Marcus Stroman, USA shut down Puerto Rico to win WBC

By The Sports Xchange  |  Updated March 23, 2017 at 9:24 AM
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LOS ANGELES -- Right-hander Marcus Stroman took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, Ian Kinsler had a two-run home run, and the United States beat Puerto Rico 8-0 to win the World Baseball Classic for the first time on Wednesday at Dodger Stadium.

Stroman gave up a walk to Carlos Beltran in the second inning and retired 14 in a row before Angel Pagan lined an opposite-field double down the left field line to open the seventh inning. The U.S. led 7-0 at the time of Pagan's hit.

Manager Jim Leyland then removed Stroman, who received a thunderous ovation from the crowd of 51,565. The Toronto Blue Jays pitcher was greeted with hugs in the dugout as the U.S. won in its first appearance in the title game in the fourth WBC.

Sam Dyson, Pat Neshek and David Robertson each threw a scoreless inning to complete the United States' three-hit shutout.

Kinsler's two-run homer off Seth Lugo broke a scoreless tie in the third inning, and Christian Yelich and Andrew McCutchen had run-scoring singles in the fifth.

Brandon Crawford hit a two-run single and Giancarlo Stanton had an RBI single in the seventh inning. McCutchen drove in the final run with an infield single in the eighth.

Puerto Rico, which had outscored its opponents 55-18 while winning its first seven games, beat Stroman and the United States 6-5 in the second round Friday.

Crawford was 10-for-26 (.385) with three doubles and six RBIs in eight WBC games. Yelich had two hits Wednesday and finished 9-for-29 (.310).

Jonathan Lucroy singled to open the third inning before Kinsler hit an 0-1 fastball to left-center field for his first homer of the WBC. Center fielder Enrique Hernandez leaped at the fence but did not have a play.

The United States hit three homers off Lugo in their two meetings. Buster Posey and Adam Jones hit bases-empty homers in Puerto Rico's 6-5 victory in the second round at Petco Park in San Diego.

Kinsler singled to open the fifth inning before Jones walked. Puerto Rico manager Edwin Rodriguez made a mound visit but opted to leave Lugo in, and Yelich singled to drive in Kinsler for a 3-0 lead.

Joe Jimenez replaced Lugo and got two groundouts before McCutchen's infield single made it 4-0.

Lugo, who had victories in each of the first two rounds, gave up seven hits and four runs in four-plus innings. He struck out seven and walked four.

NOTES: During pregame introductions, Puerto Rico's starters removed their caps and brought their hands to their heads to display their newly blond hair. Clean-head Carlos Beltran brought his hand to his bleached beard. The players changed hair color during training as a show of team unity. ... Puerto Rico won three of the previous five meetings against the United States in the WBC. Puerto Rico eliminated the U.S. in 2013 with a 4-3 victory in the second round of pool play.

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