro Blanco was the winner by allowing 3 hits in 4 innings, with 2 strikeouts and a walk, backed by solid reliefs by lefty Livan Moinelo and right-handers Yander Guevara and Yuniel Cano.
Cuba's best batters were catcher Yulexis La Rosa and 1st baseman William Saavedra, who hit solo homers each.
Cuba and Nicaragua will play again on Tuesday at Capitan San Luis Stadium, in Pinar del Rio, on Wednesday at Nelson Fernandez Stadium, in San José de las Lajas, and the last game will be on Thursday at July 26th Stadium, in Artemisa.
After the friendly series with the team of the Central American nation, the Cuban baseball team will leave for the United States to play from July 1st to 8th in the traditional bilateral match against the university squad of that country and the Festival of the Americas.
In the baseball event of the Toronto 2015 Pan-American Games, based in the modernized Ajax President's Choice Pan-American Baseball and Softball Center, Cuba will debut on July 11th against Colombia.
Then it will face off in successive order the USA, Puerto Rico and the defending champion Canada, to close the qualifying phase against the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua, in search of 1 of the 4 tickets to the semifinals.
Kazakhstan’s Astana Arlans team defeated 6-4 the Cuba's Los Domadores in the final of the 5th World Series of Boxing and returned to a top they had already visited in 2013.
Unexpected losses prevented the comeback of the Caribbean squad, defending champion, which just managed to win 2 bouts on Sunday through lightweight Lazaro Alvarez and light heavyweight Julio Cesar La Cruz.
The Cuban GMs Lazaro Bruzon and Leinier Dominguez will try today to approach the top of the Elite Group in the 50th Capablanca Memorial Chess Tournament that is enjoyed in the Cuban capital.
Bruzon will face the Russian GM Ian Nepomniachtchi while Dominguez, leader of the Latin-American rankings, will rival the Chinese GM Yu Yangyi, current leader of the lid.
Chile has not beaten Uruguay in the Copa America since 1983 when it won 2-0 in the group stage.
Chileans and Uruguayans, who are going to clash in the quarterfinals tomorrow, have already met 28 times in these world's oldest tournaments with a balance of 18 victories for the Celeste team, 6 wins for Chile and 4 draws. Today is a day of rest.
Russia intends to cut spending for the Football World Cup to be hosted in 2018 by 30,000 million rubles (500 million Euros / 560 US million dollars) due to the current severe economic crisis, according to a decree published today by the Russian government.
The number of training centers for each World Cup stadium will be reduced from 4 to 3 and less hotels will also be built, said the Sports Minister Vitali Mutko, to the R-Sport local agency news.
Budget cuts affect only "superfluous facilities," Mutko said, but would not save anything in the 12 planned stages although the country has changed several times its plans for the World Cup in recent months, for example, the reduction in several thousand of the seats provided in the stadiums of the tournament.
With the latest cut, the planned budget of the World Cup is 631 500 million Rubles (10,200 million Euros), but experts expect a total expenditure of more than 30,000 million Euros.
The permanent low price of oil and the weakness of the Ruble are putting enormous pressure on the state budget, as the Russian currency has lost about 40% of its value against the Euro in the past year, which has increased construction costs.
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