USA vs. Canada final score: USA 9, Canada 4


With their backs to the wall, Team USA fought back late in the game and blew things wide open in the final frame to secure their place in the second round of the World Baseball Classic.

Adam Jones came to the plate in the eighth inning with Team USA trailing 3-2 and runners on first and second. Team USA, a group made up almost entirely of Major League players was five outs out away losing to the Canadians and an early exit from the World Baseball Classic. On the fourth pitch, an 87 mph slider from reliever Jimmy Henderson, Jones hit a line drive between the center and left fielders, driving in two runs and giving the USA the lead for good. Team USA added an another insurance run later in the inning and broke out for four more in the ninth, but Jones go ahead double was the difference maker as the US secured their place in the second round of the Classic.

Jones led the USA offense from the start. The Orioles center fielder drove in one run in the forth, scoring David Wright with a sacrifice fly to tie the game up 2-2. David Wright also continued his strong World Baseball Classic performance going 1-2 with three walks and scoring three runs ahead of Jones' hot bat. Eric Hosmer drove in three runs as well, going 2-5 on the day.

Team USA starter Derek Holland was solid, going five innings and allowing just two runs on four hits and one walk against the powerful Canadian line up, while striking out four. The USA bullpen was key in this win as well. After Twins pitcher Glen Perkins gave up the lead in the sixth, manager Joe Torre got a strong inning of work from Heath Bell and Marlins closer Steve Cishek came through huge in the eighth to bail out David Hernandez. Braves closer Craig Kimbrel contributed a perfect ninth with two strikes out to put the game away.

Justin Morneau and Michael Saunders continued to lead Canada's offensive attack in this game with left fielder Adam Loewen also contributing. Saunders gave the Canadians an early lead with a two home run in the second. Loewen drove in two, plating the go-ahead run in the sixth with a line drive single and adding another run with an RBI ground out in the eighth.

Canadian starter and top prospect Jamison Taillon was impressive in his four innings of work, allowing two runs on four hits and one walk while striking out three, but the bullpen proved too thin to hold off the Americans. Jimmy Henderson earned the loss after surrendering the two run double to Jones and another run off the bat of Shane Victorino, but his replacement, Scott Mathieson, had a difficult time outing and surrendered three runs as well and even closer John Axford could not keep Team USA off the board in the ninth as he tried to keep the game close.

The USA moves on to the second round along with team Italy, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. The final game of the Pool C bracket between Puerto Rico and the Dominicans will determine who Team USA will play. That game is in currently under way.


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