U.S. routs Canada in WBC; Puerto Rico pitchers perfect
PHOENIX (AP) — Mike Trout hit a three-run homer, Lance Lynn threw five impressive innings and the United States used a nine-run first to cruise past Canada 12-1 on Monday night in the World Baseball Classic.
The game was called after seven innings because of the tournament’s 10-run mercy rule.
In Miami, José De León and three relievers combined on a perfect pitching performance as Puerto Rico routed Israel 10-0 in a matchup called after eight innings because of the mercy rule.
Yacksel Ríos, Edwin Díaz and Duane Underwood Jr. closed out the win for Puerto Rico, which did not permit a baserunner. But it will not count as a perfect game in official WBC records because the game didn’t go a full nine innings.
That’s the standard established by the Elias Sports Bureau, the official statistician for Major League Baseball.
The U.S. improved to 2-1 and bounced back from an 11-5 loss to Mexico on Sunday with its best offensive performance of the tournament. Canada fell to 1-1 before a crowd of 29,621 at Chase Field.
The Americans sent 12 batters to the plate in the first inning. Nolan Arenado had a two-run double to start the scoring and Trout finished it by belting a low fastball into the left-center seats.
Lynn got the win, giving up one run and two hits while saving the bullpen for the team’s final game of pool play against Colombia on Wednesday. United States manager Mark DeRosa had to use eight pitchers on Sunday in the loss to Mexico.
Canada scored its lone run on Jared Young’s homer. Left-hander Mitch Bratt took the loss, giving up six earned runs while getting only one out.
PUERTO RICO 10, ISRAEL 0, 8 INNINGS
MIAMI (AP) — Puerto Rico bounced back from a 9-6 loss to Venezuela the previous day with a dominant display.
De León tied a WBC record with 10 strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings, earning the win. The right-hander was lifted after he fanned Spencer Horwitz on his 64th pitch, one under the tournament limit for starting pitchers in the first round. He exited to a huge ovation from the prohibitive Puerto Rico crowd of 27,813.
Afterward, he got the game ball and had it signed by his teammates.
Ríos relieved De León and struck out his only batter to end the sixth.
With his team up 9-0 in the seventh, Molina turned to Díaz, the New York Mets’ star closer, and he fanned one hitter in a 1-2-3 inning. Underwood retired Israel in order on 10 pitches in the eighth.
Javier Báez doubled twice and Francisco Lindor tripled and singled for Puerto Rico, which finished with 11 hits and improved to 2-1.
Puerto Rico struck quickly against Israel starter Colton Gordon with a three-run first. Báez hit a two-run double and scored on Eddie Rosario’s double.
Kiké Hernández made it 5-0 with a two-run double in the second and raced home on Emmanuel Rivera’s triple.
Lindor’s two-run triple keyed a three-run fifth, and Hernández’s run-scoring single in the eighth ended the game.
SOUTH KOREA 22, CHINA 2
TOKYO (AP) — Kunwoo Park and Ha-Seong Kim hit grand slams in consecutive innings, and South Korea set a World Baseball Classic scoring record with a 22-2 blowout of China in a game between teams that were already eliminated.
South Korea broke the runs record that had stood since Japan beat China 18-2 in the first round of the initial WBC in 2006.
In the earlier Group B game, Australia defeated the Czech Republic 8-3 and reached a quarterfinal against Cuba on Wednesday. Japan plays Italy the following day in the second quarterfinal.
In Group D, the Dominican Republic beat Nicaragua 6-1.
South Korea (2-2) finished third in Group B and failed to advance past the first round for the third straight WBC. The South Koreans finished third in the initial tournament in 2006 and were runner-up in 2009.
China (0-4) has never advanced past the first round. The last-place finish in the group means it will have to go through qualifying to reach the 2026 tournament.
The South Koreans took a 4-2 lead with a two-run second, then broke open the game with eight runs in the third, six in the fourth and four in the fifth. The game was stopped after five innings under the tournament’s mercy rule, which calls for games to end if a team leads by 15 runs after five innings or by 10 runs after seven.
Park had five RBIs, San Diego Padres infielder Ha-Seong Kim had four, and Hyseong Kim and Jung Hoo Lee three each for South Korea, which outhit China 20-4. Park hit his slam in the fourth off Hailong Sun and Ha-Seong Kim hit his in the fifth against Changlong Su.
Winning pitcher Hyeong Jun So entered to start the second inning and retired nine straight batters.
Losing pitcher Alan Carter, a Los Angeles Angels minor leaguer, allowed four runs, four hits and two walks in 1 1/3 innings.
BRITAIN 7, COLOMBIA 5
PHOENIX (AP) — Jaden Rudd hit a go-ahead, two-run double in the fifth inning, Harry Ford added a solo homer and Britain won a WBC game for the first time.
Graham Spraker got the win by pitching 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief, and Ian Gibaut earned the save. Colombia’s Yapson Gomez — who gave up Rudd’s double in the fifth — took the loss.
Dayan Frias had two hits and two RBIs for Colombia, which fell to 1-1 in the tournament. Britain improved to 1-2.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 6, NICARAGUA 1
MIAMI (AP) — San Diego Padres stars Juan Soto and Manny Machado homered, and the Dominican Republic picked up its first win of WBC pool play.
Rafael Devers hit a two-out RBI double in the first against Nicaragua starter JC Ramirez, driving in Soto for a 1-0 lead. Eloy Jimenez’s single in the second scored Soto again and gave the Dominicans a 2-0 lead.
Winning pitcher Cristian Javier allowed only two hits and struck out four in four innings.
The Dominican Republic (1-1) doubled its lead in the fourth when Francisco Mejia singled off Fidencio Flores to score Willy Adames, then Julio Rodriguez singled to drive in Jeimer Candelario.
Soto blasted a shot to right field off Junior Tellez to make it 5-0 in the fifth, and Machado tagged Tellez in the next inning with a drive to right-center.
Soto scored three runs. Machado also doubled in the ninth.
Nicaragua (0-3) made it 6-1 in the eighth on Elian Miranda’s bases-loaded RBI single. Ramirez took the loss.
AUSTRALIA 8, CZECH REPUBLIC 3
TOKYO (AP) — Milwaukee Brewers prospect Alex Hall had four RBIs as Australia (3-1) advanced past the first round for the first time in five WBC appearances, finishing second in the group behind Japan (4-0). The Czechs (1-3) finished fourth.
Logan Wade hit a tiebreaking, two-run double off the right-field wall in the seventh off loser Marek Minarik, driving in Robbie Glendinning and Aaron Whitefield for a 3-1 lead.
Hall homered in the first, the only hit off Martin Schneider in 5 1/3 innings. Schneider was pulled after 68 pitches, having reached the limit.
Eric Sogard had a tying single in the third off Mitch Neunborn that scored Petr Zyma. Hall hit a two-run triple in the eighth and a run-scoring grounder in the ninth.
Marek Chlup had a two-run single in the eighth for the Czechs.
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