WBC: USA Walks-off Colombia, Puerto Rico Blasts Venezuela 11-0
The United States, in their 2017 World Baseball Classic opener, found themselves down 2-0 early to a Colombian squad that showed they could hang with the big boys.
The game was actually dominated early by Colombian starter Jose Quintana, as he had the USA batters off balance not allowing a hit through 5.2 innings. At one point he retired 13 straight batters before allowing a two-out single to Brandon Crawford in the bottom of the sixth.
But the USA squad battled back tying the game in the bottom of the sixth at 2-2. With Colombia up 2-1, Nolan Arenado struck out swinging, but the ball got away from the catcher allowing Ian Kinsler to score from third as Arenado was safe at first.
The game went into extra innings, and the USA squad scored the winning run on an RBI single from Adam Jones to walk-off Colombia 3-2.
Puerto Rico 11, Venezuela 0 – 7th inning (Mercy Rule)
The Puerto Rican team entered the World Baseball Classic as one of the teams expected to advance through the first round especially with their powerful offense.
But the story early on wasn’t their lineup, but who was on the mound and what he was doing to Venezuela hitters. Seth Lugo, who is vying for a spot in the New York Mets rotation, kept Venezuela hitters in check for 5.1 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit, while striking out three batters. Lugo retired the first 11 batters he faced before giving up a two-out single to Miguel Cabrera in the top of the 4th. The after retiring the next five batters, he was lifted, leaving the game with Puerto Rico ahead 2-0.
The Venezuelan offense was non-existent but Puerto Rico kept pounding away adding six more runs in the bottom of the seventh highlighted by RBI singles from Beltran and Javier Baez, a two RBI double from Eddie Rosario and a walk off two-run bomb from Rivera.
The game was called in the seventh inning, as World Baseball Classic rules state that any team that is ahead by 10 or more runs after any complete inning, beginning with the completion of the seventh inning, the game shall be called.