U.S. Blanks Canada To Advance To WBC’s Second Round

SEE ALSO: WBC Schedule

MIAMI—It was a boring game—but Team USA’s players were thrilled.

The Americans earned an 8-0 win over Canada on Sunday night in the finale of Pool C of the World Baseball Classic. The game drew 22,303 fans, and the Americans (2-1) joined the Dominican Republic (3-0) as the two teams from this “Group of Death” to advance to this week’s quarterfinals.

Team USA third baseman Nolan Arenado said he and his teammates are excited, no matter if they had a tight game such as Saturday’s electric 7-5 loss to the Dominican Republic or the rout that played out on Sunday.

“We’re taking this real serious,” Arenado said. “I’m diving head first into first. I don’t know how much more serious I can take it than that. We are representing our country. There are people who are watching us, and they want us to take pride. And that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Arenado said playing this weekend was memorable in many ways.

“Other than getting drafted and getting to the major leagues, this was probably the best moment of my career,” he said. “I’ve never been a part of anything like this. There has been a lot of nerves and anxiety. But once the game starts, I’m locked in.”

Team USA scored three times in the first and four in the second but then went silent until a seventh-inning solo homer by Buster Posey.

The key blows in the game were a two-run double by Eric Hosmer in the first and a three-run homer by Arenado in the second. Posey and Arenado finished with three RBIs each.

Five USA pitchers combined on a four-hit shutout. Danny Duffy started and went four innings followed by relievers Mychal Givens, Tyler Clippard, Jake McGee and Nate Jones.

Duffy said he was blown away with the crowd on Saturday and hopes to experience more of that in the next round.

“That was an atmosphere that I’ve truthfully never been a part of,” said Duffy, who won a World Series with the Royals in 2015. “Me and Hosmer were talking, and it was the loudest I’ve ever heard any place, ever.

“It’s a different style of fan base. Their (the Dominicans) passion for baseball and their country is pretty awesome. We wish we could have come out on top, but it was an incredible atmosphere to be a part of.”

Because the Dominicans extra-inning win over Colombia in the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader took so long, USA and Canada had very little time on the field to prepare.

Hosmer, asked if he watched the DR-Colombia game, said he had little choice.

“We were stuck in this little auxiliary room, and we were all glued to the TV,” Hosmer said. “(Colombia’s effort) just shows the competitiveness of this tournament.

“Now it’s to the point where everybody realizes that anything can happen in any game.”


• USA manager Jim Leyland said it is likely that lefthander Drew Smyly will start the Americans’ next game.

• Canada’s Ryan Dempster, a two-time All-Star who came out of retirement at age 39 just for this tournament, took the loss. He allowed two hits, three walks and three runs in one-third of an inning.

Dempster lost both his starts this weekend, and his totals were brutal: nine hits, four walks and seven runs in 2.1 innings. His ERA for the two games: 27.00.

• The six Pool C games at Marlins Park drew a total of 163,878, an average 27,313.

• Dominican third baseman Manny Machado voted MVP of Group C. He hit .357 with one homer and two RBIs while playing brilliant defense.

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