Cubs' Javier Baez leads Puerto Rico to WBC semifinals

U.S. outfielder Adam Jones grabs a catch above the wall for the out on the Dominican Republic's Manny Machado during the seventh inning of a second-round World Baseball Classic baseball game Saturday

There's the incredible, massive, extraordinary home run that was hit by - who else?

The Puerto Rican team wasted no time putting pressure on Venezuela, taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning on T.J. Rivera's RBI groundout.

This is the inherent risk in sending MLB players to the World Baseball Classic.

Maybe the fourth time's the charm.

State of Pool F: Puerto Rico, which lost in the finals to the Dominican Republic in the last WBC, won Pool F and guaranteed a return trip to the championship round with the victory. The Dominicans were 12-1 in their last 13 WBC games, including a 7-5 victory over the USA a week ago in Miami.

Duffy talked before last night's loss about how much has been made about those who are not participating in the WBC for the US and whether or not it motivates him and the other American starters (like Chris Archer, Marcus Stroman and Drew Smyly) to show everyone what they can do? Dominican Republic and all remaining World Baseball Classic games stream live online.

"We are having fun and staying together", he said. "Don't get that confused with not being into it and not caring". "It was a wonderful feeling".

Tonight's pitching matchup in U.S. vs. Puerto Rico Live today sees the Toronto Blue Jays' Marcus Stroman going up against Seth Lugo of the New York Mets. "They (U.S. pitchers) did a great job, when they needed to, of getting ground balls so we didn't score the runs".

The exit velocity on that ball was 117.3 miles per hour, which is the fourth-hardest hit HR of the Statcast era. Stanton homered in the following inning and the United States of America took a 4-2 lead. Manny Machado led off the inning against him and sent the ball heading deep to center field. Jones reached above the fence at the end of a long sprint to extract the baseball from a tangle of waiting fans. Machado tipped his helmet to Jones. Jones returned the gesture.

But U.S. outfielder Adam Jones jumped high onto the fence and stretched his left hand into the crowd to make a brilliant catch, plucking the ball nearly out of a spectator's hand. "I've seen the replay after the game".

It felt like a sad reply of 2016 in one little inning.

Neither side seemed to take Saturday's do-or-die game lightly.

With most of the 32,463 fans on their feet and chanting in the top of the ninth, a USA rally fell just short.

Leyland benched first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and catcher Buster Posey, replacing them with Eric Hosmer and Jonathan Lucroy, respectively. An inning later, Stanton and his sleepy bat awoke with a shot to the heart of the Western Metal Supply Co. building. On a first-pitch fastball, he lined a no-doubt home run to left field to give the United States a 4-2 lead, send the crowd into a frenzy, and end Santana's start.

Blue Jays' Marcus Stroman had similar success from the mound for the round one, as he recorded four strikeouts through 4 2/3 innings against the Dominican Republic's star-studded lineup. An Ian Kinsler fielder's choice and a double by Christian Yelich tied up the game 2-2.

Duffy did not allow another run after that.

Robinson Cano then homered to left to pull the Dominican Republic to 4-3. Cano popped out, but Cruz doubled to put the potential tying run in scoring position. Before giving up two runs in the ninth, Puerto Rico's bullpen had pitched nine scoreless innings in this round.

Dyson pitched a ideal bottom of the ninth and gave way to Luke Gregerson for the save. In San Diego, the crowd was more balanced, and the "U-S-A" chants could not be drowned out. "I thought we had a lot more representing the USA and chanting our names as opposed to Miami".

For the USA team, which has heard quite enough about how Clayton Kershaw and Mike Trout and Bryce Harper and so many other American luminaries are not here, this was a sweet triumph for those that were here.

Team USA had another fun 9 innings on Friday night, but came up short this time, falling to Puerto Rico 6-5 in San Diego.



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