Friday, March 10, 2017

U.S. walks off with win over Colombia in nail-biter

In a game that was tight from the opening pitch of the first inning to the last one in the bottom of the 10th, the U.S. defeated Colombia, 3-2, on a walk-off single by Orioles center fielder Adam Jones.
U.S. starter Chris Archer (Rays) and Colombia starter Jose Quintana (White Sox) were each masterful to open the contest.
Archer tossed four perfect innings, striking out three on 41 pitches. Quintana dominated for 5 2/3 innings, holding U.S. batters hitless until his 63rd pitch of the game was lined for a single by Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford.
Jones' game-winning single to left-center came off Colombia reliever Guillermo Moscoso. Jones finished 2-for-5, with both U.S. RBIs. Adrian Sanchez and Mauricio Ramos hit RBI doubles for Colombia.
No contact necessary: With the potential tying run 90 feet away and two out in the sixth, Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado struck out swinging at a William Cuevas slider in the dirt, but the ball got past Colombia catcher Jhonatan Solano. As the tying run crossed the plate, Arenado beat Solano's throw to first with a head-first slide.
Triple-double breakthrough: With the game scoreless (and hitless) in the fifth inning, Colombia broke through with three consecutive two-out doubles off Orioles reliever Mychal Givens to take a 2-0 lead. Jesus Valdez stroked a pitch into the gap in left-center, and that was followed by two two-baggers from Sanchez and Ramos.
Passing the stress test: Colombia put runners at first and second with one out in the eighth and the score tied at 2. Donovan Solano hit a line drive to third off Phillies reliever Pat Neshek. Arenado caught the ball and in one motion, while on the run, threw to first to double off Tito Polo.
Clutch Cuevas: In the eighth, the U.S. responded with a threat of its own, putting runners at the corners with one out against Cuevas. But the right-hander struck out Jones and got Arenado to line out to center field.
Prior to the three straight doubles against him in the fifth inning, Givens had surrendered three consecutive extra-base hits just once in his Major League career (88 appearances).
Colombia: It'll be a quick turnaround as Colombia takes on Canada at 12 p.m. ET on Saturday. Canada was beaten by the Dominican Republic, 9-2, in the Pool C opener on Thursday.
United States: The U.S. will take on the defending Classic champion, the Dominican Republic, at 6:30 p.m. ET on Saturday. The game at Marlins Park in Miami is sold out.

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