Mar. 10, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA: USA pitcher Derek Holland throws in the first inning against Canada during the World Baseball Classic at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

WBC Recap, March 10: Japan Destroys Netherlands; USA Avoids Elimination


Sunday featured a lot of action at the 2013 World Baseball Classic. The US faced elimination and the possibility to have to re-qualify for the 2017 Classic if they finished last in Pool D. It also saw a battle between two Latin American powerhouses for the winner of Pool C. And it saw Japan demolish and maybe demoralize the Dutch team.

Round 2 – Tokyo, Japan

Japan 16, Netherlands 4 (7)

Box Score

The Netherlands ran into a steamroller on Sunday that was Team Japan.

Japan brought out the big bats pounding out 17 hits en route to a 16-4 victory. In those 17 hits were six home runs which tied a record for the most home runs in a game. Cuba is the only other team to do so.

Takashi Toritani got the scoring started leading off the top of the first inning with a solo shot. Japan scored in every inning, including five in the second to go up big early.

In that second inning Nobuhiro Matsuda hit a two-run shot, and Seiichi Uchikawa did him one better with a three-run shot.

All of this came against Dutch starter Rob Cordemans who lasted just 1.1 innings giving up six runs on five hits. Nobody that followed him had much success either as Japan kept the hits coming.

The Dutch team scored four runs in the in the sixth but that only prolonged the game another inning. The big hit for the Dutch team came on a bases loaded double by Wladimir Balentien.

The Dutch now face an elimination game against Cuba.

Pool C – San Juan, Puerto Rico

Venezuela 11, Spain 6

Box Score

Spain jumped out to an early lead, but couldn’t hold on to it in the end.

In the top of the first, Yunesky Sanchez doubled in a run to get the scoring started. Barbaro Canizares followed Sanchez with a two-run home run giving Spain a 3-0 lead.

Spain got a great start from Richard Castillo who tossed three innings of scoreless ball. He gave up only four hits and struck out two before being pulled. It all went downhill after that.

Chris Manno came in to relief Castillo and gave up three singles including an Alex Romero RBI single. He was quickly pulled with two outs in the inning for Eddie Morlan, who fared even worse. Morlan didn’t get an out before being pulled. What he did though is give up three straight hits. Both Manno and Morlan were charged with three runs. Morlan took the loss.

Miguel Cabrera had a big game for Venezuela going 3-for-5. He drove in three runs including one on a solo home run in the eighth inning. Pablo Sandoval followed Cabrera’s home run with one of his own.

Venezuela pounded the Spain bullpen for 12 hits and 11 runs. Omar Infante had a big game as well picking up three hits, a RBI, and stealing a base.

Ramon Ramirez picked up the win tossing four innings. He gave up three runs on four hits while striking out four.

Neither team will advance to the second round.

Pool D – Phoenix, Arizona

USA 9, Canada 4

The USA used a late rally to get past Canada and into Round 2.

Canada jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second. Justin Morneau doubled and was driven home on a Michael Saunders home run to right field.

Derek Holland got the start for the USA tossing five innings allowing two runs on four hits. He pitched well enough to win, but didn’t factor into the decision.

The US came back in the top of the fourth aided by a throwing error by Canada third baseman Taylor Green to score two runs and tie the game.

Jameson Taillon pitched well for Canada. Over four innings of work, Taillon gave up two runs, one earned, on four hits. The youngster gave the Pittsburgh Pirates something to look forward to in the future.

It started to look bleak for the US trailing 3-2 heading into the top of the eighth inning. With a loss, they would have finished fourth in the pool.

Joe Mauer got the inning started with a single. David Wright then walked. After a failed sacrifice bunt, Adam Jones doubled deep over the center fielder’s head driving in two runs and giving the USA the lead. The US would tack on another in the eighth on a Shane Victorino single.

In the top of the ninth they put the game away. The big blow came when Eric Hosmer doubled to center field with the bases loaded driving in three runs.

Craig Kimbrel came in to shut down the Canada threat in the ninth. He was dominant striking out two to end the game and send the Americans into Round 2.

 Pool C – San Juan, Puerto Rico

Dominican Republic 4, Puerto Rico 2

Box Score

In the match to see who would walk away the winner of Pool C, the Dominican downed host Puerto Rico behind a strong start from Wandy Rodriguez and a Robinson Cano home run.

Rodriguez tossed 3.1 innings allowing just a single run. Lorenzo Barcelo picked up the win in relief pitching two innings allowing a Mike Aviles home run. Fernando Rodney picked up his second save pitching the ninth inning.

The Dominican Republic got the scoring started with an Edwin Encarnacion RBI single in the top of the first inning.

Puerto Rico went ahead in the fourth scoring a pair of runs. Both came on the Aviles home run.

However, the lead was short lived. Cano led off the top of the fifth inning with a solo home run to tie the game. The Dominican Republic would pick up single runs in the sixth and seventh to take the lead for good.

Jose Berrios took the loss in relief for Puerto Rico giving up two runs on three hits in 1.2 innings.

With the win, the Dominican Republic heads into Round 2 as the winner of Pool C.

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