MLB notebook: Phillies' manager Manuel not thinking retirement
Horns honked, percussion pulsed and school kids squealed. Miami can make quite a din when the Dominicans win.
The visiting team on the scoreboard, the Dominican Republic made itself at home by beating the United States, 3-1, Thursday night to earn a berth in the final round of the World Baseball Classic.
Pinch-hitter Erick Aybar singled home the go-ahead run in the ninth for the Dominicans, who improved to 5-0. They're assured of a spot in the semifinals beginning Sunday in San Francisco, where two-time defending champion Japan and the Netherlands have already advanced.
The United States must now play Puerto Rico on Friday night, with the winner earning a trip to San Francisco and the loser being eliminated.
No retirement for Manuel
Charlie Manuel figures he has plenty of time to see his grandchildren, play golf and travel the world during the offseason.
Manuel, who is in the final season of his contract with the Phillies, made it clear he wants to continue as manager beyond this year.
Manuel is the franchise's all-time leader in wins and only the second manager to lead the Phillies to a world championship.
Matheny returns to Cards
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny returned to the club after undergoing back surgery Monday in St. Louis. Matheny doesn't expect to miss any additional time but said he was told not to lift anything heavier than 5 pounds for the next eight weeks. It's unclear whether or not he'll be able to throw batting practice in the near future.
Around the league
Hall of Fame pitcher Phil Niekro is working at the Orioles minor league camp to teach pitchers knuckleballs. ... Matt Holliday returned to the Cardinals lineup after missing nearly a week with the flu. ... Mets ace Johan Santana rested Thursday but will assess whether he is ready to throw a bullpen session this weekend. He hasn't been on a mound in more than a week, and the Mets are letting him dictate his schedule.