U.S. Advances in World Baseball Classic as Cuba Is Eliminated

The U.S. advanced to the second round of the World Baseball Classic by beating Canada 9-4 with seven runs over the final two innings.

Adam Jones of Major League Baseball’s Baltimore Orioles had a two-run double in the eighth inning as the U.S. erased a 3-2 deficit yesterday in Phoenix. The Americans pushed across four more runs in the ninth inning, with Eric Hosmer of the Kansas City Royals delivering a three-run double with two outs.

The Netherlands reached the second-round Pool 1 final with a 7-6 victory over Cuba in Tokyo today. Former Atlanta Braves and New York Yankees outfielder Andruw Jones scored the winning run on a sacrifice fly by Kalian Sams in the bottom of the ninth inning. The Dutch team, which beat Cuba twice, will play Japan in the Tokyo Dome tomorrow.

The U.S., which needed wins over Canada and Italy to advance after losing its opening game to Mexico, was the last of eight teams to reach the second round of the World Baseball Classic, which gives major-league players from around the world the chance to represent their national teams.

“Play 162 games, the cream comes to the top, usually the best teams get to the postseason,” U.S. manager Joe Torre said. “But when you start playing these short series, momentum carries you here.”

The Americans join the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Italy in Pool 2 and next play Puerto Rico tomorrow in Miami. The Dominican Republic, which went 3-0 in the opening round after defeating Puerto Rico 4-2 yesterday, faces Italy tomorrow.

Two-time defending champion Japan routed the Netherlands 16-4 in second-round play yesterday to clinch a semifinal spot.

Early Lead

The U.S. team fell behind 2-0 as starting pitcher Derek Holland of the Texas Rangers gave up a two-run homer to Michael Saunders of the Seattle Mariners.

After the Americans tied the score with two runs in the top of the fourth inning, Adam Loewen put Canada ahead 3-2 with a two-out, run-scoring single off U.S. reliever Glen Perkins in the bottom of the sixth inning.

The U.S. then struck for three runs in the eighth inning to take its first lead, as Jones doubled and scored on a single by Shane Victorino of the Boston Red Sox.

Canada pushed across a run in the bottom of the inning and had the bases loaded with two outs before reliever Steve Cishek got a groundout to end the threat. The U.S. broke the game open in the ninth as catcher Jonathan Lucroy of the Milwaukee Brewers had a run-scoring single and Hosmer followed with a bases-loaded double to centerfield.

The Dominican Republic defeated Puerto Rico yesterday in a matchup of 2-0 teams as Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees had three hits, including a home run. Both nations had already clinched a spot in the second round.

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