United States of America needs Hosmer, Stroman to lead the way against Puerto Rico

The U.S. beat the Dominican Republic for the first time in WBC history and avenged a first-round loss this month in which it blew a five-run lead to the Dominicans. Dominican Republic World Baseball Classic Round Two do-or-die finale for both teams live stream from 42,000-seat Petco Park in San Diego, go to the MLB Network site at this link. That gave the US the lead for good at 4-2 in the fourth inning. The Dominican Republic also has won 12 of its past 13 WBC games. The San Diego Padres pitcher allowed three hits, one run and walked three. On a first-pitch fastball, he lined a no-doubt home run to left field to give the USA a 4-2 lead, send the crowd into a frenzy, and end Santana's start. He trimmed USA's lead to one.

Team USA right fielder Giancarlo Stanton's laser shot, two-run home run propelled a 6-3 win over Team Dominican Republic, Saturday night. An Ian Kinsler fielder's choice and a double by Christian Yelich tied up the game 2-2.

Stroman recovered after that and kept Puerto Rico scoreless until leaving the game with two outs in the fifth inning. Measured at 117.3 miles per hour off the bat, it was the fourth-fastest home run ever recorded by MLB's Statcast technology. That gave Team USA's offense a chance to get back in the game, which it did over the next few innings. The roster is made entirely of Major and Minor League players, including the Mariner's own Drew Smyly, who will be making an appearance.

That catch is the stuff of legends.

Prado, playing for Venezuela, was injured while running out a grounder in a World Baseball Classic game Wednesday.

It was the play of the night, if not the tournament, prompting an impressed Machado to raise his helmet in respect to his Baltimore Orioles team mate.

Heck, SB Nation is already putting it in a museum.

Robinson Cano homered and doubled in a run. Kennys Vargas delivered the final blow with a two-run homer in the ninth. Dominican starter Ervin Santana allowed four runs in 3 ⁄3 innings. It will be a disappointment if this team leaves Los Angeles next week without a championship.

Team USA, meanwhile, will play the WBC reigning champion Dominican Republic on Saturday night with the victor going to the final round as well. "We had a lot of opportunity to score runs and didn't get the job done, and they took every opportunity they had to score runs".

  • Arturo Norris