USA gives Roark shot at redemption vs Japan in WBC semis

USA gives Roark shot at redemption vs Japan in WBC semis

Twice, the Americans lost in the second round and they went out in the semifinals in 2009.

In Wednesday's championship game, Puerto Rico will face the victor of Tuesday's semifinal between Team USA and Japan. Two innings later, Kinsler helped spark another two-run rally, this time singling and scoring on Christian Yelich's double.

The United States clobbered Puerto Rico 8-0 to capture their first World Baseball Classic title, avenging an earlier loss and ending Puerto Rico's ideal run to the championship game.

That includes Marcus Stroman, who five days after struggling early in a loss to this same Puerto Rico team, bounced back to throw an absolute gem. The rest of the starting lineups will be announced closer to game time. That is just what will happen on Wednesday when Team USA takes the field in its first WBC title game, opposite Puerto Rico. The right-hander from the Toronto Blue Jays retired the side on three grounders to open the game. He struck out three and walked one in six innings, generating a bevy of weak ground balls along the way.

For the Dutch side, they got a big performance out of right fielder Wladimir Balentien, who went 3-for-4 with a two-run home run and two runs scored, but it wasn't enough as their Cinderella run through the tournament came to a crashing halt.

But the United States had not finished higher than fourth place in any of the three previous World Baseball Classic tournaments, a source of mild embarrassment for the American baseball program. His father, Earl, is a police detective in Long Island.

For his efforts in tonight's game and throughout the tournament, Stroman was named tournament MVP. Congratulations to Puerto Rico. Stroman, who could have chosen to pitch for Puerto Rico, gave up his only hit to the first batter he faced in the seventh inning.

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Both sides then missed gilt-edged chances to win the game, with Aguero slipping when he looked odds on to score . The 26-year-old said: "I think it is a big frustration that we didn't deliver against the smaller teams".

The irony here is that Yadier Molina has been one of the stars of the tournament for Puerto Rico.

Kinsler provided a minor source of controversy himself.

T.J. Rivera checked in with the third home run of the game in the second inning to put Puerto Rico up 3-2.

After the game, Stroman was all smiles and did mention his mother, but said nothing malicious about Puerto Rican players or fans at all.

"Just really wonderful. And best of all, the games on the field have been absolutely unbelievable, compelling", Manfred continued.

Sugano learned he would start the semifinal while he was waiting at Narita Airport for the team's flight to the United States.

Meanwhile, Puerto Rico starter Seth Lugo got through the first two innings unscathed, but allowed a leadoff single to catcher Jonathan Lucroy.