The US suffered a heart-breaking loss at the hands of the Dominicans Thursday night, and now need a win Friday to keep their title hopes alive.
Here's a recap of Thursday's game:
Dominican Republic 3 United States 1
With "Captain America" David Wright sidelined with a sore back, Team USA had to take on the Dominican Republic Thursday afternoon without their WBC good luck charm. Wright's absence didn't have an effect early, as the US took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first with a bases loaded walk, but their silence on offense from there forward seemed to tell a different story.
Hanley Ramirez took a hanging knuckleball from R.A. Dickey deep into the Miami night to tie the game up in the top-half of the second, then both offenses fell quiet until the ninth when Team USA called on Braves closer Craig Kimbrel to keep the game knotted at one.
But the right-hander couldn't get the job done. Kimbrel sat down Carlos Santana after a lead-off double from Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, but then pinch-hitter Erick Aybar came through with a clutch single to right, giving the DR the game-winner. Jose Reyes gave the club a little bit of insurance with an RBI single of his own, making the score 3-1.
Fernando Rodney shut down the US in order in the bottom of the ninth, sending the Dominicans to the semifinals, where they'll face either Japan or the Netherlands. Team USA will have a rematch with Puerto Rico Friday night to determine who else from Pool 2 will advance.
All World Baseball Classic Scores:
Dominican Republic 3, USA 1
1. Dominican Republic 2 - 0 (advances)
2. United States 1 - 1
3. Puerto Rico 1 - 1
4. Italy 0 - 2 (eliminated)
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