Juan Soto led Team Dominican Republic to a much-needed win over Nicaragua Monday in the 2023 World Baseball Classic. Team Dominican Republic shook up its vaunted lineup after losing its first game against Venezuela, placing Soto in the leadoff spot.

The move paid off as Juan Soto went 2-4 with a home run in the Dominican Republic's 6-1 victory. The team is 1-1 through two games in the World Baseball Classic.

“I've never done it. I didn't like it, but I will do anything for my country,” Soto told MLB Network when asked about hitting leadoff.

Soto and Team Dominican Republic have little margin for error after losing to Venezuela.  The Dominican Republic is one of five teams in Pool D. Each team plays four games in group play. The top two teams in the pool will advance to the World Baseball Classic quarterfinals.

“It's the first game,” said Soto, who seemed unfazed by losing the WBC opener to Venezuela. “They played great baseball. We played great baseball too, but they took the victory. We just gotta keep playing baseball, keep playing hard, forget about everything else.”

Soto went 2-5 against Venezuela Saturday, but the Dominican Republic was defeated 5-1. The San Diego Padres outfielder hit second in the lineup and drove in the team's only run of the game.

The Dominican Republic entered the WBC as the favorite to win the championship. Soto is one of a few marquee names in the team's vaunted lineup. Reigning AL Rookie of the Year Julio Rodriguez and 2022 NL MVP runner-up Manny Machado hit directly behind Soto Monday.

Venezuela leads the Pool D standings with a 2-0 record. Israel is 1-0 in Pool D ahead of its game with Puerto Rico Monday night. Puerto Rico is 1-1.