The second round of the World Baseball Classic in Tokyo is over, as both the Netherlands and Japan advanced to the semifinals next week in LA (which begins on March 20th). Japan remains undefeated.
One day after scoring 12 runs over eight innings against Israel, the Netherlands scored 14 runs en route to their 14-1 drubbing of Cuba in seven innings. They scored in every inning but the sixth, as they collected 13 hits, including four home runs.
Cuba was eliminated and went 0-3 in the second round.
With one out in the top of the first, Wladimir Balentien hit a three-run homer (he would hit a solo shot in the third and drive in five runs). They blew the game open in the fourth with five runs.
Cuba scored their lone run in the bottom of the fifth with two outs on a Victor Mesa double off Netherlands starter Diegomar Markwell (6IP, 4H, R, 0BB, K).
Former KC Royal minor leaguer Sharlon Schoop entered the game at second base in the 5th inning for little brother Jonathan (0-for-1, K).
Japan remained undefeated with an 8-3 victory over Israel. The Cinderella story for Israel came to an end, as they went 1-2 in the second round.
The game was scoreless until the sixth, when Yoshitomo Tsutsugoh led off with a solo home run, his third of the WBC. Japan sent 11 men to the plate in the sixth, scoring five runs off three Israel relievers.
That came after closer Josh Zeid got the start and threw four scoreless innings.
Japan then scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth to blow the game open. Israel did score three in the top of the ninth, two on Ryan Lavarnway’s double.
Former Royal Nori Aoki started in center field for Japan and went 1-for-4 with a double, a run scored and an RBI.
Second round action in San Diego kicked off last night with two teams putting their undefeated records in this WBC on the line, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Puerto Rico won 3-1.
The hero for Puerto Rico was right fielder Eddie Rosario, who threw a runner out at the plate in the first. In the fourth, he drove in the go ahead run with a double.
Yadier Molina led off the 6th inning with a solo homer off Hector Neris to add some insurance. He had driven in the first run of the game in the first. Molina also threw out a base stealer to end the 8th inning.
Four Puerto Rican relievers held the mighty DR to three hits over the game’s final 6.2 innings. Hector Santiago was credited with the victory (2.2IP, 2H, 0R, 2BB, 2K).
Former Royal Carlos Beltran went 1-for-4 with a strikeout as the DH. He also grounded into a double play for PR. Reymond Fuentes started in center field for PR and went 0-for-2 with a strikeout. He stole a base.
Tonight, the US will play Venezuela at 9pm ET. Puerto Rico is back in action on Friday at 10pm ET against the US. The DR plays Venezuela tomorrow night at 10pm ET.