SAN DIEGO – The rematch of the World Baseball Classic 2013 finale between No. 12 Puerto Rico and No. 13 Dominican Republic lived up to the pre-game hype with Puerto Rico prevailing, 3-1.

Puerto Rico catcher Yadier Molina shined in the victory, blasting a solo home run and RBI-single at the plate, while being involved in key plays on defence that helped shut down a potent Dominican Republic line-up.

The blockbuster match-up opened the second-round group-stage at Petco Park, where No. 2 United States and No. 7 Venezuela will also compete.

Hector Santiago pitched 2.2 shutout innings to earn the win, as Puerto Rico used five different pitchers.

Undefeated Puerto Rico will face the United States on Friday, while Dominican Republic, after suffering the nation’s first loss in the World Baseball Classic since 2009, will face Venezuela on Thursday.

The U.S. and Venezuela will meet in their first second-round contest on Wednesday.