Share This Page
MLB

USA tops Canada in World Baseball Classic

| Sunday, March 10, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Pirates prospect Jameson Taillon throws for Team Canada against the United States in the first inning of Sunday's World Baseball Classic game in Phoenix. (AP)

PHOENIX — Adam Jones doubled in the tying and go-ahead runs in the eighth inning, Eric Hosmer hit a three-run double in the ninth and the United States beat Canada, 9-4, Sunday to advance to the second round of the World Baseball Classic.

The U.S. trailed, 3-2, after seven innings before breaking loose. Team USA and Italy advanced in Group D while Canada and Mexico were eliminated.

Jones and Hosmer both had a rough week at the plate but came through with the United States on the brink of what would have been a humbling loss. Jones' hit was his second in nine at-bats. Hosmer was 3 for 13.

Gold Glove second baseman Brandon Phillips contributed, too, making a diving stop to prevent Canada from tying it in the eighth.

Heath Bell pitched a scoreless seventh to get the victory for manager Joe Torre's team. Jimmy Henderson took the loss.

Canada's Michael Saunders of the Seattle Mariners hit a two-run homer off starter Derek Holland and was chosen the Group D MVP, going 8 for 11 in the tournament.

The United States finished group play tied with Italy at 2-1 but gets the No. 1 seed because of its 6-2 win over Italy. The U.S. meets the loser of Sunday's Dominican Republic-Puerto Rico game Tuesday in Miami.

David Wright, whose grand slam lifted the U.S. past Italy on Saturday night, doubled and walked three times. Ben Zobrist had three hits, none of which left the infield.

Canada, coming off a 10-3 win over Mexico that featured a bruising ninth-inning brawl, finished 1-2. The Canadians have not made it out of the first round for any of the three WBCs.

But they looked in great shape much of the afternoon against the United States, which was looking to avoid its worst showing in the tournament. The Americans made it to the second round in 2006 and the semifinals in 2009.

Pirates prospect Jameson Taillon started for Canada and gave up two runs (one earned) in four innings. He allowed four hits, struck out three and walked one.

For the third straight game, the U.S. fell behind early.

Justin Morneau, who was 8 for 12 in the tournament for Canada, doubled to start the second, then Saunders hit Holland's 1-0 pitch into the bullpen down the right field line to make it 2-0.

The U.S. tied it with two runs — one unearned — in the fourth.

Joe Mauer led off with a single, and Wright walked. Zobrist put down a near-perfect bunt for a base hit with third baseman Taylor Green throwing wildly to first and allowing a run to score. Jones' sacrifice fly to center brought in the tying run.

Green, playing third for Canada because Brett Lawrie was hurt just before the WBC began, also had an error in the second when he dropped Zobrist's high pop fly ball in the bright sunlight.

Canada regained the lead at 3-2 in the sixth. Joey Votto drew a leadoff walk from reliever Glen Perkins and took second on Morneau's single. Saunders struck out looking, and Chris Robinson flied out, advancing the runner to third. Adam Loewen's first-pitch single brought Votto home.

Mauer opened the eighth with a single, then Wright walked. Torre made an aggressive move when, with Willie Bloomquist pinch running for Mauer, he sent both runners moving on Henderson's 1-2 pitch to Jones. Jones connected, bringing both runners home. Shane Victorino singled Jones home to make it 5-3.

Canada made it a one-run game in its half of the eighth but would have tied it had it not been for a spectacular defensive play by Phillips. His diving stop of Loewen's bases-loaded grounder allowed one run to score but kept the U.S. in the lead.

The U.S. broke it open off Scott Matheson and closer John Axford in the ninth.

Phillips started it with a double. Jonathan Lucroy had an RBI single then Wright walked once again. Axford came on and allowed the infield single to Zobrist. Jones struck out but Hosmer, a late addition to the team when Matt Teixeira was injured, cleared the bases with a shot to deep center.

Torre benched Miami's dynamic young slugger Giancarlo Stanton in favor of Victorino in left field. He also moved Ryan Braun to designated hitter and put Zobrist in right. Mauer, the DH in the first two games, was the catcher. Stanton was hitless in the first two games, although he did have a pair of deep fly balls in the opening loss to Mexico.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.