Panama Will Face Brazil For Final WBC Spot

UPDATE: Brazil won the qualifier, beating Panama 1-0.

Host Panama took a big early lead and held off Colombia 9-7 to advance to the winner-take-all final against Brazil.

Big league veteran Carlos Lee hit a two-run homer as part of a five-run second inning, and 39-year-old Ruben Rivera added a solo shot for insurance in the seventh for Panama. Ramiro Mendoza got the victory with 2 1/3 scoreless innings, while Cubs righthander Manny Corpas got the final outs for the save. Rays farmhand Isaias Velasquez had a pair of hits and three RBIs to set the pace for the Panamanian offense. Veteran righty Alberto Acosta, who pitched in the Yankees' system in the late 1990s, got the start and got five of his 10 outs via strikeout.

Colombia rallied from a 6-0 deficit, drawing within 6-4 through five innings, then putting up three runs in the eighth, with two coming on a run-scoring double off Corpas by third baseman Giovany Urshela (Indians). Veteran Jolbert Cabrera and Reynaldo Rodriguez (Red Sox) had two hits apiece for Colombia

Righthander Karl Traina (Diamondbacks) got the start for Colombia, and the 20-year-old didn't get an out in the second inning, giving way to former White Sox farmhand Ronald Ramirez, who gave up a triple to Velasquez and later Lee's homer in the second. Former Blue Jays farmhand Dumas Garcia tossed four innings out of Colombia's bullpen, while ex-Padre Yesid Salazar finished with 3 1/3 frames.