Despite trailing early in the game, the Dominican Republic managed to comeback late in the night to defeat the USA 7-5 to move to 2-0 in the World Baseball Classic.
USA jumps out to early lead
Against all odds, the Americans actually held a healthy advantage in the early goings of the game, getting the better of the Dominican starter, Edinson Volquez. While Volquez, the new Miami Marlin man, started out strong, he started to come unraveled in the third inning.
Volquez got the first two outs in the inning, but that brought up Ian Kinsler, who has good numbers against the 33-year-old in his career, and promptly reached base with an infield single. Then, Starling Marte and Nelson Cruz cruised did not communicate well enough in the out field, forcing Marte to drop a sure out. This error allowed Kinsler to score all the way from first base and put Adam Jones on third base.
Fellow Marlin player, Christian Yellich, then doubled into the left field corner to double USA's advantage, giving them all the momentum.
The Marlins' ace lasted two more outs once he got out of the third inning jam. Paul Goldschmit reached base after watching he singled on the first pitch offerd to him befor, with Giancarlo Stanton drawing a four pitch watlk. Brandon Crawford delivered the big hit to score Goldschmit.
Facing Jumbo Diaz, Giancarlo Stanton doubled home Goldschmit, after he reached base via the walk, to make it 4-0. The Dominican Republic brought it Fernando Abad, but that made no difference with Crawford coming up clutch as he hit the second consecutive double to put a statement to the rest of the World Baseball Classic.
DR's poise shines through late
But then, the Domincan Republic used their last three half innings to take total control of the proceedings, starting in the sixth inning with the long ball. Manny Machado into the left field bleachers to give his country a bit of life. Carlos Santa, with Robinson Cano and Jose Bautista on base after drawing walks, hit a single up the middle of the infield to cut the deficit to only three runs.
Tanner Roark, who plays for the Washington Nationals, could not get out of bottom of the seventh inning after giving up a leadoff double to Marte. The White Sox's David Robertson came in and immediately gave up another extra base hit to Wellington Castillo to make it 5-3 to the USA.
The eighth inning is when it all fell apart for the Americans. Andrew Miller, the Cleveland Indians specialist out of the bullpen during the postseason, could not find his groove on the mound. He hit Jose Bautista, then Santana reached on an infield single. Then, Cruz capitalized on a slider low and in, hitting that pitch just to the right of the left foul pole to give the Dominican the lead.
Two batters later, Marte stepped up to the plate. He was already having a great night at the dish, but Marte gave the DR an insurance run on the first pitch he saw from Miller, making it 7-5 to the Dominican.
These two teams will finish up pool play tomorrow. The Dominican Republic will take on Colombia while Canada and the USA face off with one another, in what could be the deciding factor on who moves on to San Diego.