WBC 2013: USA moves on, Japan continues dominance

USA TODAY Sports

The second round of the World Baseball Classic is all set - and has already started in the land of the rising sun. With the United States' win, all four teams playing in Miami are now known.

Team USA finally looked like the United States we expected them to be. Despite their struggles against Mexico and their close game against Italy, the U.S. finally broke out, albeit late, in the game against Canada today. What was a close game turned into a blow-out.

In Japan, the Japanese team crushed their way to the semis by dropping the Kingdom of the Netherlands in convincing fashion. Japan invoked the mercy rule on the Netherlands and ended the game in the 7th. With the win, Japan has earned a spot in the semis for the third-straight time in this tournament. They are once again proving themselves to be the team to beat.

Back in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic is currently taking on Puerto Rico at the time of press, but both teams have already earned spots in the second round. Venezuela and Spain played what amounted to a conciliation game earlier in the day. Both teams were eliminated on Saturday.

All World Baseball Classic Scores:

Japan 16, Netherlands 4

Spain 6, Venezuela 11

United States 9, Canada 4

The most compelling of the day's games came in Phoenix between the United States and Canada. Both were in the exact same situation; win and advance, lose and face the prospect of having to qualify for the 2017 WBC. While Canada took the early lead, the United States played small ball to catch up. Their bats finally came alive in the late innings. They scored seven of their nine runs in the final two innings.

Japan, who has looked impressive throughout the tournament, was crushing the ball against the Netherlands. They clubbed six home runs in the game and sent the Netherlands packing. They are the first team to advance to the semis.

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