Puerto Rico's big 1st inning keeps Team USA at bay, onto semifinals

If I asked "are you watching the World Baseball Classic"?

Chacin took the loss for Venezuela.

In 2016, he surprised the Brewers with a 2.81 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 121 2/3 innings, emerging as one of the steadier arms on their pitching staff and making a compelling case for an encore performance in 2017.

In 2013, the teams played three times. But the WBC technical committee determined the tiebreaker - runs allowed per defensive inning - meant Italy (1.05) and Venezuela (1.11) advanced and not Mexico (1.12).

Chacin reached his pitch count two batters later after walking Jose Reyes, leaving after allowing one run and three hits, striking out three and walking three.

The U.S. had a very lackluster performance offensively. He allowed three straight singles to Lucroy, Alex Bregman and Ian Kinsler with one out in the third before Jones grounded into a double play. Well, everybody on this team is a star, so you've got your stars sitting on the bench. After a third inning sacrifice fly by Ender Inciarte, Venezuela did not score until a ball hit by Rougned Odor in the seventh snuck over the right-center fence. So when you know you're participating in this event, you know what you have to bring. Then came the first inning, and the hit parade. That is a great third baseman. He would not return to the game.

Puerto Rico will play the Netherlands in the first semifinal game Monday at Dodger Stadium, and its victory over the USA rendered the final game of pool play Saturday afternoon meaningless because of the way the other games have played out. The NFL suspended New York Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins without pay for the first two games of the season for violating the league's substance abuse policy. After a Nolan Arenado fly out, Christian Yelich hit a single up the middle.

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Now, Team USA must beat the Dominican Republic on Saturday to avoid elimination on its home soil. Next up to the plate was Eric Hosmer.

The emotional part is the biggest difference because even playing these games, the emotions are a little bit different than a normal spring training. "After that swing from Jonesy, it just seemed like the energy in the dugout just kind of shifted to our side and really got things sparked up for our club".

Gonzalez said he spoke with Kim Ng, Major League Baseball's senior vice president for baseball operations, and was told the WBC technical committee was not responsible for the information disseminated on Twitter by the WBC and MLB. What had been a quiet night in San Diego quickly became a stadium engulfed in celebration.

On Tuesday, they could have covered the upper deck of Petco Park with a tarp and still had plenty of seats left over.

But then Stroman settled down Team USA fought back.

Stroman, by the way, has Puerto Rican ancestry but said he wanted to play for the US because he is an American. "We kept checking him in every inning to make sure that he's not getting exhausted during the game, and he did OK". So, it doesn't get any easier.

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