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2013 World Baseball Classic

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The 2013 World Baseball Classic was the third edition of the World Baseball Classic. It was held March 2-19 2013, the first to be held after a planned four-year break following the 2009 World Baseball Classic. The Dominican Republic national team won the tournament, defeating Puerto Rico, 3-0, in the finals, to complete the tournament with an unblemished 8-0 record. 2B Robinson Canó was named tournament MVP.

As early as 2008, there were reports about plans to possibly expand the tournament to 24 teams. [1]. In June 2011, Major League Baseball confirmed the 2013 edition of the tournament would feature a Qualifying Round, to be played in the Fall of 2012, which would expand the competitive field from 16 to 28 countries. The new round features 16 teams divided into four pools of four teams each. The 16 countries participating in the qualifier include the four teams from the 2009 Classic that did not win a game, plus 12 others.

The following 16 countries received Qualifying Round invitations:

Flag of Brazil Brazil, Flag of Canada Canada, Flag of Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei, Flag of Colombia Colombia, Flag of Czech Republic Czech Republic, Flag of France France, Flag of Germany Germany, Flag of United Kingdom United Kingdom, Flag of Israel Israel, Flag of New Zealand New Zealand, Flag of Nicaragua Nicaragua, Flag of Panama Panama, Flag of Philippines Philippines, Flag of South Africa South Africa, Flag of Spain Spain and Flag of Thailand Thailand. [1] The Qualifiers begin in September and continue through to November. Each of the four teams with previous experience in the WBC was chosen to head a qualifying group. Spain, Canada, Brazil and Taiwan won a spot in the round of 16. Brazil and Spain thus replaced Panama and South Africa, which had played in the first two Classics.

The winners from each pool advanced to the World Baseball Classic itself. Those four teams joined the remaining 12 countries - Flag of Australia Australia, Flag of People's Republic of China People's Republic of China, Flag of Cuba Cuba, Flag of Dominican Republic Dominican Republic, Flag of Italy Italy, Flag of Japan Japan, Flag of Mexico Mexico, Flag of Netherlands Netherlands, Flag of Puerto Rico Puerto Rico, Flag of South Korea South Korea, Flag of United States United States and Flag of Venezuela Venezuela - that received automatic invitations based on their performance in the 2009 tournament.

For roster information, see 2013 World Baseball Classic (Rosters)

Contents

[edit] Schedule

[edit] Pool A

At Fukuoka Yahoo! Japan Dome, Fukuoka, Japan

[edit] Pool B

At Intercontinental Baseball Stadium, Taichung, Taiwan

[edit] Pool C

At Hiram Bithorn Stadium, San Juan, Puerto Rico

[edit] Pool D

At Salt River Field at Talking Stick, Scottsdale, AZ, USA

At Chase Field, Phoenix, AZ, USA

[edit] Second Round Pool 1

Site: Tokyo Dome, Tokyo, Japan

[edit] Second Round Pool 2

Site: Marlins Park, Miami, FL USA

[edit] Championship Round

Site: AT&T Park, San Francisco, CA, USA

[edit] Game Results

[edit] March 2

at the Intercontinental Baseball Stadium
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Flag of Australia Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 5 0
Flag of Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei 1 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 x 4 10 0
Pitchers of Record
Win: Chien-Ming Wang (1-0) Loss: Chris Oxspring (0-1) Save: Hung-Wen Chen (1)
Home Runs
Australia: Stefan Welch (1)
Chinese Taipei: Cheng-Min Peng (1)
Umpires
HP: Kenjiro Mori (Japan); 1B: Lance Barksdale (USA); 2B: Greg Gibson (USA); 3B: Cesar Valdés (Cuba)
Time of Game: 2:53
Attendance: 20,035

Chinese Taipei, which had gone winless in the 2009 WBC, got off to a good start in the tournament with a 4-1 win over Australia, riding a strong effort from starting pitcher Chien-Ming Wang, who pitched 6 scoreless innings, giving up only 4 hits and walking none, to earn the win. His teammates gave him some early run support, scoring once in the bottom of the 1st against Chris Oxspring. Dai-Kang Yang led off the inning with a single, went to second on a sacrifice bunt and then was driven in by Cheng-Min Peng. The Chinese then added two more runs on the 3rd when Che-Hsuan Lin singled then Peng drew a walk. Chih-Sheng Lin followed with a ground rule double for a run, and Peng came in to score on Szu-Chi Chou's groundout. That marked the end of Oxspring's day, as he was replaced by Dushan Ruzic. In the 5th inning, Peng hit a solo homer off Warwick Saupold to give Taiwan a comfortable 4-0 lead. Reliever Yao-Hsun Yang gave up a solo homer to Australian 3B Stefan Welch in the 7th, but that was the only run the men from Oz could put on the board, as they did not manage another hit in the last two innings against Hong-Chih Kuo and Hung-Wen Chen.

at the Fukuoka Yahoo! Japan Dome
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Flag of Japan Japan 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 3 0 5 7 1
Flag of Brazil Brazil 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 3 9 0
Pitchers of Record
Win: Tadashi Settsu (1-0) Loss: Oscar Nakaoshi (0-1) Save: Kazuhisa Makita (1)
Home Runs
Japan: None
Brazil: None
Umpires
HP: Chris Guccione (USA); 1B: Poong-ki Kim (South Korea); 2B: Alfonso Marquez (USA); 3B: Carlos Rey (Puerto Rico)
Time of Game: 3:20
Attendance: 28,181

Playing for the first time in the World Baseball Classic, Brazil gave Japan a good scare by leading the game until the 8th inning, until a late three-run rally provided Japan a 5-3 win. Neither starter was particularly sharp, as Japan's Masahiro Tanaka allowed an unearned run on four hits in only two innings of work, being saved from a worse fate by a pair of timely double plays, and Brazil's Rafael Fernandes struggled with his control, walking three batters, hitting one with a pitch and throwing a wild pitch in his three innings on the mound. He allowed one run as well. Even though the game was played in Japan, Brazil was the home team, and Paulo Orlando led off the bottom of the 1st with a single off Tanaka, then advanced to second on an error by 2B Takashi Toritani. A fly ball advanced him to third and he scored on Leonardo Reginatto's single. Japan tied the game in the 3rd on Hayato Sakamoto's single, followed by a sacrifice bunt and a hit-by-pitch; Yoshio Itoi singled to tie the score, but Fernandes was able to escape without further damage. A sacrifice fly put Japan ahead, 2-1, in the 4th, but Reginatto doubled off Toshiya Sugiuchi to lead off the bottom of the frame, then scored on Reinaldo Sato's single to tie the game again. In the 5th, Brazil took the lead again when Orlando bunted his way on board, then executed a delayed steal, surprising C Ryoji Aikawa, who was only starting because Japanese captain Shinnosuke Abe was scratched with a knee injury. Reginatto doubled him in, and Japan suddenly became very nervous, as it was unable to score in the 6th and 7th innings. In the 8th, however, Seiichi Uchikawa hit a lead-off single, and Itoi sacrificed him to second. Pinch-hitter Hirokazu Ibata singled to right to drive in Uchikawa and tie the game. Hisayoshi Chono followed with an infield single and Toritani walked to load the bases. Japanese manager Koji Yamamoto pulled his trump card, inserting the injured Abe as a pinch-hitter. Abe hit a bullet up the middle, but 2B Felipe Burin made a nice diving stop; his only play was at second base, however, and Ibata scored the go-ahead run. Nobuhiro Matsuda then tacked on an insurance run with a single, and Brazil was unable to mount a final comeback, letting Japan escape with the win, but leaving all onlookers impressed by how well Barry Larkin's charges had fared against the two-time defending champions.

at the Intercontinental Baseball Stadium
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Flag of South Korea South Korea 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 4
Flag of Netherlands Netherlands 0 1 0 0 2 0 2 0 x 5 10 0
Pitchers of Record
Win: Diegomar Markwell (1-0) Loss: Suk-min Yoon (0-1)
Home Runs
Korea: None
Netherlands: None
Umpires
HP: Paul Emmel (USA); 1B: Lance Barksdale (USA); 2B: Trevor Grieve (Canada); 3B: Cesar Valdes (Cuba)
Time of Game: 3:24
Attendance: 1,085

The Netherlands, giant-killers in the 2009 tournament, started off where they had left off four years earlier by shutting out the Koreans, finalists against Japan in the last edition. The Dutch got an excellent performance from their pitchers, beginning with starter Diegomar Markwell, who pitched four scoreless innings, surrendering only a pair of singles and a walk, and his immediate successor Orlando Yntema, who followed with another three scoreless frames. By the time he left the mound, this teammates had scored three runs to put the Koreans in a serious hole. Andruw Jones led off the bottom of the 2nd with a double off Suk-min Yoon; Xander Bogaerts then moved him to second on a sacrifice bunt, and Curt Smith followed with a sacrifice fly for a 1-0 lead. They scored two more runs in the 5th when singles by Dashenko Ricardo, Andrelton Simmons and Jonathan Schoop loaded the bases; Roger Bernadina grounded into a force out to drive in a run, then Wladimir Balentien singled in a third run, as Yoon and Kyung-eun Noh failed to keep the Dutch bats in check. The Koreans would use five more pitchers to finish the game, but they wasted the few opportunities they had with men on base, and committed an uncharacteristic four errors to put their hurlers in trouble. In the 7th, Bernadina drove in another run with a single, then came in to score on an error by Jung-ho Kang, who was forced to leave the game with an injury. With a comfortable lead, Leon Boyd and Mark Pawelek closed out the game for the Netherlands.

[edit] March 3

at the Fukuoka Yahoo! Japan Dome
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Flag of Cuba Cuba 0 0 0 0 2 3 0 0 0 5 8 1
Flag of Brazil Brazil 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 6 1
Pitchers of Record
Win: Ismel Jimenez (1-0) Loss: Andre Rienzo (0-1) Save: Raicel Iglesias (1)
Home Runs
Cuba: None
Brazil: None
Umpires
HP: Alfonso Marquez (USA); 1B: Carlos Rey (Puerto Rico); 2B: Chris Guccione (USA); 3B: Felix Tejada (Dominican Republic)
Time of Game: 3:22
Attendance: 4,003

Brazil once again gave one of the tournament favorites a hard time, but still fell short, falling to Cuba, 5-2. Playing their second game of the tournament, barely 14 hours after the end of their opening loss to Japan, the Brazilians had a tough task in going against Cuban ace Ismel Jimenez, who lived up to his billing by allowing no runs on 4 hits and no walks in 4 2/3 innings, striking out 6 in the process. Andre Rienzo was able to match him for a while, keeping the Cubans hitless and off the scoreboard for the first four innings, but the powerful Cubans got to him in the 5th, when he walked José Miguel Fernández to lead off the inning; Eriel Sanchez botched a sacrifice attempt, but a single by SS Erisbel Arruebarruena put runners on the corners. Guillermo Heredia Jr. drove in Fernandez with a groundout, placing Rienzo over the pitch count limit of 65 in the process. Alexei Bell then greeted reliever Ernesto Noris with a single, and it was 2-0 for Cuba. The Caribbean team added three more runs in the 6th after Frederich Cepeda and José Dariel Abreu led off the inning with singles; pinch-hitter Raúl González plated a run with a fielder's choice, and Arruebarruena added two more with a single. Brazil reduced the deficit by scoring two unearned runs in the bottom of the 6th, then Juan Muniz led off the 7th with an apparent double, but was called out for not touching first base, a decision which gave Brazil's comeback hopes a death blow. Still, the Cubans managed only one extra-base hit all day, a double by Yasmany Tomas in the 7th. However, Raicel Iglesias gave up only one hit over the final three innings, while striking out 5, to pick up the save.

at the Intercontinental Baseball Stadium
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Flag of Netherlands Netherlands 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 1 1
Flag of Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei 0 1 0 4 0 3 0 0 x 8 7 1
Pitchers of Record
Win: Wei-Lun Pan (1-0) Loss: Tom Stuifbergen (0-1)
Home Runs
Netherlands: None
Chinese Taipei: Dai-Kang Yang (1)
Umpires
HP: Lance Barksdale (USA); 1B: Cesar Valdes (Cuba); 2B: Paul Emmel (USA); 3B: Kenjiro Mori (Japan)
Time of Game: 3:09
Attendance: 20,035

The only Pool B game of the day pitted two teams coming off exciting wins in their first games. The Netherlands started off well, getting off to a 3-0 lead on only one hit in the 2nd inning, but were victims of their inability to gather any more hits off Chinese Taipei's pitchers, and of two big innings by their opponents. Taiwanese starter Yao-Lin Wang was in a very generous mood, giving up three straight walks to Andruw Jones, Xander Bogaerts and Curt Smith to load the bases with one out in the 2nd. Reliever Wei-Lun Pan then hit Kalian Sams with a pitch, scoring a first run, and C Dashenko Ricardo followed with a two-run single, which would turn out to be the only Dutch hit of the day. The 3-0 lead was cut to 3-1 in the bottom of the inning, but the roof fell in on Tom Stuifbergen in the 4th, as he allowed the first five batters to reach, four of which would eventually score, and reliever Shairon Martis was unable to stop the bleeding, allowing a pair of sacrifice flies. Martis then let the game get completely away in the 6th, when he gave up a two-run homer to Dai-Kang Yang as part of a three-run frame that made the final score 8-3. With the Dutch unable to gather more than a few walks against the Taiwanese relievers, they were never in a position to come back in the game. Pan was credited with the win, having given only the one hit and a walk in 4 2/3 innings of relief. For Taiwan, now 2 and 0, the contrast with its winless 2009 performance could not have been bigger.

at the Fukuoka Yahoo! Japan Dome
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Flag of People's Republic of China People's Republic of China 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 3 2
Flag of Japan Japan 0 1 0 0 4 0 0 0 x 5 6 0
Pitchers of Record
Win: Kenta Maeda (1-0) Loss: Xia Luo (0-1)
Home Runs
China: None
Japan: None
Umpires
HP: Gerry Davis (USA); 1B: Chris Guccione (USA); 2B: Felix Tejada (Dominican Republic); 3B: Poong-ki Kim (South Korea)
Time of Game: 2:57
Attendance: 13,891

Japan won its second game in two days, although once again it was far from dominating against an opponent - this time China - it should have beaten easily. One of Japan's top pitchers, Kenta Maeda, was on the mound, and he did not belie his reputation, giving up only one hit, a 4th-inning double by Lei Li, and a walk over the first five innings. For China, the contrast could not have been bigger. Not only was Xia Luo a complete unknown on the international scene, he did not know himself that he was starting the game until manager John McLaren advised him a couple of hours before game time. He did very well in the circumstances, as he gave up only one run on 3 hits in 3 2/3 innings, before having to be removed in the 4th when he had reached his pitch count limit of 65. Japan's first run came in the 2nd, when RF Yoshio Itoi walked and stole second, then advanced to third on a groundout; a two-out single by Sho Nakata drove him in. Reliever Dawei Zhu was not as sharp however, as he was burned for four runs in the 5th, one on a single by DH Seiichi Uchikawa and the rest on a bases-clearing double by Itoi. Given a comfortable lead, three Japanese relievers combined to keep the Chinese hitless over the next three innings, striking out six batters in the process. However, the man who was given the ball to pitch the 9th, Tetsuya Yamaguchi, proved to be a mere mortal. The Chinese touched him for a pair of runs on two hits and a pair of wild pitches, making the final score 5-2.

[edit] March 4

at the Intercontinental Baseball Stadium
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Flag of South Korea South Korea 3 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 6 11 0
Flag of Australia Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 1
Pitchers of Record
Win: Seung Song (1-0) Loss: Ryan Searle (0-1)
Home Runs
South Korea: None
Australia: None
Umpires
HP: Greg Gibson (USA); 1B: Paul Emmel (USA); 2B: Trevor Grieve (Canada); 3B: Cesar Valdés (Cuba)
Time of Game: 3:31
Attendance: 1,481

South Korea got back on track after its opening loss. CF Yong-kyu Lee drew a lead-off walk from Chicago Cubs farmhand Ryan Searle (who made it to AAA during 2012). 2B Keun-woo Jeong hit into a force out. 1B Seung-yeop Lee doubled and DH Dae-ho Lee walked to load the bases. LF Hyun-soo Kim hit a two-run single, then Searle plunked 3B Jung Choi, having retired only one of the first six batters. RF Ah-seop Son grounded in Dae-ho Lee for a 3-0 lead. In the second, Yong-kyu Lee had a one-out single and Seung-yeop Lee doubled him in to make it 4-0.

The game remained at 4-0 until the 7th, when Korea got some insurance off Shane Lindsay. Yong-kyu started the rally again, this time with a single. Jeong hit into a force out. After a wild pitch, Seung-yeop Lee struck out. Lindsay tossed another wild pitch, then Dae-ho Lee singled home Jeong. In the 9th, they got their last run off Ryan Rowland-Smith. Seung-yeop Lee and Dae-ho Lee both singled. Hyun-soo Kim grounded them over, then Jung Choi grounded home Seung-yeop Lee.

Seung-yeop Lee and Dae-ho Lee each finished with 3 hits while Yong-kyu Lee reached base four times. On the hill, Seung Song and five relievers combined to hold Australia to 6 hits while striking out 12. Bright spots for the Aussies were RF Tim Kennelly, who went 2 for 2, and P Steve Kent, who pitched two shutout innings.

at the Fukuoka Yahoo! Japan Dome
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Flag of People's Republic of China People's Republic of China 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 2
Flag of Cuba Cuba 1 0 1 4 6 0 x 12 15 0
Pitchers of Record
Win: Danny Betancourt (1-0) Loss: Xin Li (0-1)
Home Runs
China: None
Cuba: Alexei Bell in 4th inning, 2 RBI; José Dariel Abreu in 5th inning, 4 RBI
Umpires
HP: Chris Guccione (USA); 1B: Carlos Rey (Puerto Rico); 2B: Gerry Davis (USA); 3B: Poong-ki Kim (South Korea)
Time of Game: 2:28
Attendance: 3,123

After three games in which China and Brazil gave surprisingly close challenges to Cuba and Japan, the favored nation finally pulled off a rout in Pool A. By doing so, Cuba and Japan were guaranteed to advance from the pool, as widely anticipated. In this game, Danny Betancourt, Yadier Pedroso, Vladimir García and Alexander Rodríguez teamed on a three-hit shutout, with Betancourt fanning 8 in 4 2/3 innings.

Cuba got all the offense it needed in the 1st. With two outs, 2B José Miguel Fernández hit into an error by 1B Fujia Chu, then scored on a triple by DH Frederich Cepeda off Xin Li. Fernández finished with three hits and four runs, while 1B José Dariel Abreu drove in five, including a grand slam against Yu Liu. After scoring 4 runs in the 4th and another 6 in the 5th, the Cubans simply had to wait until the Chinese had completed their turn at bat in the 7th inning, in order for the mercy rule to kick in for the first time of the tournament, confirming the 12-0 rout.

[edit] March 5

at the Intercontinental Baseball Stadium
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Flag of Australia Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 8 2
Flag of Netherlands Netherlands 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 x 4 8 1
Pitchers of Record
Win: Rob Cordemans (1-0) Loss: Dushan Ruzic (0-1) Save: Loek van Mil (1)
Home Runs
Australia: None
Netherlands: Jonathan Schoop in 2nd inning, 2 RBI
Umpires
HP: Lance Barksdale (USA); 1B: Kenjiro Mori (Japan); 2B: Greg Gibson (USA); 3B: Trevor Grieve (Canada)
Time of Game: 2:50
Attendance: 1,113

The Netherlands clinched a spot in the second round for the second straight Classic. Four-time Olympian Rob Cordemans was dominating, tossing five shutout innings. The offense was balanced, with eight of the nine starters getting a hit but none with multiple hits. Australia challenged in the top of the 1st; CF Mitch Dening had a one-out single, stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by C Dashenko Ricardo, but Cordemans escaped further harm. In the bottom of the 1st, the Netherlands got on the board against Dushan Ruzic, who had had success in the Netherlands' Hoofdklasse. SS Andrelton Simmons opened with a double; 2B Jonathan Schoop bunted him over and CF Roger Bernadina singled him in for a quick lead.

The Netherlands got the rest of their runs in the 2nd. 1B Curt Smith singled. Ricardo grounded down the third base line; Ruzic fielded the ball and threw past first base, putting both men in scoring position. After a ground out by LF Randolph Oduber, Simmons grounded home Smith. Schoop followed with a two-run homer. 2004 Olympics star Chris Oxspring shut out the Netherlands on one hit in five innings and Andrew Russell tossed a scoreless 8th, but the damage had been done against Ruzic.

Cordemans allowed only two hits and no walks in his five innings, striking out three. David Bergman relieved and tossed a scoreless 6th, though he needed a diving catch by Oduber on a fly from LF Luke Hughes to do so. In the 7th, 3B Stefan Welch doubled off Bergman, though the Dutch team veteran recovered to retire DH Justin Huber and 1B Mike Walker. Southpaw Jonathan Balentina was summoned to face left-handed RF Corey Adamson but plunked him. The Dutch squad then turned to Leon Boyd. SS Brad Harman singled home Welch, the first Australian run in 17 innings - and their last of this Classic. Boyd then whiffed pinch-hitter Chris Snelling to end the 7th.

In the 8th, SS James Beresford drew a leadoff walk from Boyd, but Dening grounded into a double play. Hughes singled, then Welch grounded out. The Netherlands brought in 7' 1" closer Loek van Mil for the 9th. He allowed two-out singles to Walker and Adamson. Harman drove a fly deep to left, but Oduber caught it at the wall to save the game again with his glove. Van Mil then retired backup C Allan de San Miguel on a strikeout to end it.

at the Fukuoka Yahoo! Japan Dome
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Flag of Brazil Brazil 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 6 0
Flag of People's Republic of China People's Republic of China 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 x 5 6 1
Pitchers of Record
Win: Jiangang Lu (1-0) Loss: Murilo Gouvea (0-1)
Home Runs
China: None
Brazil: None
Umpires
HP: Alfonso Marquez (USA); 1B: Gerry Davis (USA); 2B: Felix Tejada (Dominican Republic); 3B: Poong-ki Kim (South Korea)
Time of Game: 3:12
Attendance: 3,110

Brazil's hopes for their first WBC win unravelled thanks to five walks by their bullpen in the 8th, blowing a 2-0 lead. Brazil got going in the 2nd against three-time WBC hurler Tao Bu. Bu plunked 1B Daniel Matsumoto, then threw a wild pitch. DH Reinaldo Sato grounded Matsumoto to third and RF Juan Muñiz singled him in. That would be the only run Bu would give up in 5 innings.

For Brazil, Oscar Nakaoshi was doing his share, tossing four shutout innings while fanning six, and Murilo Gouvea followed with three scoreless frames. In the top of the 7th, Brazil got their second run but blew a chance for more. LF Tiago Magalhães, Sato and Muñiz all singled off Qingyuan Meng, then C Diego França grounded in a run. Jiangang Lu relieved and walked backup SS Pedro Okuda, but he then retired CF Paulo Orlando and PH Felipe Burin to escape the jam while keeping his team within striking distance.

China got all its runs in the 8th. DH Weiqiang Meng singled off Gouvea, then RF Yanyong Yang struck out. CF Xiao Cui and 3B Xu An both walked. Barry Larkin replaced Gouvea with Thyago Vieira, but the Mariners farmhand was also wild, walking 2B Lei Li on four pitches to force in a run. SS Ray Chang then came through with his third hit of the day, a two-run single that put China ahead for good. 1B Fujia Chu hit into a force out at second and Vieira hit C Wei Wang to load the bases again. Hugo Kanabushi relieved but was even wilder, walking both LF Zhenhong Lu and Meng to force in two more runs. Daniel Missaki was Brazil's fourth pitcher of the inning and finally stopped the carnage by retiring Yang. It was too late however, and Brazil was eliminated with the 5-2 loss, having lost all three of its games on tight scores.

at the Fukuoka Yahoo! Japan Dome
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Flag of Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 9 1
Flag of South Korea South Korea 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 x 3 8 0
Pitchers of Record
Win: Won-sam Jang (1-0) Loss: Hong-Chih Kuo (0-1) Save: Seung-hwan Oh (1)
Home Runs
Chinese Taipei: None
South Korea: Jung-ho Kang in 8th inning, 2 RBI
Umpires
HP: Paul Emmel (USA); 1B: Greg Gibson (USA); 2B: Kenjiro Mori (Japan); 3B: Trevor Grieve (Canada)
Time of Game: 3:27
Attendance: 23,431

South Korea, runners-up in 2009, needed a strong win today to advance. With the Netherlands having locked up one spot, Korea needed to beat Taiwan big to get the tiebreaker in run differential for the second semifinal spot from the pool. They handed the hosts their first loss, but by too small a margin, becoming the biggest team to fall so far.

Taiwan was in control most of the day. In the 3rd, LF Dai-Kang Yang singled off Won-jun Chang. Two outs later, SS Chih-Sheng Lin singled and an error by CF Jun-woo Jeon let Yang score from first. In the top of the 4th, 2B Yen-Wen Kuo had a two-out double off Chang. Kyung-eun Noh relieved, but Yang greeted him with a single that bounced over 2B Keun-woo Jeong to make it 2-0.

In the meantime, the Taiwanese hurlers were shutting down the 2008 Olympics champs. Yao-Hsun Yang (2 2/3 IP), Ching-Ming Wang (2 1/3 IP) and Ching-Lung Lo (2 IP) contained South Korea for the first 7 innings. In the 8th, though, they turned to one of their two pitchers with MLB experience, Hong-Chih Kuo, and the 2010 All-Star was not as efficient. DH Seung-yeop Lee greeted him with a double. After a passed ball by C Chih-Kang Kao, 1B Dae-ho Lee singled to make it 2-1. Kuo got two outs, but then served up a two-run homer to left by 3B Jung-ho Kang.

Taiwan still had a chance in the 9th to pull off a 3-0 first round. Kao opened with a single off Won-sam Jang, then Jung-il Ryu brought in the all-time Korea Baseball Organization save leader, Seung-hwan Oh. Oh struck out both Yen-Wen Kuo and Dai-Kang Yang, then got CF Che-Hsuan Lin on a pop-up to end it.

[edit] March 6

at the Fukuoka Yahoo! Japan Dome
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Flag of Japan Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 3 7 0
Flag of Cuba Cuba 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 3 x 6 10 1
Pitchers of Record
Win: Wilbert Pérez (1-0) Loss: Kenji Otonari (0-1)
Home Runs
Cuba: Yasmani Tomás in 3rd inning, 1 RBI; Alfredo Despaigne in 8th inning, 3 RBI
Japan: None
Umpires
HP: Gerry Davis (USA); 1B: Alfonso Marquez (USA); 2B: Carlos Rey (Puerto Rico); 3B: Felix Tejada (Dominican Republic)
Time of Game: 3:39
Attendance: 26,860

With both teams having secured spots in the second round, this contest would only determine second-round opponents, with the winner facing the Netherlands in round two and the loser facing Taiwan.

RF Yasmani Tomás opened the scoring in the 3rd, when the Cuban national team rookie went yard off Kenji Otonari, who had pitched perfect ball for the first two innings. In the 4th, Masahiro Tanaka relieved Otonari and got off to a slow start, allowing a single to 2B José Miguel Fernández and a RBI double to DH Frederich Cepeda. Cuba kept packing away; in the 6th, Fernández doubled off Hirokazu Sawamura. Luis Rivera pinch-ran and later scored on a single by José Dariel Abreu.

In the 8th, Cuba really pulled away. With one away, Takeru Imamura walked Cepeda and allowed a single to Abreu. That brought up three-time Cuban Serie Nacional MVP Alfredo Despaigne, who crushed a three-run blast to make it 6-0.

The defending champions, meanwhile, were not mustering any offense against Wilber Pérez, Yander Guevara, Diosdany Castillo and Norberto González (who retired all 8 batters he faced). After González left with one out in the 9th, though, Cuba's bullpen blew the shutout. Raicel Iglesias walked both LF Sho Nakata (Nakata's third time aboard) and PH Katsuya Kakunaka. Darién Núñez relieved but did no better, as the 19-year-old threw a wild pitch then walked 3B Yuichi Honda to load the bases. Cuba turned to a seventh hurler, Vladimir García. He served up a run-scoring single to CF Hisayoshi Chono. 2B Takashi Toritani hit a sacrifice fly, then DH Atsunori Inaba singled to close the gap to 6-3. That brought up backup catcher Ryoji Aikawa as the potential tying run but he went down on strikes to end the game.

[edit] March 7

at Hiram Bithorn Stadium
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Flag of Venezuela Venezuela 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 6 1
Flag of Dominican Republic Dominican Republic 3 2 0 0 1 0 3 0 x 9 13 0
Pitchers of Record
Win: Pedro Strop (1-0) Loss: Anibal Sanchez (0-1)
Home Runs
Venezuela: None
Dominican Republic: Hanley Ramirez in 5th inning, 1 RBI
Umpires
HP: Eric Cooper (USA); 1B: Ed Hickox (USA); 2B: Paul Hyham (Australia); 3B: Jesus Miller (Mexico)
Time of Game: 3:55
Attendance: 15,069

In a high-profile match-up, the third-place team from 2009 (Venezuela) was routed by the fourth-place team from 2006 (the Dominican Republic, rebounding from a poor 2009). Venezuela's players wore armbands in memory of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, who had died earlier in the week.

Venezuelan starter Anibal Sánchez could not get going, giving up 3 runs while only retiring one batter out of the seven he faced. SS José Reyes led off with a single. DH Erick Aybar bunted, but Sánchez made an error on the play to put him aboard. 2B Robinson Canó smacked a 2-run double. Sánchez got an out by whiffing 1B Edwin Encarnación. 3B Hanley Ramírez grounded to SS Elvis Andrus, reaching on a fielder's choice that put men on the corners. RF Nelson Cruz singled home Canó and C Carlos Santana drew a walk to load the bases. Venezuelan skipper Luis Sojo finally yanked the ineffective Sánchez, replacing him with César Jiménez, who ended the inning by getting LF Ricardo Nanita on a fly to RF Carlos González, who threw home to get Ramírez as well.

The Dominicans continued their attack in the second. CF Alejandro De Aza and Reyes led off with back-to-back singles, then Aybar bunted into an out at third. Canó had his second run-scoring double of the day. Enrique Gonzalez replaced Jiménez and Encarnación greeted him with a sacrifice fly to make it 5-0. The Venezuelans staged a comeback in the 4th. 2B Marco Scútaro drew a leadoff walk from Angel Castro; an out later, DH Asdrubal Cabrera walked as well. Kelvin Herrera relieved Castro and retired 1B Miguel Cabrera, the 2012 AL Triple Crown winner, but 3B Pablo Sandoval did his job with a 2-run double.

Venezuela opened the 4th with a double by LF Martin Prado off Atahualpa Severino, the 4th of 9 Dominican hurlers. CF Gerardo Parra grounded Prado over and a wild pitch brought him in to cut the lead to 5-3. Scútaro doubled, chasing Severino, who was replaced by Octavio Dotel. Andrus followed with a single. Asdrubal Cabrera struck out and Miguel Cabrera walked to load the bases for 2012 World Series MVP Sandoval, who flew out to center.

Ramírez took Jhoulys Chacin deep to open the 5th and give the Dominicans a 3-run cushion. They then pulled away even more in the 7th. One out, Ramírez drew a walk and Chacin threw a wild pitch. Cruz doubled home Ramírez. Chacin walked Santana, then gave way to Ronald Belisario, who walked Nanita and served up a 2-run double to De Aza.

Reyes finished with 4 hits, Santana 4 walks and Canó 3 hits and 3 RBI for the Dominicans. Their last four relievers (Pedro Strop, Lorenzo Barcelo, Santiago Casilla and combined for 4 2/3 IP to prevent a Venezuelan comeback.

at Salt River Field at Talking Stick
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Flag of Italy Italy 2 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 6 12 1
Flag of Mexico Mexico 3 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 5 11 0
Pitchers of Record
Win: Nick Pugliese (1-0) Loss: Sergio Romo (0-1) Save: Jason Grilli (1)
Home Runs
Italy: Drew Butera in 4th inning, 2 RBI
Dominican Republic: None
Umpires
HP: Jim Reynolds (USA); 1B: Michael Ulloa (Spain); 2B: Brian Gorman (USA); 3B: Kwang-nam Na (South Korea)
Time of Game: 3:41
Attendance: 4,478

Italy upset Mexico in a dramatic back-and-forth contest. Italy got going quickly against 2013 Caribbean Series star Rodrigo López. With one out, CF Chris Denorfia doubled and 1B Anthony Rizzo singled. That brought up 3B Alex Liddi, who had become the first born-and-raised Italian major leaguer since the last World Baseball Classic. Liddi delivered with a single to score Denorfia. DH Chris Colabello struck out, but LF Mike Costanzo singled to make it 2-0. Costanzo stole second and RF Mario Chiarini walked, but C Drew Butera went down on strikes with the bases loaded to end the rally.

In the bottom of the first, Mexico answered against John Mariotti. CF Eduardo Arredondo drew a walk and 2B Ramiro Peña doubled. Mariotti retired 3B Luis Cruz then walked 1B Adrián González to load the bases. DH Jorge Cantú emptied them with a 3-run double for a one-run lead. In the bottom of the second, Arredondo singled with two outs and took second on an error by Denorfia on the play. Tiago Da Silva relieved and allowed a RBI double to Peña to make it 4-2.

Italy evened it in the 4th against reliever Alfredo Aceves. With one away, Chiarini singled and the light-hitting Butera went deep to left field to put it at 4-4. Mexico retook the lead the next inning; Arredondo again got it going with a single. Peña bunted him over, then Cruz doubled for a 5-4 lead to give Arredondo his third run of the day. Adrián González was intentionally walked, then Da Silva whiffed both Cantú and RF Karim García to lead it a one-run contest.

It was still 5-4 when Sergio Romo was brought in to close it. With one out, 2B Nick Punto doubled and Stefano De Simoni pinch-ran. Denorfia singled to put runners on the corners. Rizzo hit a high fly to right that Edgar Gonzalez couldn't handle, scoring both runners. Rizzo tried to score on a Liddi grounder, but was caught in a run-down. After three shutout innings by Matt Torra, Luca Panerati and Nick Pugliese, Italy turned to Pirates closer Jason Grilli to wrap it up. PH Efren Navarro greeted him with a single. Arredondo, 2 for 3 with a walk and 3 runs today, was called on to bunt and did so successfully, costing Mexico an out. Peña popped up, then Grilli walked Cruz and plunked Adrián González to load the bases. That brought up Cantú, who had 3 of Mexico's 5 RBI and over 100 MLB home runs to his name. Grilli retired him on a grounder to backup 2B Alessandro Vaglio to end the action-packed contest.

[edit] March 8

at Tokyo Dome
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Flag of Netherlands Netherlands 0 2 0 0 0 3 0 1 0 6 14 0
Flag of Cuba Cuba 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 12 2
Pitchers of Record
Win: Diegomar Markwell (2-0) Loss: Ismel Jiménez (1-1)
Home Runs
Netherlands: Curt Smith in 2nd inning, 1 RBI; Jonathan Schoop in 6th inning, 3 RBI
Cuba: Alfredo Despaigne in 2nd inning, 1 RBI; Yulieski Gourriel in 7th inning, 1 RBI
Umpires
HP: Alfonso Marquez (USA); 1B: Gerry Davis (USA); 2B: Trevor Grieve (Canada); 3B: Carlos Rey (Puerto Rico)
Time of Game: 3:38
Attendance: 38,588

The Netherlands proved to have Cuba's number again; having beaten them twice in a row to win the 2011 Baseball World Cup, the Orange cruised to a second-round victory against the once-dominant Cubans.

The Netherlands loaded the bases in the top of the 1st but failed to score. In the top of the 2nd, 1B Curt Smith took Ismel Jiménez deep for a 1-0 lead. LF Kalian Sams doubled and was bunted over by C Dashenko Ricardo. SS Andrelton Simmons singled in Sams for a 2-0 lead, then 2B Jonathan Schoop singled as well, chasing Jiménez. Cuba got one run back in the bottom of the 2nd when LF Alfredo Despaigne homered off Diegomar Markwell, the only run allowed by the Dutch team veteran. Markwell gave up 9 hits but his defense supported him by turning five double plays in his six innings of work.

In the top of the 6th, the Netherlands got some big insurance. Sams hit a one-out double off Freddy Asiel Álvarez; after an out, Simmons singled. Victor Mesa called on Yadier Pedroso (making his final pitching appearance for Cuba, as he died in a car accident eight days later) to try to stop the rally, but he poured gasoline on the flames by serving up a three-run home run to Schoop. Cuba got their second run when veteran 3B Yulieski Gourriel homered off Leon Boyd to bring the score to 5-2 in the bottom of the 7th. The Netherlands got the last run in the 8th when Simmons singled off Yander Guevara and came home on a double by Schoop.

Schoop finished with 3 hits and 4 RBI but he got plenty of help, as five players had two hits for the Netherlands: Sams, Simmons, Smith, RF Wladimir Balentien and DH Andruw Jones.

at Tokyo Dome
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Flag of Japan Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 1 4 13 0
Flag of Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 3 11 0
Pitchers of Record
Win: Kazuhisa Makita (1-0) Loss: Hung-Wen Chen (0-1) Save: Toshiya Sugiuchi (1)
Home Runs
Japan: None
Taiwan: None
Umpires
HP: Chris Guccione (USA); 1B: Trevor Grieve (Canada); 2B: Gerry Davis (USA); 3B: Felix Tejada (Dominican Republic)
Time of Game: 4:37
Attendance: 43,527

The capacity crowd at the Tokyo Dome nearly saw the two-time defending champions drop their second-round opener, but Japan battled back after being blanked for 7 innings, winning in 10 innings. In addition to the crown on hand, it was estimated that one-third of all television sets in Japan were tuned to the game !

Nippon Pro Baseball veteran Atsushi Nohmi had trouble in the third. He gave up a leadoff double to 2B Yen-Wen Kuo. LF Dai-Kang Yang bunted Kuo over, then Nohmi walked CF Che-Hsuan Lin and hit 1B Cheng-Min Peng. That brought up cleanup man and SS Chih-Sheng Lin, but he popped up. DH Ssu-Chi Chou, the 2012 CPBL MVP, coaxed a bases-loaded walk to force in Kuo for a 1-0 lead. Koji Yamamoto replaced Nohmi with 2007 Baseball World Cup star Tadashi Settsu and Settsu responded, striking out C Hung-Yu Lin on a full count.

Japan had a shot in the 4th. CF Yoshio Itoi lined a two-out double off Chien-Ming Wang and SS Hayato Sakamoto singled one off Wang's glove to put runners on the corners. That brought up LF Sho Nakata, who hit a sizzling grounder to Chih-Sheng Lin at short. Lin made a great diving stop to keep Japan scoreless. In the 5th, Samurai Japan got 1B Atsunori Inaba and 2B Hirokazu Ibata on the corners with two outs, but Wang retired RF Seiichi Uchikawa, a two-time batting titlist, to quench another rally.

In the bottom of the 5th, Che-Hsuan Lin hit a one-out double off Settsu and Cheng-Min Peng followed with a run-scoring bloop single for a 2-0 edge. Wang left after 6 shutout innings and Wei-Lun Pan added two-thirds of a shutout inning. Hong-Chih Kuo got the last out of the 7th but ran into trouble in the 8th to continue a poor tournament performance. Ibata and Uchikawa both singled off him and Ching-Ming Wang relieved. C Shinnosuke Abe, the 2012 Central League MVP, singled home Ibata to close it to 2-1. Itoi bunted into a force at third, then Yuichi Honda pinch-ran for the injury-plagued Abe. Sakamoto singled home Honda to tie it, but Itoi was out trying for third on the play. After a wild pitch by Ching-Ming Wang, he was relieved by Hung-Wen Chen, who retired Nakata on a fly.

Taiwan retook the lead in the bottom of the inning. Peng singled to center off Masahiro Tanaka and Chih-Sheng Lin doubled to left. Chou then singled in Peng for a 3-2 edge. Tetsuya Yamaguchi relieved and retired backup C Chih-Kang Kao and RF Chien-Ming Chang. Hirokazu Sawamura replaced Yamaguchi and got 3B Yung-Chi Chen to keep it a one-run contest. In the top of the 9th, 3B Takashi Toritani drew a one-out walk from Hung-Wen Chen. Backup DH Hisayoshi Chono flew out to put Taiwan one out from clinching an upset win. Toritani stole second, then Ibata came up big, with a run-scoring single to tie it.

In the bottom of the 9th, reliever Kazuhisa Makita gave up a leadoff single to PH Yi-Chuan Lin but retired Yang and Che-Hsuan Lin. Peng was intentionally walked, then Makita fanned slugger Chih-Sheng Lin to force extra innings. Backup catcher Ryoji Aikawa opened the 10th with a single off Hung-Wen Chen, then Itoi drew a walk and Nobuhiro Matsuda pinch-ran for Aikawa. Yi-Hao Lin relieved, then Sakamoto bunted both runners over. Nakata hit a fly to left, caught by Nippon Ham Fighters teammate Yang, to score Matsuda with the winner. Yao-Hsun Yang relieved, the 7th Taiwan hurler, and got Inaba (3 for 4 to that point) to prevent more harm.

In the bottom of the 10th, Japan turned to their 7th hurler, Toshiya Sugiuchi. He retired backup DH Cheng-Wei Chang but Chih-Kang Kao and Chien-Ming Chang both singled to give the home crowd something to worry about. Yung-Chi Chen ended those fears by grounding into a game-ending 6-4-3 double play.

at Chase Field
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Flag of Canada Canada 0 1 0 0 0 1 2 0 x 4 7 1
Flag of Italy Italy 1 0 4 0 1 0 3 5 x 14 17 0
Pitchers of Record
Win: Alex Maestri (1-0) Loss: Shawn Hill (0-1)
Home Runs
Canada: None
Italy: Chris Colabello in 3rd inning, 3 RBI
Umpires
HP: Brian Knight (USA); 1B: Miguel Hernandez (Venezuela) ; 2B: Jim Reynolds (USA); 3B: Kwang-nam Na (South Korea)
Time of Game: 3:27
Attendance: 5,140

Italy continued to impress by not only beating Canada, but doing it so thoroughly that the mercy rule had to be invoked. The Canadians could not have been taken by surprise, as they had suffered an upset loss to Italy at home in 2009, forcing them to play the Qualifiers to reach this year's tournament, but they still couldn't do anything against the Italians, as five of their six pitchers gave up runs.

Alex Maestri - a righthander, surprisingly, given Canada's overwhelmingly left-handed line-up, even though he was the most-accomplished Italian-raised pitcher (having reached Nippon Pro Baseball and AAA) - started for Italy and set down Canada in the 1st. His teammates then immediately gave him a lead against Shawn Hill, as 2B Nick Punto led off the bottom of the inning with a single, then advanced to second on a wild pitch; a pair of ground balls later and it was 1-0, Italy. Canada got that run back immediately in the top of the 2nd on doubles by RF Michael Saunders and 2B Pete Orr. Italy then built a nice lead in the bottom of the 3rd. SS Anthony Granato hit a lead-off single and stole second; Punto walked and CF Chris Denorfia grounded into a double play. Hill then left the mound in favor of Scott Mathieson, and things got ugly.DH Anthony Rizzo walked, 3B Alex Liddi singled to give Italy the lead and 1B Chris Colabello followed with a three-run blast to centerfield, a blow from which the Canadians never recovered.

In the 5th, Mathieson walked Liddi to start the frame, and was replaced by Dustin Molleken; he allowed a single to Colabello and walked LF Mike Costanzo before RF Mario Chiarini hit a sacrifice fly and C Drew Butera hit into a double play, ending what could have been another big inning. Trailing 6-1, the Canadian scored once in the 6th when 1B Justin Morneau drew a lead-off walk against Chris Cooper and eventually scored after a single and a pair of ground balls. Maestri and Cooper had combined to give up only 2 runs on 5 hits in 6 innings. Dan Serafini, who had muzzled the Canadians four years earlier, came on to pitch the 7th, but quickly got himself in trouble. SS Cale Iorg singled and CF Tyson Gillies sacrificed him to second (a strange decision with the team down by four runs); after a second out, DH Joey Votto walked and Morneau was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Saunders then hit a two-run single, making the score 6-4 and chasing Serafini, who was replaced by Brian Sweeney. Pinch-hitter Tim Smith replaced C Chris Robinson, but he struck out to end the inning, leaving two runners on board. At that point, it was still a game, however.

After that scare, the Italians went to work building up their lead against the back of Canada's bullpen. Phillipe Aumont retired the first two men he faced, but allowed a single to Colabello; Costanzo drew a walk, Chiarini singled for a first run, then Butera hit a two-run double, chasing Aumont, who was replaced by Jim Henderson. In the bottom of the 8th, the Italians, now leading 9-4, went to work adding the 5 runs they needed to end the game early. Punto doubled and Denorfia singled for a 10th run, ending Henderson's turn on the mound. R.J. Swindle replaced him, but he walked Rizzo and gave up a single to Liddi to load the bases with none out. Colabello singled in another run, his 4th RBI of the day, and Costanza followed with a ground-rule double for two more; Chiarini followed with another run-scoring single, bringing his RBI tally to 3, and giving Italy the 10-run lead needed to invoke the mercy rule. With two wins in two games, they were now in a commanding position to advance to the second round, while the Canadians needed two big wins in their final two games to even have a shot at advancing.

at Hiram Bithorn Stadium
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Flag of Spain Spain 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 1
Flag of Puerto Rico Puerto Rico 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 x 3 6 0
Pitchers of Record
Win: Giancarlo Alvarado (1-0) Loss: Sergio Perez (0-1) Save: Xavier Cedeno (1)
Home Runs
Spain: None
Puerto Rico: None
Umpires
HP: Dan Bellino (USA); 1B: Jesus Miller (Mexico); 2B: Eric Cooper (USA); 3B: Jair Fernandez (Mexico)
Time of Game: 3:05
Attendance: 14,974

Spain was considered the weakest team of the tournament field, and making its World Baseball Classic debut against Puerto Rico at Hiram Bithorn Stadium was never going to be easy. Spain had a very difficult 1st inning, which determined the outcome of the game, but then settled down and was by no means humiliated. Still, logic prevailed, and Puerto Rico came out on top with a 3-0 victory.

The Spaniards went down in order against Giancarlo Alvarado in the top of the 1st, then Sergio Perez took the mound for the Europeans, and struggled badly with his control.CF Angel Pagan hit a ball up the middle which deflected off Perez's glove towards 2B Paco Figueroa for an infield single. 2B Irving Falu hit a sacrifice bunt to move Pagan over to second, then LF Alex Rios was hit by a pitch. The next batter, RF Carlos Beltran, hit a double to right, scoring Pagan and placing runners on second and third. C Yadier Molina then hit a ground ball to 3B Jesus Merchan, who bobbled it for an error, and the bases were full. SS Mike Aviles followed with a fly ball to CF Engel Beltre, and Rios scored the second run. DH Pedro Valdes then drew a walk from Perez, loading the bases again. Another free pass to 1B Carlos Rivera made it 3-0, before Perez struck out 3B Andy Gonzalez, the ninth batter of the inning, to finally record the third out.

The weak-hitting Spanish team could never recover from that early hole. Alvarado pitched four innings, giving up a single hit and striking out four, then was succeeded by Hiram Burgos, who gave up 4 hits and a walk in his 4 2/3 innings of work. He was removed after walking 1B Barbaro Canizares with two outs in the 9th, and Xavier Cedeno struck out DH Salomon Manriquez to end the game and record the save. The good news for Spain, however, was that after that difficult 1st inning, it did not allow any other runs. Perez continued to struggle with his control in the 2nd, walking Pagan to lead off the inning and plunking Rios, then after Rios stole second, issuing an intentional pass to Beltran, but he escaped without giving up a run. He again allowed the lead-off hitter to reach in the 3rd, this time Valdes on a single, and gave way to reliever Richard Salazar. Salazar got Rivera to ground into a double play and Puerto Rico was quiet the rest of the way, with Salazar pitching 5 scoreless innings by himself.

at Chase Field
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Flag of Mexico Mexico 2 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 5 9 0
Flag of United States United States 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 2 8 1
Pitchers of Record
Win: Yovani Gallardo (1-0) Loss: R.A. Dickey (0-1) Save: Sergio Romo (1)
Home Runs
Mexico: Adrian Gonzalez in 3rd inning, 2 RBI
United States: None
Umpires
HP: Todd Tichenor (USA); 1B: Brian Gorman (USA); 2B: Miguel Hernandez (Venezuela); 3B: Michael Ulloa (Spain)
Time of Game: 3:29
Attendance: 44,256

The United States were playing their opening game of the tournament at home, but might as well have been in Mexico given that an overwhelming percentage of the close to 45,000 fans in attendance were rooting for the team from just across the border from Phoenix, AZ. And those fans had a lot to scream about, as the Mexicans bounced back from their upset loss to Italy in their first game to defeat the U.S., 5-2, and add more uncertainty to a Pool D that had not at all gone according to plan.

With knuckleballer and Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey on the mound, Mexico got off to a quick start, scoring twice in the top of the 1st. CF Eduardo Arredondo led off the game with a single and 2B Ramiro Pena followed with a double, placing runners at second and third. 3B Luis Cruz followed with a sacrifice fly to right field for a first run, Pena advancing to third in the process, and1B Adrian Gonzalez then hit a ground ball to second for a second run. For his part, Mexican starter Yovani Gallardo breezed through the first couple of innings. Mexico padded its lead in the 3rd when Arredondo again led off with a single; Pena and Cruz hit into force outs in turn, but with two outs, Gonzalez delivered the crushing blow, a home run to center that was allowed after video review. Mexico was up 4-0 and in command.

After three easy innings, Gallardo allowed SS Jimmy Rollins to lead off the bottom of the 4th with a single, then walked :F Ryan Braun after one out. He was removed in favor of Luis Mendoza, who struck out DH Joe Mauer for the second out, but 3B David Wright then singled to make the score 4-1. Mexico immediately got that run back in the top of the 5th as once again Arredondo led off an inning with a hit, this time a double off reliever Glen Perkins. Pena bunted him over to third and Cruz hit a sacrifice fly to left.

In the bottom of the 8th, Braun hit a lead-off double off reliever Fernando Salas with a softly-hit ball that deflected off RF Karim Garcia's glove. After two outs, 1B Eric Hosmer, who had just been added to the team because of a wrist injury to projected starter Mark Teixeira, hit a single to right for the U.S.'s second run. However, RF Giancarlo Stanton flied out to right to end the threat. After Mexico put two men on but failed to score against Mitchell Boggs in the top of the 9th, Sergio Romo came to close the game, even after blowing a one-run 9th-inning lead to Italy the previous day. This time, it was the 2012 World Series star who showed up on the mound, however. He made quick work of the U.S. batters, striking out CF Adam Jones and getting C Jonathan Lucroy and Rollins to go down on easy ground balls. Mexico had pulled off a huge win against the pool favorites, as a loss would have eliminated them from further contention.

[edit] March 9

at Tokyo Dome
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Flag of Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 x x 0 4 1
Flag of Cuba Cuba 2 0 0 4 0 8 x x x 14 12 0
Pitchers of Record
Win: Danny Betancourt (2-0) Loss: Ching-Lung Lo (0-1)
Home Runs
Chinese Taipei: None
Cuba: Frederich Cepeda in 1st inning, 2 RBI; Yasmany Tomás in 4th inning, 3 RBI; José Dariel Abreu in 6th inning, 2 RBI; Alfredo Despaigne in 6th inning, 1 RBI
Umpires
HP: Gerry Davis (USA); 1B: Carlos Rey (Puerto Rico); 2B: Chris Guccione (USA); 3B: Felix Tejada (Dominican Republic)
Time of Game: 2:43
Attendance: 12,884

Cuba bounced back from its loss to the Netherlands with an emphatic 14-0 rout of Chinese Taipei, which left the tournament on a sour note after playing well in the first round, and battling Japan into extra innings the night before. Cuban knew it had to win the game or face one of its earliest-ever exits from an international tournament, and its offensive stars answered present to the call. Four homers, including three with men on base, accounted for 8 runs, while an eight-run outburst in the 6th meant that the game ended after 6 1/2 innings, courtesy of the mercy rule.

Starting pitcher Danny Betancourt gave the tone for Cuba, pitching 6 scoreless innings during which the Chinese Taipei hitters managed only three hits. Meanwhile, Cuba scored twice off Ching-Lung Lo in the bottom of the 1st, and never looked back. 2B José Miguel Fernández singled with two outs and DH Frederich Cepeda homered to center field. Yao-Hsun Yang replaced Lo in the 3rd, but kept the score close. In the 4th, however, Cuba played the long ball again when lead-off hitter Cepeda walked and 1B José Dariel Abreu followed with a bunt single. LF Alfredo Despaigne singled in a run and RF Yasmany Tomás drove one of Yang's pitches over the right field wall, and suddenly it was 6-0.

Cuba applied the KO in the bottom of the 6th, when, with Yu-Ching Lin on the mound, C Frank Morejon hit a one-out single. SS Erisbel Arruebarruena singled as well, and CF Guillermo Heredia Jr. was hit by a pitch to load the bases. 3B Yulieski Gourriel singled for a run, and I-Cheng Wang replaced Lin on the mound. Fernández greeted Wang with a double that cleared the bases, making the score 10-0, but Cuba was not done. Cepeda followed with another double and Abreu with a two-run homer, and it was now 13-0. Wang left after his arsonist's turn on the mound, replaced by high schooler Jen-Ho Tseng, but the first batter he faced, Despaigne, greeted him with the Cubans' fourth homer of the day. Tseng retired the next two batters, but the damage was done: an eight-run inning had made it 14-0, and Taiwan's lone hope was to score five runs in the top of the 7th to prevent the mercy rule from kicking in. They would not come close, getting only a single against two Cuban relievers.

at Hiram Bithorn Stadium
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Flag of Dominican Republic Dominican Republic 0 2 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 6 9 1
Flag of Spain Spain 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 3 9 1
Pitchers of Record
Win: Samuel Deduno (1-0) Loss: Yoanner Negrin (0-1) Save: Fernando Rodney (1)
Home Runs
Dominican Republic: Carlos Santana in 8th inning, 1 RBI
Spain: None
Umpires
HP: Paul Hyham (Australia) ; 1B: Dan Bellino (USA) ; 2B: Eric Cooper (USA); 3B: Jesus Miller (Mexico)
Time of Game: 3:47
Attendance: 13,412

The Dominican Republic clinched a spot in the second round with an easy victory over the overmatched Spanish team, 6-3. The Dominicans took an early lead against starter Yoanner Negrin, and then cruised until the end of the game, although they almost got surprised when the Spaniards showed some life in the latter third of the contest, scoring its first runs of the tournament and actually putting the tying run on base, before the Dominicans' closer, Fernando Rodney, ended things.

Negrin did start out the game on the right foot, getting the Dominicans in order in the top of the 1st, but things would unravel quickly for him after that. For his part, Samuel Deduno pitched as was expected of a solid major league starter, getting the Spaniards out in order in the 1st, part of allowing only 4 hits and striking out 5 in 4 scoreless innings of work. For the Dominicans, 1B Edwin Encarnacion walked to lead off the 2nd and moved to second on a ground out; RF Nelson Cruz then singled to center for the game's first run, moving to second base on CF Engel Beltre's throw home. One out later, LF Ricardo Nanita drove him in with another single. The Dominicans then padded their lead in the 3rd as Negrin again issued a lead-off walk, this time to SS Jose Reyes. He attempted to pick Reyes off first, but threw wildly, allowing the speedy shortstop to reach third base. 3B Miguel Tejada struck out, but 2B Robinson Cano doubled for a 3-0 lead. Negrin issued an intentional pass to Encarnacion to set up a potential double play, but then walked DH Hanley Ramirez to load the bases. He was replaced by Nick Schumacher at that point, but Cruz singled and C Carlos Santana grounded out, both producing a run, and Spain was in a deep 5-0 hole.

Alfredo Simon replaced Deduno in the 5th and continued to keep Spain in check, until it finally broke through for its first run of the tournament in the 7th. C Salomon Manriquez walked and went to second on a wild pitch by Simon. After LF Gabe Suarez struck out swinging, Beltre laid down a beauty of a bunt that Cano tried to field bare-handed, but he only managed to throw the ball away, allowing Manriquez to score and Beltre to take second. Simon retired the next two hitters, however, and the score was still 5-1, the Dominicans' advantaged being immediately increased again when Santana hit a solo homer off Rhiner Cruz with one out in the top of the 8th. In the bottom of the 9th, however, the Spaniards gave the Dominican Republic a big scare. With a comfortable 6-1 lead, Jose Veras took the mound and plunked Manriquez after striking out the first batter he faced. He then struck out backup LF Daniel Figueroa for the second out, but then gave up back-to-back singles to Beltre and RF Yasser Gomez, scoring one run. He then hit 2B Paco Figueroa with a pitch to load the bases, forcing the entrance of closer Rodney, coming off a historically great season in the major leagues. But Rodney walked 1B Barbaro Canizares, forcing in a third run, and placing the tying run on base. Up stepped DH Rafael Alvarez with a chance to cause an enormous upset, but Rodney struck him out to end the game.

at Chase Field
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Flag of Canada Canada 4 0 0 0 0 1 2 2 1 10 15 1
Flag of Mexico Mexico 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 3 8 0
Pitchers of Record
Win: Chris Leroux (1-0) Loss: Marco Estrada (0-1)
Home Runs
Canada: None
Mexico: None
Umpires
HP: Brian Gorman (USA); 1B: Kwang-nam Na (South Korea); 2B: Brian Knight (USA); 3B: Michael Ulloa (Spain)
Time of Game: 3:44
Attendance: 19,581

Canada and Mexico came into today's game in a completely different emotional state. Canada had just been humiliated by Italy, while Mexico had won a rousing close game over the USA; what the two teams had in common, however, was the knowledge that whoever lost today's game would go no further in the tournament, no matter what happened in the two other contests remaining in the pool. So it was a do-or-die situation.

Team Canada seemed to have fully understood the import of the contest. Facing Marco Estrada in the top of the 1st, they came out firing on all cylinders. After CF Tyson Gillies made an out, 3B Taylor Green and 1B Joey Votto hit singles, and DH Justin Morneau followed with a double to right and RF Michael Saunders with a single, accounting for three runs among them. Saunders then stole second and a rattled Estrada threw a wild pitch, placing him on third base; C Chris Robinson lined a single to right, and the Canadians were up, 4-0, before Chris Leroux had thrown a single pitch. Although always having been used as a reliever in the big leagues, Leroux had been turned to a starter in the minor leagues last season, and he was up to the task, even if he gave up an unearned run in the 1st, the result of a throwing error by 1B Votto. He left after three innings, but his replacement, Andrew Albers, almost blew the Canucks' early lead in the 4th, when RF Karim Garcia and LF Edgar Gonzalez greeted him with back-to-back singles. Pinch-hitter Sebastian Valle then hit another single to center, but the rifle-armed Gillies threw Garcia out at home. However, SS Gil Velazquez followed with a double that cut Canada's lead to 4-2, and CF Eduardo Arredondo hit a sacrifice fly to right, scoring another run and placing Valle on third base. But in one of the game's key moments, Albers induced 2B Ramiro Pena to ground out, ending Mexico's greatest threat. The lefty would then settle down after that, not giving the Mexicans more than a pair of singles over the next two innings.

Having seen their lead shrunk to a single run, the Canadians got to work increasing it starting in the 6th as the red-hot Saunders doubled, moved to third on Robinson's sacrifice bunt and scored on a single by 2B Pete Orr. In the 7th, Green drew a lead-off walk, moved to second on Votto's ground out, and then scored when Morneau doubled. Saunders drew a walk and Robinson was hit by a pitch, loading the bases. Daniel Rodriguez replaced Dennys Reyes on the mound, and forced pinch-hitter Jimmy Van Ostrand (star of the WBC Qualifiers) to ground out to third, but the Mexicans were unable to turn a double play, allowing Morneau to score his country's sixth run. 2009 Baseball World Cup ace Trystan Magnuson then took over for Albers on the mound, and he was excellent, allowing only a walk over two innings. Meanwhile, there was no stopping the Canadians' bats anymore. They added two more runs after two outs in the 8th when Green singled, Votto walked and Morneau and Saunders both hit run-scoring singles. In the top of the 9th, the Mexicans were getting really frustrated, as elimination was staring them in the face. When Robinson led off the frame with a bunt single, pitcher Arnold Leon lost his cool, hitting backup LF Rene Tosoni, who had come in the game as a pinch-runner for Van Ostrand in the 7th, with a pitch. That started a bench-clearing brawl, after which umpire Brian Gorman ejected both Leon and Tosoni, as well as CF Arredondo and Ps Alfredo Aceves and Oliver Perez for Mexico, and Orr and P Jay Johnson for Canada. Objects were thrown at the Canadian coaches by the largely pro-Mexican crowd. Jose Cobos came in to pitch, but he walked PH Jonathan Malo, batting for Orr, to load the bases with none out. When the tossing of bottles started anew at this point, Gorman warned fans that he was going to forfeit the game in Canada's favor, and things calmed down enough to allow the game to be completed. SS Cale Iorg hit a sacrifice fly that increased Canada's lead to 10-3, but the next two batters made out and John Axford retired the Mexicans in order in the bottom of the inning to send Mexico home from the tournament.

at Hiram Bithorn Stadium
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Flag of Puerto Rico Puerto Rico 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 3 0 6 9 1
Flag of Venezuela Venezuela 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 7 0
Pitchers of Record
Win: Nelson Figueroa (1-0) Loss: Henderson Alvarez (0-1) Save: Fernando Cabrera (1)
Home Runs
Puerto Rico: None
Venezuela: None
Umpires
HP: Ed Hickox (USA); 1B: Jair Fernandez (Mexico); 2B: Dan Bellino (USA); 3B: Jesus Miller (Mexico)
Time of Game: 3:35
Attendance: 18,741

Puerto Rico punched its ticket into the second round with a 6-3 win over Venezuela, which was eliminated from further contention after only two games. Puerto Rican veteran Nelson Figueroa was facing former major league star Carlos Zambrano on the mound, and both pitchers started off with a pair of scoreless innings. Venezuela drew first blood in the bottom of the 3rd when DH Omar Infante doubled with one out and 2B Marco Scutaro singled him in. SS Asdrubal Cabrera was hit by a pitch, then after a second out, 3B Pablo Sandoval doubled in turn, scoring Scutaro, but in a key turning point in the game, Cabrera was thrown out at home, from RF Alex Rios to 1B Martin Maldonado to C Yadier Molina. The Venezuelans led 2-0, but could have had more. From that point on, however, their nominally powerful line-up would be limited to a single hit until the 9th inning, as Giovanni Soto succeeded Figueroa on the mound in the 5th and reeled in three hitless innings.

Meanwhile, the Puerto Ricans set to work grinding down the Venezuelans' lead. They tied the game in the 4th, after CF Angel Pagan led off with a double, but then was cut down at third base on 2B Irving Falu's groundout. Undeterred, the locals kept at it, with Rios drawing a walk and then both runners advancing on Zambrano's wild pitch. The Big Z got DH Carlos Beltran to ground out to Sandoval without the runners being able to move further, but he then walked Molina. In came Enrique Gonzalez to pitch, but SS Mike Aviles greeted him with a two-run single, although Molina was thrown out at third base to end the inning. In the 5th, with Henderson Alvarez now on the mound, Maldonado drew a lead-off walk and 3B Andy Gonzalez bunted him over to second. Pagan singled with two outs to give Puerto Rico the lead, 3-2. The score remained the same until the 8th, when the Puerto Ricans went to work building a safe lead. Alvarez was still on the mound, but he hit Rios with a pitch to start the frame, and then allowed a single to Beltran. Juan Rincon came in to pitch, but he gave up a single to Molina that loaded the bases and then a sacrifice fly to Aviles. Cesar Jimenez relieved Rincon and struck out backup 1B Carlos Rivera for the second out, then gave way to record-breaking closer Francisco Rodriguez; seemingly unimpressed, Luis Figueroa pinch-hit for Gonzalez and doubled to right, driving two runs and breaking Venezuela's back. Trailing 6-2, the Venezuelans went down meekly against J.C. Romero in the 8th, but C Salvador Perez and LF Martin Prado doubled after one out in the 9th, making the score 6-3. Fernando Cabrera replaced Romero, and he struck out pinch-hitter Miguel Montero and retired Infante on a pop-up to end the game.

at Chase Field
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Flag of United States United States 0 0 0 1 5 0 0 0 0 6 11 0
Flag of Italy Italy 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 7 0
Pitchers of Record
Win: Ryan Vogelsong (1-0) Loss: Marco Grifantini (0-1) Save: Ross Detwiler (1)
Home Runs
United States: David Wright in 5th inning, 4 RBI
Italy: None
Umpires
HP: Jim Reynolds (USA); 1B: Brian Knight (USA); 2B: Kwang-nam Na (South Korea); 3B: Miguel Hernandez (Venezuela)
Time of Game: 3:21
Attendance: 19,303

The United States went into the last game of the day knowing it had to win its next two games to move on, while Italy was already assured of being in the second round, following Mexico's earlier loss to Canada. The pressure was thus firmly on one side, with the USA taking no chances, sending All-Star Ryan Vogelsong on the mound against unheralded Luca Panerati. But it was the underdog who usually toiled for Fortitudo Bologna who got the upper hand in the early going, giving up only three singles over the first three innings, while walking none. It had started rather ominously for Panerati, though, as SS Jimmy Rollins singled and 2B Brandon Phillips beat out a bunt to start the game, but LF Ryan Braun grounded out into a double play and DH Joe Mauer flied out to end the threat. Vogelsong was not so lucky. He gave up a single to 2B Nick Punto to lead off the bottom of the 1st, and another to 1B Anthony Rizzo after one out. A force out by 3B Alex Liddi placed runners at the corners and Vogelsong threw a wild pitch, allowing Punto to score the game's first run. The Italians doubled their lead in the 2nd when C Tyler LaTorre singled with two outs and the number 9 hitter, SS Anthony Granato, followed with a double. When the Americans failed to score in the top of the 3rd, things started to look tense.

However, Italian manager Marco Mazzieri had decided to save his arms for the second round, and did not want any of his hurlers to throw many pitches. Thus, even though he had thrown only 37 pitches and was cruising, Panerati was lifted in favor of Marco Grifantini, a late addition to the roster, to start the 4th; in all, the Italians would use nine pitchers in the game, treating it as an exhibition, while the Americans were biting their nails all the way. Grifantini allowed a single to Braun, the first batter he faced, and then a double to Mauer, giving Team USA its first run. He got out of the inning with a groundout and a pair of strikeouts, but in the 5th, he walked lead-off hitter CF Adam Jones and then allowed a single to C Jonathan Lucroy. Matt Torra replaced him on the mound and got Rollins to fly out for the first out. However, Phillips singled, scoring Jones, and the game was tied. Torra struck out Braun, but he walked Mauer, bringing up 3B David Wright. The New York Mets' third baseman got hold of one of Torra's pitches, lifting it over the left-center field fence for a grand slam. The USA now led 6-2 and could breathe easier. Jeremy Affeldt succeeded Vogelsong on the mound after Granato led off the bottom of the 5th with a single, and he retired Italy's next three batters. Ross Detwiler would then pitch four excellent innings for the USA, allowing only a hit and a walk, while a parade of Italian hurlers did just as well, giving up three singles and a walk as no further runs were scored. Team USA now faced a must-win game against Canada to determine the second team that would emerge from the pool.

[edit] March 10

at Tokyo Dome
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Flag of Japan Japan 1 5 1 3 1 1 4 16 17 0
Flag of Netherlands Netherlands 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 4 6 3
Pitchers of Record
Win: Kenta Maeda (2-0) Loss: Rob Cordemans (1-1)
Home Runs
Japan: Takashi Toritani in 1st inning, 1 RBI; Nobuhiro Matsuda in 2nd inning, 2 RBI; Seiichi Uchikawa in 2nd inning, 3 RBI; Atsunori Inaba in 3rd inning, 1 RBI; Yoshio Itoi in 4th inning, 3 RBI; Hayato Sakamoto in 7th inning, 4 RBI
Netherlands: None
Umpires
HP: Alfonso Marquez (USA); 1B: Chris Guccione (USA); 2B: Felix Tejada (Dominican Republic); 3B: Trevor Grieve (Canada)
Time of Game: 2:53
Attendance: 37,745

Japan put on a rout against the Netherlands in a game that would send the winner directly to the final round. The Dutch came into the game with some confidence, having already pulled off big wins against South Korea and Cuba earlier in the tournament, but this definitely wasn't their day. The game got off on a bad note, with Dutch starter Rob Cordemans giving up a home run to the first batter he faced, 2B Takashi Toritani, not at all known for his power. In fact, the entire Japanese team had gotten that far with only two extra-base hits, both doubles by CF Yoshio Itoi. This game would change that trend in a big way, however.

Kenta Maeda started for Japan and lived up to his reputation as the team's ace. In five innings against him, the Dutch managed one measly single, did not walk once, and struck out nine times. By the time he left the game, they were trailing 11-0. After giving up the lead-off homer, Cordemans had settled down, getting out of the 1st with no other damage, but the floodgates opened in the second. 1B Atsunori Inaba singled after one out, and 3B Nobuhiro Matsuda followed with a homer. Toritani then doubled, DH Hirokazu Ibata drew a walk, and RF Seiichi Uchikawa hit another ball out of the park. In a sequence of five batters, the Dutch had been in effect wiped out of the game, now trailing 6-0. The Japanese would not stay content, however, scoring in every one of their turns at bat until the mercy rule kicked in, ending the game after seven innings. Highlights of that barrage included Inaba's solo homer off Tom Stuifbergen in the 3rd and a three-run homer by Itoi in the 4th, also off Stuifbergen.

The Dutch showed some life in the bottom of the 6th, after Tetsuya Utsumi had replaced Maeda on the mound. LF Kalian Sams drew a lead-off walk and SS Andrelton Simmons singled after one out. After a second out, Utsumi hit CF Roger Bernadina with a pitch to load the bases. RF Wladimir Balentien then hit a bases-clearing double, and Utsumi was gone in favor of Tetsuya Yamaguchi. DH Andruw Jones greeted him with a single, scoring Balentien, but was thrown out trying to move to second base on the play. The score was now 12-4 in favor of Japan, and the Japanese got to work getting the two additional runs they needed to bring the mercy rule into effect. With Berry van Driel on the mound, a pair of singles and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases with one out and SS Hayato Sakamoto drilled Japan's sixth homer of the day, this one a grand slam, to make the score 16-4. The Netherlands were then unable to score against Hideaki Wakui in the bottom of the 7th, bringing the game to an end.

Ibata finished with 3 runs for Japan, Sakamoto with 4 RBI, Matsuda and Uchikawa with 3 RBI and C Shinnosuke Abe with 3 hits.

at Hiram Bithorn Stadium
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Flag of Spain Spain 3 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 6 7 1
Flag of Venezuela Venezuela 0 0 0 6 0 2 0 3 x 11 16 1
Pitchers of Record
Win: Ramon Ramirez (1-0) Loss: Eddie Morlan (0-1)
Home Runs
Spain: Bárbaro Cañizares in 1st inning, 2 RBI; Engel Beltre in 9th inning, 1 RBI
Venezuela: Miguel Cabrera in 8th inning, 1 RBI; Pablo Sandoval in 8th inning, 1 RBI
Umpires
HP: Dan Bellino (USA); 1B: Paul Hyham(Australia); 2B: Ed Hickox (USA); 3B: Jair Fernandez (Mexico)
Time of Game: 3:59
Attendance: 13,395

Spain finished their first World Baseball Classic winless, but they did lead Venezuela for 3 1/2 innings; for Venezuela, their lone win marked the end of a disappointing Classic, after having made the Final Four last time.

Spain got ahead in the 1st against Ramon Ramirez. With one out, 2B Paco Figueroa singled and SS Yunesky Sanchez doubled him in. 1B Bárbaro Cañizares then homered for a 3-0 lead. Meanwhile, Richard Castillo blanked his countrymates for the first three innings (Castillo was one of 10 Venezuelans on a "Spanish" team composed almost exclusively of Latin Americans).

Mauro Mazzotti replaced Castillo with American Chris Manno in the bottom of the 4th, and things went downhill from there for Spain. LF Carlos González singled; an out later, 3B Martin Prado singled as well. After a second out, RF Alex Romero singled to make it 3-1. Mazzotti replaced Manno with Cuban Eddie Morlan, who fared worse, giving up a RBI double to 2B Omar Infante then a two-run single to PH Elvis Andrus. Andrus stole second and took third on a throwing error by C Salomón Manríquez. 1B Miguel Cabrera singled home Andrus to make it 5-3. Ricardo Hernandez replaced the ineffective Morlan and walked DH Pablo Sandoval. González then singled with his second hit of the inning for a 6-3 lead.

In the top of the 5th, Alex Torres relieved Ramirez and Spain rallied. LF Daniel Figueroa walked. With two away, Sanchez singled. Torres threw a wild pitch then walked Cañizares to load the bags. Wil Ledezma relieved and gave up a two-run single to Manríquez to close it to 6-5, but Spain would get no closer. In the bottom of the 6th, Spain turned to Rhiner Cruz. With one out, he hit Andrus, who promptly stole second. Cabrera singled in Andrus and Sandoval singled as well. Cruz walked González and was replaced on the hill by southpaw Iván Granados. Granados walked C Miguel Montero on four pitches to force in Cabrera for an 8-5 lead before retiring Prado on a double play ball.

In the bottom of the 8th, Spain turned to their lone homegrown player, Eric González. With one out, he allowed back-to-back dingers to Cabrera and Sandoval. Antonio Noguera relieved and walked Carlos González. José Cruz became the 9th Spanish pitcher and got an out, after which Prado doubled for a 11-5 lead. Francísco Rodriguez wrapped it up for Venezuela, allowing a two-out, 9th-inning homer to CF Engel Beltre for the final run.

at Chase Field
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Flag of United States United States 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 3 4 9 14 1
Flag of Canada Canada 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 4 9 2
Pitchers of Record
Win: Heath Bell (1-0) Loss: Jim Henderson (0-1)
Home Runs
United States: None
Canada: Michael Saunders in 2nd inning, 2 RBI
Umpires
HP: Brian Knight (USA); 1B: Jim Reynolds (USA); 2B: Michael Ulloa (Spain); 3B: Miguel Hernandez (Venezuela)
Time of Game: 3:18
Attendance: 22,425

Canada and the United States had been in the habit of playing tightly-fought games in the World Baseball Classic, with Canada pulling off an upset win in 2006 but falling a run short in 2009; this year's meeting was of even more import, as the winner would move on to the second round, and the loser would go home. For USA manager Joe Torre, the choice of Derek Holland as his starting pitcher was logical, but Canada's Ernie Whitt decided to take a major gamble when he set up his starting rotation before the tournament, picking Jameson Taillon, two years removed from high school and never having pitched above AA, as his starter against the mighty men from south of the border. Of course, Taillon was considered as one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball, so the gamble came with a significant potential upside.

Taillon showed his mettle by escaping unscathed from on a two-on, no-out jam in the top of the 2nd, and Canada then gave him a lead in the bottom of the inning when DH Justin Morneau led off with a double and RF Michael Saunders continued his outstanding hitting (he would be named Pool D MVP), this time delivering a home run to right field to give Canada an early 2-0 lead. The USA evened the score in the 4th, as C Joe Mauer singled and 3B David Wright walked to start the inning, then RF Ben Zobrist laid a beautiful bunt down the third base line; 3B Taylor Green rushed his throw, which sailed wide of first base, and Mauer came in to score; CF Adam Jones then followed with a sacrifice fly to center for a second run. Having given up only those two runs, Taillon was replaced by Dustin Molleken in the 5th, and he pitched two scoreless frames. For his part, Holland left after having pitched five innings, but the Canadians got to work against his successor, Glen Perkins. 1B Joey Votto walked and Morneau singled, then after two outs, LF Adam Loewen singled to right to put Canada back in the lead, 3-2, with three innings left to play.

Phillipe Aumont came out to pitch the 7th, and while he put a couple of men on base, he kept the Americans from scoring. Meanwhile, Heath Bell retired the side in the bottom of the 7th, and Team USA was down to six outs. Jim Henderson was next to take the mound for Canada, but he was not sharp. As in the 4th, Mauer singled and Wright walked to begin the inning. Zobrist tried to bunt again, but popped out to C Chris Robinson for the first out. However, Jones followed with a double to center, scoring Wright and Willie Bloomquist, who was pinch-running for Mauer, giving the United States its first lead of the game. After 1B Eric Hosmer struck out, LF Shane Victorino drove in another run with a single, and it was now 5-3. David Hernandez, recently defected from the Mexican team, came out to pitch the 8th and allowed singles to Votto, Saunders and Robinson to load the bases with one out. Loewen grounded to second, scoring Votto and cutting the U.S.'s lead to 5-4. Steve Cishek replaced Hernandez and issued an intentional pass to Pete Orr to load the bases again. Tim Smith then pinch-hit for SS Cale Iorg with tension at its highest, but he hit another grounder to second, ending the threat. Having survived a close call, the Americans then put the game out of reach with four runs in the top of the 9th, as Scott Mathieson and John Axford were beaten around. Hosmer's bases-clearing double was the highlight of the action. Now down 9-4 and facing the outstanding Craig Kimbrel, Canada went down meekly in the bottom of the 9th, with a pair of strikeouts and a routine fly ball. Team USA had avoided a disastrous early exit, but Canada had made them earn it.

at Hiram Bithorn Stadium
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
'Flag of Dominican Republic Dominican Republic 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 4 12 1
Flag of Puerto Rico Puerto Rico 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 7 2
Pitchers of Record
Win: Lorenzo Barcelo (1-0) Loss: J.O. Berrios (0-1) Save: Fernando Rodney (2)
Home Runs
Dominican Republic: Robinson Canó in 5th inning, 1 RBI
Puerto Rico: Mike Aviles in 4th inning, 2 RBI
Umpires
HP: Eric Cooper (USA); 1B: Ed Hickox (USA); 2B: Paul Hyham (Australia); 3B: Jair Fernandez (Mexico)
Time of Game: 3:41
Attendance: 19,413

With both teams having advanced to the second round, this contest did not matter much. The Dominicans ensured that they would be one of only two teams to survive the first round unscathed (along with Cuba) with the win. In the top of the 1st, they got on the board first against world veteran Orlando Román. SS Erick Aybar had a one-out single in the 1st, deflected by Puerto Rican 1B Martin Maldonado. 2B Robinson Canó and 1B Edwin Encarnación followed with back-to-back hits for a 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the 4th, Puerto Rico went ahead. RF Alex Rios singled off Wandy Rodriguez and advanced on a grounder by DH Carlos Beltrán. Lorenzo Barcelo relieved but surrendered a two-run dinger to 3B Mike Aviles.

Canó tied it to open the 5th, taking Jose de la Torre deep. The next inning, the Dominicans went ahead for good against Minnesota Twins prospect J.O. Berrios. C Carlos Santana singled and was bunted over by LF Ricardo Nanita. CF Alejandro De Aza followed with a run-scoring double. In the 7th, the team ended the scoring. With one away, Berrios plunked Encarnación, backup 3B Miguel Tejada doubled and RF Nelson Cruz hit a run-scoring grounder to short.

Canó finished with three hits for the Dominicans. Their last three hurlers (Octavio Dotel, Santiago Casilla and Fernando Rodney) combined for 3 2/3 shutout innings.

[edit] March 11

at Tokyo Dome
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Flag of Cuba Cuba 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 2 0 6 12 2
Flag of Netherlands Netherlands 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 2 1 7 12 0
Pitchers of Record
Win: Loek van Mil (1-0) Loss: Yander Guevara (0-1)
Home Runs
Cuba: José Dariel Abreu in 4th inning
Netherlands: Andrelton Simmons in 8th inning, 2 RBI
Umpires
HP: Chris Guccione (USA); 1B: Alfonso Marquez (USA); 2B: Carlos Rey (Puerto Rico); 3B: Trevor Grieve (Canada)
Time of Game: 3:52
Attendance: 7,613

The Netherlands topped Cuba for the fourth straight time to rebound from their humiliating loss to Japan and earn a spot in the final round of four. The Dutch entry was without its starting center fielder and #3 batter, Roger Bernadina, who was injured in the game with Japan. They then lost RF Wladimir Balentien to a pulled groin running the bases, as he left after the 2nd inning.

The Dutch got the game's first runs, scoring off Vladimir García in the bottom of the 3rd. LF Randolph Oduber led off with a double and SS Andrelton Simmons singled. 2B Jonathan Schoop bunted Simmons over, then García plunked backup 3B Hainley Statia. DH Andruw Jones hit a sacrifice fly, then 1B Curt Smith singled home Simmons for a 2-0 edge.

Cuba tied it the next inning against starter Orlando Yntema. 3B Yulieski Gourriel got things going with a double, then 2B José Miguel Fernández singled him in. DH Frederich Cepeda grounded into a double play, which proved crucial when 1B José Dariel Abreu took Yntema deep to tie the game. Yntema followed by hitting LF Alfredo Despaigne and was promptly yanked by Hensley Meulens in favor of 2006 World Baseball Classic star Shairon Martis. Martis did his job, striking out RF Yasmani Tomás to end the inning.

In the bottom of the 4th, CF Kalian Sams drew a walk from García and advanced on a grounder by C Dashenko Ricardo. Oduber grounded to SS Erisbel Arruebarruena and reached on a fielder's choice. Oduber stole second, then Simmons hit a sacrifice fly. Oduber then stole third; on the play, Cuban catcher Frank Morejón made a throwing error, letting Oduber score to make it 4-2. Cuba tied it quickly again in the 5th. PH Luis Rivera led off with a single; after an out, PH Alexei Bell singled as well. Gourriel launched one over the head of Sams, scoring both runners to even it. By the end of the inning, though, Cuba was down to one player on their bench due to substitutions, manager Víctor (El Loco) Mesa having limited his options from there out.

Cuba put together a scare for the Netherlands in the top of the 7th. Backup SS Raúl González led off with a double and Bell (who stayed in to play RF) drew a walk from Martis. Gourriel tried to bunt, but the slugger popped up instead. #3 batter Fernández then grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. The Netherlands had their chance to break the tie in the bottom half of the inning, getting three singles (a leadoff one from Schoop and one-out singles from Jones and Smith) but failed to score, as Schoop was caught stealing in between.

In the 8th, Cuba took its first lead. Cepeda drew a walk then Abreu singled. A fly from Despaigne put Cepeda on third. Leon Boyd relieved Martis, but Tomás (now manning CF) singled in Cepeda to make it 5-4. Backup catcher Eriel Sánchez hit a sacrifice fly for a 6-4 score. The lead was short-lived, like the two Dutch leads previously. In the bottom of the 8th, Sams drew a leadoff walk from Norberto González, then both Ricardo and Oduber struck out. Leadoff hitter Simmons provided some power in the clutch, though, hitting a two-run jack to left to tie it again.

Loek van Mil relieved Boyd to open the 9th and struck out Bell. Gourriel singled and stole second, though, and Fernández singled to put runners on the corners. Van Mil recovered to whiff Cepeda, bringing up former Cuban MVP and defending batting champion Abreu. Abreu flew out to Sams to blow that Cuban rally. In the bottom of the inning, Statia led off by flying out. Yander Guevara relieved González. Jones hit into an error by Gourriel, who had been Cuba's big offensive performer with three hits. Smith then got his third hit to put two men aboard. Raciel Iglesias came in to pitch but gave up a single to backup 3B Xander Bogaerts, loading the bags. Iglesias was given the quick hook in favor of Diosdani Castillo. He got ahead of Sams, 1-2, but Sams then hit a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Jones with the game winner.

[edit] March 12

at Tokyo Dome
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Flag of Netherlands Netherlands 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 3 0 6 10 0
Flag of Japan Japan 0 8 0 0 0 0 0 2 x 10 9 0
Pitchers of Record
Win: Kenji Otonari (1-1) Loss: David Bergman (0-1)
Home Runs
Netherlands: Andrelton Simmons in 1st inning, 1 RBI
Japan: Shinnosuke Abe 2: in 2nd inning, 1 RBI; in 2nd inning, 3 RBI
Umpires
HP: Gerry Davis (USA); 1B: Alfonso Marquez (USA); 2B: Carlos Rey (Puerto Rico); 3B: Felix Tejada (Dominican Republic)
Time of Game: 3:30
Attendance: 30,301

With both teams having locked up spots in the finals, only seeding was at stake here. Japan used a huge second inning to beat the injury-depleted Netherlands, though the Orange did mount a late rally and had a chance to go ahead in the 8th.

SS Andrelton Simmons homered on Kenji Otonari's second pitch of the game, but Otonari, Hirokazu Sawamura, Masahiro Tanaka and Takeru Imamura held the Netherlands to just one hit and no runs in the next five innings. In the bottom of the second, Japan blew it open against 2007 Hoofdklasse Pitcher of the Year David Bergman, pitching in his third Classic. Japanese captain and DH Shinnosuke Abe homered to tie the game. Bergman walked RF Yoshio Itoi and plunked 1B Sho Nakata. LF Katsuya Kakunaka laid down a bunt hit to load the bases. Bergman struck out C Ginjiro Sumitani but then allowed a RBI single to 3B Nobuhiro Matsuda and a 3-run double to CF Hisayoshi Chono to make it 5-0. 2B Kaz Matsui grounded out, then SS Hirokazu Ibata walked. That brought Abe back up and Hensley Meulens took out Bergman in favor of teenaged Orioles farmhand Jonatan Isenia. Isenia did not solve Abe any better than Bergman had, giving up a 3-run dinger to cap the 8-run frame.

While the Japanese hurlers were tossing zeroes, the Dutch staff matched them from the third through the sixth, with Isenia, Mark Pawelek and Kevin Heijstek turning in fine work during this period. In the top of the 7th, the Netherlands started to chip away at Japan's lead. 1B Curt Smith drew a walk from Masahiko Morifuku and LF Kalian Sams doubled. 3B Xander Bogaerts singled to close it to 8-2. After C Quintin de Cuba struck out, CF Randolph Oduber hit a sacrifice fly for a 8-3 score.

The Netherlands continued their comeback in the 8th. RF Hainley Statia singled against Tetsuya Yamaguchi and 2B Jonathan Schoop drew a walk. DH Andruw Jones grounded both men over, then Smith grounded home Statia. A single by Sams made it a 3-run game. Hideaki Wakui relieved Yamaguchi but gave up a double to Bogaerts. De Cuba singled to make it 8-6 and put the potential tying run aboard for Oduber. Oduber struck out, though, to end the rally.

Japan then got some insurance in the home half of the inning. Nakata singled off Heijstek and Kakunaka bunted into a force. After PH Atsunori Inaba was retired, Kakunaka stole second. De Cuba committed a passed ball, then Matsuda walked and took second on defensive indifference. Chono slapped a two-run single off Heijstek to give himself a 5-RBI day, chasing the hurler in favor of Jonathan Balentina. That marked the end of the scoring.

at Marlins Park
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Flag of Italy Italy 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 4 0
Flag of Dominican Republic Dominican Republic 0 0 1 0 0 1 3 0 0 5 10 0
Pitchers of Record
Win: Pedro Strop (2-0) Loss: Pat Venditte (0-1) Save: Fernando Rodney (3)
Home Runs
Italy: Chris Colabello in 1st inning, 3 RBI
Dominican Republic: José Reyes in 3rd inning, 1 RBI; Robinson Canó in 6th inning, 1 RBI
Umpires
HP: Angel Hernandez (USA); 1B: Katsumi Manabe (Japan); 2B: Mark Wegner (USA); 3B: Paul Hyham (Australia)
Time of Game: 3:17
Attendance: 14,482

The Dominicans remained unbeaten, but survived a scare from Italy in a surprisingly close contest. Edison Volquez struggled with his control in the 1st inning, walking 2B Nick Punto, CF Chris Denorfia and 1B Anthony Rizzo in order. 3B Alex Liddi hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Punto, then DH and 2011 Independent League Player of the Year Chris Colabello smashed a three-run homer. That would be all the offense Italy would manufacture though; Volquez settled down and was followed by solid relief from Juan Cedeno, Lorenzo Barcelo, Pedro Strop, Santiago Casilla and Fernando Rodney. Italy would get just three hits (two by Punto), three walks and no runs the remainder of the way. Their biggest rally came in the 5th when Punto and Denorfia had back-to-back singles to chase Volquez, bringing up Italy's #3 and 4 batters, but Cedeno retired Rizzo and Barcelo retired Liddi to stop that bid.

Trusted to protect Italy's early lead was Tiago Da Silva, a Brazilian native who had pitched in the Chinese Professional Baseball League before starring for T&A San Marino and becoming an Italian citizen. In 2012, he had finished 4th in the Italian Baseball League in ERA and had won the finale of the 2012 Italian Series. Facing a star-studded Dominican lineup, he allowed a double in the 1st and two singles in the 2nd but did not give up a run either time. In the 3rd, SS José Reyes led off with a homer. Da Silva settled down, retiring 9 of the next 10 batters; the only one who reached was erased on a double play. In the 6th, 2B Robinson Canó took Tiago deep and he was replaced on the mound by Nick Pugliese, having turned in a strong start. Pugliese let 1B Edwin Encarnación and 3B Hanley Ramírez reach, retired RF Nelson Cruz and walked C Carlos Santana to load the bases. Ambidextrous hurler Pat Venditte relieved and retired PH Miguel Tejada to end the threat.

In the 7th, the Dominicans got a big inning to prevent an upset. With one away, Reyes, DH Erick Aybar and Canó rapped three singles in a row off Venditte; for Canó, it was his third hit of the day. Marco Mazzieri replaced Venditte with Luca Panerati, but Panerati walked Encarnación to make it 4-3. Next Italy tried 38-year-old former major leaguer Brian Sweeney; Ramírez greeted him with a sacrifice fly to tie the game. Cruz then delivered the game-winning single, scoring Canó.

at Marlins Park
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Flag of Puerto Rico Puerto Rico 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 7 2
Flag of United States United States 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 3 x 7 12 0
Pitchers of Record
Win: Gio Gonzalez (1-0) Loss: Mario Santiago (0-1)
Home Runs
Puerto Rico: None
United States: None
Umpires
HP: Marvin Hudson (USA); 1B: Mark Wegner (USA); 2B: Edgar Estivison (Panama); 3B: Katsumi Manabe (Japan)
Time of Game: 3:22
Attendance: 32,872

The US opened their second round much stronger than their first round. They controlled this contest from the get-go. In the bottom of the 1st, LF Ryan Braun drew a two-out walk from Mario Santiago and DH Joe Mauer doubled him home. Two innings later, 2B Brandon Phillips and Braun had one-out singles, then Mauer walked. 3B David Wright grounded into a run-scoring force for a 2-0 edge. In the 5th, SS Jimmy Rollins led off with a single, advanced on a fly out by Phillips and took third on a wild pitch. Andres Santiago relieved his namesake Mario and walked Mauer. Wright then singled in Rollins to make it 3-0.

Gio Gonzalez shut out Puerto Rico for 5 innings (3 hits, no walks, 5 whiffs) and Jeremy Affeldt turned in a scoreless 6th, followed by Vinnie Pestano in the 7th. The US kept up their pace of scoring one run in every odd-numbered inning. With two outs in the bottom of the 7th, 1B Eric Hosmer singled off J.C. Romero and stole second base. CF Adam Jones brought him home with a single. Puerto Rico finally got on the board in the top of the 8th. Steve Cishek plunked PH Jesús Feliciano. David Hernandez relieved and gave up a double to LF Eddie Rosario. CF Ángel Pagán grounded home Feliciano to cut the lead to 4-1, but Puerto Rico got no closer.

In the bottom of the 8th, the US finally scored in an even-numbered inning. Rollins led off with a single off J.O. Berrios and Braun singled an out later. Xavier Cedeño relieved and Mauer drew his third walk of the day. Wright then cracked a three-run double to right field for a 7-1 lead, giving Wright 5 RBI on the day as the US cruised to the win. Craig Kimbrel worked a scoreless 9th to wrap it up.

[edit] March 13

at Marlins Park
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Flag of Italy Italy 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 3 9 3
Flag of Puerto Rico Puerto Rico 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 x 4 8 1
Pitchers of Record
Win: Hiram Burgos (1-0) Loss: Brian Sweeney (0-1) Save: Fernando Cabrera (1)
Home Runs
Italy: None
Puerto Rico: None
Umpires
HP: Mark Wegner (USA); 1B: Paul Hyham (Australia); 2B: Marvin Hudson (USA); 3B: Edgar Estivison (Panama)
Time of Game: 3:46
Attendance: 25,787

For the second straight game, Italy put up a surprising challenge, going ahead early only to lose a one-run contest to a more prominent baseball nation. Puerto Rico, meanwhile, kept their hopes alive in this must-win game.

The early theme was stranded runners for both sides. 2B Nick Punto led off the game with a single off Giancarlo Alvarado; with two outs, 3B Alex Liddi walked, but both were stranded. In the bottom of the first, CF Ángel Pagán led off with a double for Puerto Rico, against Alex Maestri, but was stranded at third base. LF Mike Costanzo led off the second with a double and failed to score as well. The next inning, CF Chris Denorfia hit a one-out double but Alvarado retired #3 hitter 1B Anthony Rizzo and cleanup man Liddi to end that threat. In the bottom of the 4th, 2B Irving Falú drew a leadoff walk. With one out, C Yadier Molina singled him to third. A wild pitch by Maestri put both men in scoring position, but he recovered to retire SS Mike Aviles and RF Alex Ríos.

The first runs came in the top of the 5th. SS Anthony Granato had a one-out single, then Punto reached on catcher's interference by Molina. Denorfia singled to load the bags, and Xavier Cedeño replaced Alvarado. Rizzo welcomed the new pitcher with a bases-clearing double to right-center and Italy was in front by a 3-0 score. In the bottom of the 5th, 1B Carlos Rivera and 3B Andy González reached against Maestri. LF Eddie Rosario bunted into an out at third. Maestri was then relieved by Chris Cooper, who retired both Pagán and Falú to escape the jam.

In the bottom of the 6th, Italy's defense let them down. Molina had a one-out single, then Aviles hit into an error by Granato. A fly from Ríos got Molina to third, then Granato made another error, this one on a Rivera grounder to cut it to 3-1. In the top of the 8th, Italy got two-out singles from RF Mario Chiarini and C Drew Butera but failed to score.

Puerto Rico finally took control in the bottom of the 8th. DH Carlos Beltrán drew an opening walk from Cooper, who left with one unearned run in 2 2/3 innings. Nick Pugliese relieved but allowed a single to Molina (his third hit) and was quickly yanked for Brian Sweeney. As with yesterday's game, Sweeney proved ineffective. Aviles hit into a run-scoring force, then Ríos singled to put the potential winning run aboard. Italy turned to Pat Venditte, another hurler who had helped blow yesterday's lead. He was greeted by PH Luis Figueroa, who hit a sacrifice fly to tie it. González then hit a sharp grounder to the left side of the infield, past a diving Liddi; it was fielded by backup SS Jack Santora. Santora's throw to first pulled Rizzo off the back, letting González reach and Ríos score what would be the winning run. Pagán ground into Italy's third E-6, this one by Santora, to load the bases, before Falú was retired.

In the 9th, Hiram Burgos struck out Punto and Denorfia (3 for 4 till that point) to complete 3 2/3 shutout innings. J.C. Romero relieved but walked Rizzo and Italy had a chance to go ahead with their power-hitting cleanup man, Liddi, coming up. Puerto Rico countered with Fernando Cabrera and he won this match-up, getting Liddi swinging on a three-pitch strikeout to avoid an upset.

[edit] March 14

at Marlins Park
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Flag of Dominican Republic Dominican Republic 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 3 9 1
Flag of United States United States 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 6 1
Pitchers of Record
Win: Pedro Strop (3-0) Loss: Craig Kimbrel (0-1) Save: Fernando Rodney (4)
Home Runs
Dominican Republic: Hanley Ramírez in 2nd inning, 1 RBI
United States: None
Umpires
HP: Angel Hernandez (USA); 1B: Katsumi Manabe (Japan); 2B: Marvin Hudson (USA); 3B: Edgar Estivison (Panama)
Time of Game: 3:17
Attendance: 34,366

The Dominicans remained unbeaten and punched their ticket to the finals, winning an exciting match-up with the US. The USA got its only run in the 1st and had a chance for more. 2B Brandon Phillips had a one-out single; after LF Ryan Braun whiffed, DH Joe Mauer and RF Giancarlo Stanton both singled to loads the bags. Samuel Deduno walked 1B Eric Hosmer on four pitches to force in a run, but settled down after that, getting CF Adam Jones to strike out looking on a full count; Deduno would whiff seven in a four-inning outing.

2012 National League Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey turned in a strong outing for the Americans, who he had first represented back in the 1996 Olympics. Dickey gave up one run in five innings, allowing a one-out homer to DH Hanley Ramírez in the 2nd.

After Deduno and Dickey left, both bullpens turned in stellar performances. Luke Gregerson, Tim Collins and Steve Cishek shut out the Dominicans from the 6th through 8th, while Kelvin Herrera, Octavio Dotel and Pedro Strop held the US scoreless and to a single hit from the 5th through the 8th.

In the top of the 9th, US skipper Joe Torre turned to closer Craig Kimbrel with the 6th, 7th and 8th Dominican hitters due up. It was still a challenging assignment. RF Nelson Cruz, the 2011 ALCS MVP, greeted Kimbrel with a double (Kimbrel had allowed only one double in the entire 2012 season in the major leagues), just beating Stanton's throw to the bag. C Carlos Santana, fresh off an 18-homer, 91-walk season, grounded Cruz to third. Tony Peña called on Erick Aybar to bat for LF Ricardo Nanita and Aybar singled on a 97-mph fastball to score Cruz with the winning run. Aybar stole second but CF Alejandro De Aza whiffed. SS José Reyes then singled to score Aybar to make it 3-1. Mitchell Boggs relieved and retired 3B Miguel Tejada to end the rally. The Dominicans turned to their dominant 2012 closer, Fernando Rodney, and he notched his fourth save of the Classic. He retired Jones on a fly, PH Ben Zobrist on a strikeout and PH Shane Victorino on a pop-up to clinch the Dominicans' spot in the finals.

[edit] March 15

at Marlins Park
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Flag of Puerto Rico Puerto Rico 1 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 4 9 1
Flag of United States United States 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 3 8 0
Pitchers of Record
Win: Nelson Figueroa (2-0) Loss: Ryan Vogelsong (1-1) Save: J.C. Romero (1)
Home Runs
Puerto Rico: None
United States: None
Umpires
HP: Mark Wegner (USA); 1B: Angel Hernandez (USA); 2B: Edgar Estivison (Panama); 3B: Paul Hyham (Australia)
Time of Game: 3:24
Attendance: 19,762

The USA and Puerto Rico again faced each other, but this time in a do-or-die game, with the winner assured of moving to the final round, and the loser eliminated. Two veteran pitchers with long and convoluted careers took the mound, Ryan Vogelsong for the U.S. and Nelson Figueroa for Puerto Rico. Figueroa got the best of the duel, turning in an outstanding performance against the Americans, with only two hits and a walk allowed over 6 scoreless innings. Vogelsong also pitched well in his 5 2/3 innings, but he was unable to keep a completely clean sheet like his opponent, and would end up being charged with the loss.

Puerto Rico struck first, in the top of the 1st, when CF Ángel Pagán led off the game with a single. The next two batters flied out, but C Yadier Molina and SS Mike Aviles then followed with two-out singles, and Pagan scored the first run. That was the score until the 6th inning, as the two starters began to trade goose eggs. The next burst of scoring came in the top of the 6th, after DH Carlos Beltrán drew a one-out walk from Vogelsong; Vogelsong then retired Molina on a fly ball but gave way to reliever Vinnie Pestano, who did not have a good day. He allowed a single to Aviles and walked RF Alex Ríos to load the bases. 1B Carlos Rivera drew another walk to push in a second run. 3B Andy González then hit a clutch double to left, driving in two more. Puerto Rico now had a 4-0 lead with four turns at bat left for the U.S.

After Figueroa pitched his sixth scoreles inning, the U.S. got to work against the Puerto Ricans' bullpen in the bottom of the 7th, Jeremy Affeldt having in the meantime put the lid on the islanders' offense. Facing Giovanni Soto, C Joe Mauer tripled with one out, then scored on RF Giancarlo Stanton's single to cut the lead to 4-1. In the 8th, with Jose de la Torre now pitching, SS Jimmy Rollins and 2B Brandon Phillips hit back-to-back singles after one out and LF Ryan Braun doubled down the left field line, scoring Rollins. Xavier Cedeño took over on the mound, but immediately walked Mauer to load the bases. Fernando Cabrera succeeded Cedeno, and he walked 3B Ben Zobrist, starting in place of the injured David Wright, scoring another run to cut the lead to 4-3. That brought another pitching change, with veteran J.C. Romero stepping on the hill. He got 1B Eric Hosmer to hit a ground ball to 2B Irving Falú and Puerto Rico escaped the inning still with a lead. After Craig Kimbrel set down Puerto Rico in the 9th, Romero came back to pitch the bottom of the inning, He struck out CF Adam Jones swinging and caught DH Shane Victorino staring at a third strike, then got Rollins to fly out to Pagan in center, ending the U.S.'s tournament.

[edit] March 16

at Marlins Park
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Flag of Puerto Rico Puerto Rico 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
Flag of Dominican Republic Dominican Republic 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 6 1
Pitchers of Record
Win: Wandy Rodriguez (1-0) Loss: Orlando Roman (0-1) Save: Fernando Rodney (5)
Home Runs
Puerto Rico: None
Dominican Republic: Carlos Santana in 5th inning, 1 RBI
Umpires
HP: Marvin Hudson (USA); 1B: Angel Hernandez (USA); 2B: Paul Hyham (Australia); 3B: Katsumi Manabe (Japan)
Time of Game: 2:58
Attendance: 25,848

The Dominican Republic continued its flawless tournament by shutting out Puerto Rico on only three hits to finish on top of the second semi-final pool. Both teams were already assured of moving to the second round, and the only thing at stake was who would be forced to face two-time defending champions Japan 24 hours later. This time, it was Wandy Rodriguez who was dominant, giving up only 2 hits and 2 walks over 6 innings to pick up the win. His opponent for Puerto Rico, Orlando Román, was not bad either, as he limited the powerful Dominicans to two hits and as many walks in five innings. Unfortunately, one of the hits was a home run to right field by Dominican C Carlos Santana to lead off the 5th inning. That big hit opened the score, but it could have been different as the Puerto Ricans had come close to breaking through in the 3rd: 1B Carlos Rivera had opened the inning with a single off Rodriguez, and given way to pinch-runner Irving Falú. Falú quickly stole second and advanced to third on Santana's throwing error, then after 2B Andy González struck out, LF Jesús Feliciano hit a grounded to shortstop Erick Aybar; Falú broke for home, but was thrown out, ending Puerto Rico's strongest threat.

With the score still 1-0, Puerto Rico mounted another scoring attempt in the 8th. C Martin Maldonado drew a lead-off walk against Santiago Casilla and Falú bunted him over to second. González hit a grounder to shortstop, and Aybar again made an excellent defensive play, cutting Maldonado down at third base. Feliciano drew a walk, but pinch-hitter Pedro Valdés grounded out to second to end the inning. In the bottom of the 8th, the Dominicans padded their slim lead when Aybar singled against Efrain Nieves. 2B Robinson Canó, who would be named the round's MVP by going 5 for 12 in the three second-round games, singled in turn, moving Aybar to third. Randy Fontanez came in to pitch and got 3B Miguel Tejada to pop out to shortstop; however, C Francisco Peña followed with a single, scoring Aybar and doubling the lead. That was enough for dominant closer Fernando Rodney, even if he gave up a two-out double to SS Mike Aviles. Rodney got CF Eddie Rosario to ground out to Cano to end the game.

[edit] March 17

at AT&T Park
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Flag of Puerto Rico Puerto Rico 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 3 9 0
Flag of Japan Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 6 1
Pitchers of Record
Win: Mario Santiago (1-1) Loss: Kenta Maeda (2-1) Save: Fernando Cabrera (2)
Home Runs
Puerto Rico: Alex Ríos in 7th inning, 2 RBI
Japan: None
Umpires
HP: Bill Miller (USA); 1B: Edgar Estivison (Panama); 2B: Wally Bell (USA); 3B: Trevor Grieve (Canada); LF: Ted Barrett (USA); RF: Paul Hyham (Australia)
Time of Game: 3:27
Attendance: 33,683

The two-time defending champions from Japan fell to Puerto Rico, which had just upset the USA two days prior. This time, the Puerto Rican hurlers were dominant to send the team to the finals, ensuring both finalist entries would be first-time teams.

Puerto Rico got going early. 2B Irving Falú and DH Carlos Beltrán drew back-to-back one-out walks from Japanese ace Kenta Maeda. 2010 Sawamura Award winner Maeda recovered to whiff catcher and cleanup threat Yadier Molina, but SS Mike Aviles singled for a 1-0 lead. It was the only run Maeda would allow in five innings, but he was still saddled with the loss. That was because Mario Santiago was superb, tossing three shutout innings before finally giving up a hit. He, Jose de la Torre and Xavier Cedeño combined on seven shutout innings, allowing three hits and one walk while striking out seven.

In the top of the 7th, Puerto Rico got some insurance. Aviles led off with a single off Atsushi Nohmi, then RF Alex Ríos hit a two-run shot into the left-field seats. Tadashi Settsu relieved and got two outs but then allowed a single to LF Jesús Feliciano and a walk to CF Ángel Pagán. Toshiya Sugiuchi relieved and retired Falú to escape without further harm. Puerto Rico threatened again in the 8th. Beltrán hit into an error by 1B Sho Nakata (originally a third baseman, and usually an outfielder, where he had started the day). Molina flew out, but Sugiuchi walked Aviles. Koji Yamamoto turned to Hideaki Wakui but Ríos greeted him with a single to load the bases. Yamamoto tried a 5th pitcher, Tetsuya Yamaguchi, and he got both 1B Carlos Rivera and 3B Andy González to end that threat.

Japan mounted a comeback attempt in the bottom of the 8th. Facing a new pitcher, Randy Fontanez, 2B Takashi Toritani cracked a one-out triple and scored on a single by DH Hirokazu Ibata. RF Seiichi Uchikawa singled to put the potential go-ahead run at the plate in the form of Japanese captain and catcher Shinnosuke Abe. Edwin Rodriguez yanked Fontanez in favor of J.C. Romero. Japan, following the aggressive baserunning approach Yamamoto had advised, tried for a double steal, but Ibata retreated to second after only a few steps, while Uchikawa kept on running to second. Uchikawa was caught in a run-down and was tagged out by C Yadier Molina; he later took the blame for the loss. Abe then grounded out to blow Japan's best opportunity. In the bottom of the 9th, Romero retired SS Hayato Sakamoto on a grounder then walked RF Yoshio Itoi. Fernando Cabrera was summoned from the bullpen and whiffed slugger Nakata, then retired pinch-hitter Kazuo Matsui to end the game.

[edit] March 18

at AT&T Park
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Flag of Netherlands Netherlands 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 1
Flag of Dominican Republic Dominican Republic 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 x 4 9 0
Pitchers of Record
Win: Edinson Volquez (1-0) Loss: Diegomar Markwell (2-1) Save: Fernando Rodney (6)
Home Runs
Netherlands: None
Dominican Republic: None
Umpires
HP: Wally Bell (USA); 1B: Trevor Grieve (Canada); 2B: Ted Barrett (USA); 3B: Paul Hyham (Australia), LF Bill Miller, RF Edgar Estivison (Panama)
Time of Game: 3:09
Attendance: 27,527

The Dominican Republic punched its ticket into the final game and preserved its perfect record in the tournament by defeating the Netherlands, 4-1, in the second semi-final game, but once again the Dutch did not go down easily. With starter Diegomar Markwell, winner of two starts earlier in the tournament, on the mound, the Dutch took the early lead against Dominican starter Edinson Volquez, who had trouble with his control in the early going. SS Andrelton Simmons led off the game by drawing a walk, then moved to second on a wild pitch. 2B Jurickson Profar drew a walk as well and CF Roger Bernadina hit a ground ball back to Volquez, on which both runners advanced one base. RF Wladimir Balentien then grounded out to SS José Reyes, and Simmons scored the game's first run. DH Andruw Jones flied out to left to end the inning, but the Dominicans were on top, 1-0, while having yet to obtain their first hit. That would only come in the 4th, when Jones hit a two-out single and was stranded. Meanwhile, Markwell was doing fine, allowing only three baserunners over the first four innings.

The game turned after Volquez completed his fifth inning of work, allowing a second hit but no more runs. In the bottom of the 5th, C Carlos Santana and LF Moises Sierra hit back-to-back doubles after one out to tie the game. CF Alejandro De Aza grounded out for the second out, but Sierra advanced to third base and came in to score on Reyes's single. 3B Miguel Tejada followed with a single that moved Reyes to third, and that was the end of Markwell's day. He was replaced by Tom Stuifbergen, who quickly uncorked a wild pitch, scoring Reyes and placing Tejada in scoring position. He then walked red-hot 2B Robinson Canó, but 1B Edwin Encarnación burned him with another single, and it was 4 - 1, the inning ending when Canó was gunned down at third base, but not before Tejada's run had scored. The remainder of the game was a pitchers' battle. Kelvin Herrera allowed a two-out double to Balentien in the top of the 6th, but he was stranded. Pedro Strop came on in the 8th, and also allowed a two-out single, to Bernadina, with no harm resulting. Meanwhile, Stuifbergen and Leon Boyd allowed runners in both the 6th and 7th, but no runs and Loek van Mil pitched a perfect bottom of the 8th. It was down to three batters facing ace closer Fernando Rodney, who had already saved five of the Dominicans' six wins in the tournament. He made short work of the Dutch: Jones popped out to Canó at second; 1B Curt Smith struck out; and 3B Jonathan Schoop struck out as well, ending the Netherlands' outstanding run just short of the finals.

[edit] March 19

at AT&T Park
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Flag of Puerto Rico Puerto Rico 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
Flag of Dominican Republic Dominican Republic 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 8 1
Pitchers of Record
Win: Samuel Deduno (2-0) Loss: Giancarlo Alvarado (1-1) Save: Fernando Rodney (7)
Home Runs
Puerto Rico: None
Dominican Republic: None
Umpires
HP: Ted Barrett (USA); 1B: Paul Hyham (Australia); 2B: Bill Miller (USA); 3B: Edgar Estivison (Panama); LF Wally Bell (USA); RF Trevor Grieve (Canada)
Time of Game: 3:06
Attendance: 35,703

The Dominican Republic completed a perfect tournament, winning its eighth game in as many contests as it shut out Puerto Rico, 3-0, in the tournament finale at San Francisco's AT&T Park. It was the Dominicans' third win against Puerto Rico, which never could solve its opponents' combination of air-tight pitching and timely hitting. Still, Puerto Rico's participation in the finals raised enormous interest on the island, where baseball had lost a measure of popularity since its heyday half a century earlier (and its remarkable run in the mid-1990s with players like Juan Gonzalez, Roberto Alomar, Ivan Rodriguez and Carlos Baerga). Needless to say, the win, constituting probably the biggest sporting triumph in the Dominican Republic's history, was greeted with great expressions of joy throughout the country. There was little doubt that the best team in the tournament had won, as the Dominicans were in control of the situation from the time they solidly beat Venezuela in their opening game, until Fernando Rodney recorded the last out of the finals to earn his seventh save of the tournament.

There was a marked contrast in starting pitchers in the game, with Samuel Deduno on the mound for the Dominicans, one year after having finally established himself as a solid major league starter with a solid second half for the Minnesota Twins, facing journeyman Giancarlo Alvarado, almost unknown outside his native island (though he had pitched in AAA, Japan and Taiwan), on the mound for Puerto Rico. In this game, major league experience was a key asset, however. Deduno pitched five solid innings, allowing only a pair of singles and three walks, to put his opponents in a hole. In contrast, Alvarado was touched for a pair of runs in the 1st, and had his teammates playing catch-up ball all game as a result. SS José Reyes led off the bottom of the 1st with a double, then was sacrificed to third by DH Erick Aybar. Alvarado issued an intentional walk to 2B Robinson Canó, but 1B Edwin Encarnación made him pay dearly, doubling to center field to score both runners. Alvarado later threw a wild pitch that advanced Encarnacion to third, but he failed to score. When the Domincans returned to bat in the 2nd, Alvarado was gone, replaced by Hiram Burgos. Burgos did very well, keeping the score at 2-0 until the 5th, when CF Alejandro De Aza singled with one out; Reyes hit a ground ball to move him to second, then Aybar doubled to right to stretch the lead to 3-0.

The Dominicans' hurlers were dealing, like they had been all tournament. Puerto Rico managed only one hit during the last four innings of the game. Veteran Octavio Dotel pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 6th, but gave up a single to SS Mike Aviles and a walk to RF Alex Ríos to start the 7th. That was the closest the Puerto Ricans would come to scoring; Pedro Strop replaced Dotel on the mound and struck out 1B Carlos Rivera; Pedro Valdés pinch-hit for 3B Andy González, but he struck out in turn; LF Jesús Feliciano then ended the inning by popping out to 3B Miguel Tejada in foul territory, and Puerto Rico had wasted its best chance to come back. In the 8th, Santiago Casilla walked the leadoff hitter, CF Ángel Pagán, but retired the next three men he faced. Meanwhile, Puerto Rico's relievers were doing well too - Xavier Cedeño and Fernando Cabrera both pitched a scoreless inning - but runs were needed, and runs could not be got. In the 9th, the task became even more daunting as closer Rodney took the mound with a three-run lead. Aviles reached on an error by Tejada, but that didn't faze the big closer. He got Rios to pop up and Rivera to strike out. 3B Luis Figueroa came to bat as Puerto Rico's last hope, but he struck out as well, and the Dominicans were champs.

Robinson Canó was named the tournament's MVP, with numbers that speak for themselves: he hit .469 (15 for 32) with four doubles, two homers, six RBIs and 25 total bases. His 15 hits set a new tournament record, besting the mark of 13 set by Japan's Nobuhiko Matsunaka in 2006. But he was not the only star of the team: Rodney had seven saves in as many opportunities, and Deduno put up an ERA of 0.69 with 17 strikeouts while winning two games.

[edit] Awards

[edit] All-Tournament Team

[edit] Statistics

[edit] Batting Leaders

A minimum 2.7 plate appearances/game needed to qualify for rate stats

At Bats

Hits

Runs

Doubles

Home Runs

Runs Batted In

Total Bases

Walks

Strikeouts

Stolen Bases

Batting Average

On-Base Percentage

Slugging Percentage

On-base plus Slugging

[edit] Pitching Leaders

A minimum 0.8 innings pitched/game needed to qualify

Wins

Losses

  • 39 tied with 1

Saves

Games

Games Started

Complete Games

  • None

Shutouts

  • None

Innings Pitched

Hits Allowed

Runs Allowed

Earned Runs Allowed

Home Runs Allowed

Batters Hit

Walks

Strikeouts

Holds

Games Finished

Earned Run Average

    • Pedro Strop allowed no earned runs in 6 2/3 IP but did not meet the inning qualifications as he did not meet the inning criteria due to the Dominican Republic playing more games than Taiwan, the USA or Spain

Walks plus Hits per Innings Pitched

    • Pedro Strop had a 0.45 WHIP in more innings than any of the above hurlers but did not meet the inning criteria due to the Dominican Republic's playing more games than the above teams

[edit] Team Batting

Ordered by OPS
Team G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
Flag of Cuba Cuba 6 201 45 69 12 1 11 45 116 19 25 5 1 .343 .414 .577 .991
Flag of Venezuela Venezuela 3 104 17 29 10 0 2 16 45 13 17 4 0 .279 .375 .433 .808
Flag of Japan Japan 7 233 44 65 8 2 8 44 101 31 37 7 4 .279 .374 .433 .807
Flag of Canada Canada 3 102 18 31 8 0 1 18 42 12 23 1 0 .304 .395 .412 .807
Flag of Dominican Republic Dominican Republic 8 264 36 76 16 1 7 35 115 29 52 2 3 .288 .360 .436 .796
Flag of Italy Italy 5 170 29 49 11 0 3 28 69 20 33 2 0 .288 .363 .406 .769
Flag of Mexico Mexico 3 101 13 28 9 0 1 12 40 10 21 0 1 .275 .336 .392 .728
Flag of Netherlands Netherlands 8 254 36 65 16 0 5 34 96 31 59 4 2 .256 .345 .378 .723
Flag of Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei 5 157 17 41 9 0 2 16 56 16 33 0 1 .261 .333 .357 .690
Flag of United States United States 6 214 28 59 10 1 1 27 74 22 46 5 1 .276 .342 .346 .688
Flag of South Korea South Korea 3 97 9 23 3 0 1 9 29 11 14 1 1 .237 .333 .299 .632
Flag of Puerto Rico Puerto Rico 9 283 23 61 12 1 2 22 81 29 49 6 2 .216 .295 .286 .581
Flag of Spain Spain 3 100 9 21 1 0 2 8 28 7 31 0 1 .210 .288 .280 .568
Flag of Australia Australia 3 96 2 19 3 0 1 2 25 3 23 1 0 .198 .238 .260 .498
Flag of Brazil Brazil 3 99 7 21 3 0 0 6 24 3 23 1 1 .212 .250 .242 .492
Flag of People's Republic of China People's Republic of China 3 82 7 12 2 0 0 6 14 9 32 2 2 .146 .239 .171 .410

[edit] Team Pitching

Ordered by ERA
Team W L ERA G CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR HBP BB SO WHIP HLD
Flag of Dominican Republic Dominican Republic 8 0 1.75 8 0 2 7 72.0 42 14 14 2 3 31 65 1.01 11
Flag of South Korea South Korea 2 1 2.08 3 0 1 1 26.0 25 7 6 0 2 9 26 1.31 0
Flag of Cuba Cuba 4 2 2.54 6 0 2 1 49.7 46 18 14 3 3 19 43 1.31 3
Flag of Puerto Rico Puerto Rico 5 4 2.88 9 0 1 5 78.0 83 26 25 2 6 25 67 1.26 7
Flag of United States United States 3 3 3.17 6 0 0 1 54.0 50 19 19 3 1 14 40 1.19 4
Flag of Japan Japan 5 2 3.84 7 0 0 2 61.0 58 27 26 4 3 15 74 1.20 2
Flag of Italy Italy 2 3 4.71 5 0 0 1 42.0 47 24 22 3 3 19 30 1.57 4
Flag of Australia Australia 0 3 5.04 3 0 0 0 25.0 29 14 14 2 3 12 10 1.64 0
Flag of Brazil Brazil 0 3 5.19 3 0 0 0 26.0 21 15 15 0 4 17 19 1.46 1
Flag of Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei 2 3 5.36 5 0 0 1 42.0 39 25 25 6 4 16 22 1.31 5
Flag of Netherlands Netherlands 4 4 5.51 8 0 1 1 67.0 78 47 41 12 6 25 30 1.54 2
Flag of Mexico Mexico 1 2 6.00 3 0 0 1 27.0 35 18 18 1 3 10 25 1.67 5
Flag of Spain Spain 0 3 6.48 3 0 0 0 25.0 31 20 18 3 3 17 18 1.92 0
Flag of Venezuela Venezuela 1 2 6.92 3 0 0 0 26.0 29 21 20 3 1 12 21 1.58 2
Flag of People's Republic of China People's Republic of China 1 2 7.04 3 0 0 0 23.0 27 19 18 2 2 12 11 1.70 2
Flag of Canada Canada 1 2 8.64 3 0 0 0 25.0 39 26 24 1 0 12 17 2.04 2

[edit] Final Standings

  1. Flag of Dominican Republic Dominican Republic
  2. Flag of Puerto Rico Puerto Rico
  3. Flag of Japan Japan
  4. Flag of Netherlands Netherlands
  5. Flag of Cuba Cuba
  6. Flag of United States United States
  7. Flag of Italy Italy
  8. Flag of Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei
  9. Flag of South Korea South Korea
  10. Flag of Venezuela Venezuela
  11. Flag of Mexico Mexico
  12. Flag of Canada Canada
  13. Flag of People's Republic of China People's Republic of China
  14. Flag of Brazil Brazil
  15. Flag of Spain Spain
  16. Flag of Australia Australia

[edit] References


World Baseball Classic
2006 | 2009 | 2013
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