Japan 16 Netherlands 4
Japan's bats finally awoke from their four-game slumber in a big way against the Netherlands on Sunday, mashing six home runs and racking 17 total hits on their way to a 16-4 mercy-rule win over the Dutch squad. Japan scored early and often, putting up at least one run in each of their seven innings at the plate. Every starter had at least one hit on the day, and shortstop Hayato Sakamoto capped it all off with seventh inning grand slam to book Japan's ticket to the Championship Round and force the Netherlands into an elimination game with Cuba on Monday.
USA 9 Canada 4
The US mounted their second comeback victory in as many days on Sunday, scoring seven runs in the final two innings to defeat Canada and somehow coming away with the top spot in Pool D. Things looked bleak for the US early on, their neighbors to the north jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the second on a two-run jack from Michael Saunders off of left-hander Derek Holland. Holland settled down after that, however, allowing just the two runs on four hits over five innings of work. The US tied things up in the fifth with some small ball, but fell behind again the following inning on an RBI single from Adam Loewen. Silent for the next frame, the US bats came to life in the eighth and ninth. A two-run double from Adam Jones in the eighth put Team USA ahead, but it wasn't until Eric Hosmer's bases-clearing double in the ninth that fans could really breathe easy, giving USA a spot in Round 2.
Venezuela 11 Spain 6
In the de facto consolation game of Pool C, Venezuela confirmed that neither of the WBC newcomers (Brazil and Spain) would come away from their inaugural tournament with a victory. Spain jumped out to a 3-0 lead early with an RBI double from Yunesky Sanchez and a two-run bomb from Barbaro Canizares, but couldn't stay ahead for long. Venezuela brought 11 men to the plate in fourth, scoring six runs on six singles and a double, and taking the lead from Spain for good. The Spanish squad fought back with two runs in the top-half of the fifth, but then faded as Venezuela's power bats finally emerged in the eighth, getting solo blasts from Miguel Cabrera and Pablo Sandoval.
Dominican Republic 4 Puerto Rico 2
The Dominican Republic came out ahead in the battle of undefeated Pool C clubs on Sunday, earning a Round 2 match-up with Pool D runner-up Italy. The DR started the scoring early with a run-scoring single off the bat of Edwin Encarnacion in the first. Puerto Rico then briefly took the lead in the fourth with a two-run blast from shortstop Mike Aviles, but Robinson Cano answered with a solo shot in the next half inning to tie things up. A run-scoring double from Alejandro De Aza in the sixth proved to be the game-winner, as the bullpen trio of Octavio Dotel, Santiago Casilla, and Fernando Rodney shut down the PR offense for the final 3⅔ innings. Puerto Rico will face Team USA in Round 2 Tuesday evening.
All World Baseball Classic Scores:
Japan 16, Netherlands 4
USA 9, Canada 4
Venezuela 11, Spain 6
Dominican Republic 4, Puerto Rico 2
1. Dominican Republic 3 - 0 (advances)
1. Puerto Rico: 2 - 1 (advances)
3. Venezuela: 1 - 2
4. Spain: 0 - 3
1. USA 2 - 1 (advances)
2. Italy 2 - 1 (advances)
3. Canada 1 - 2
4. Mexico 1 - 2
1. Japan 2 - 0 (advances)
2. Netherlands 1 - 1
3. Cuba 1 - 1
4. Chinese Taipei 0 - 2 (eliminated)