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Ortiz, Beltre Hope Dominican Overpower Venezuela

Matt Meyers -

David Ortiz made himself a legend in Boston with his October performance, but he is adding to his legacy in March as well. The Dominican slugger put his stamp on the Pool D opener of the World Baseball Classic with a solo home run in the top of the first off of Venezuelan ace Johan Santana. He then sealed it with a two-run homer in the top of the ninth off of Carlos Hernandez, a lefthander brought in to face one hitter—Ortiz.

International | #2006#International Affairs#World Baseball Classic

U.S. Comeback Falls Short Against Canada

Alan Schwarz -

Make no mistake, Chase Utley posed. When the Team USA second baseman launched a shot deep into the Phoenix evening, he joined the rest of Chase Field in assuming that his imminent three-run home run would complete a stunning comeback and save Team USA from one of the most shocking upsets in international baseball history. Utley flipped his bat and began his trot, figuring that the world had regained its order.

International | #2006#International Affairs#World Baseball Classic

Wildly Effective, Loewen Kick-Starts Canadian Upset

Alan Schwarz -

After never having pitched above Class A, lefthander Adam Loewen (Orioles) threw 3 2/3 shutout innings to kick-start Canada's 8-6 shocking upset of the United States. On a day when outpitching 22-game winner Dontrelle Willis wasn't saying much—Willis was battered for six hits and five earned runs before getting yanked in the third—Loewen's 91-mph fastball, while not well-commanded, kept the powerful U.S. lineup in check and underscored why he is considered one of the best lefthanded pitching prospects in baseball.

International | #2006#International Affairs#World Baseball Classic