Los Angeles Angels outfielder MIke Trout drove in the go-ahead runs for Team USA in a World Baseball Classic win over Colombia on Wednesday in Phoenix. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo
March 16 (UPI) -- Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout logged three hits, including a triple, and drove in three runs to lead Team USA past Colombia and into the 2023 World Baseball Classic quarterfinals.
Trout went 3 for 4 in the 3-2 win Wednesday at Chase Field in Phoenix. Fellow All-Star outfielder Mookie Betts, of the Los Angeles Dodgers, collected two hits and scored twice for Team USA.
"It feels great, but this isn't the final step," Betts told MLB Network. "We are using this as a building block to get to Miami."
The Americans finished pool play with a 3-1 record and in second place, behind Mexico (3-1) in Pool C.
Team USA will face Venezuela, which went 4-0 in Pool D, in a quarterfinal Saturday in Miami. The winner will face Cuba in a semifinal Sunday in Miami for a ticket to the championship.
Betts lined out in the first at-bat of the game. Trout then ripped a 2-2 sinker into center field for a triple, but ended the inning stranded on third base.
The Americans took a brief lead in the third, before Colombia rallied. Betts singled in the third at-bat of the inning. Trout also singled in the next at-bat, bringing in Betts for a 1-0 lead.
Angels third baseman Gio Urshela drove in Cardinals right-fielder Oscar Mercado with an RBI sacrifice fly for Colombia in the bottom of the third. Minnesota Twins first baseman Reynaldo Rodriguez drove in Boston Red Sox catcher Jorge Alfaro with an RBI double two at-bats later, which gave Colombia a 2-1 lead.
Neither team scored in the fourth. Trout then came through for the Americans in the top of the fifth.
Relief pitcher Ruben Galindo walked Dodgers catcher Will Smith to start the half-inning. Smith then advanced to second on a wild pitch from Galindo. The Colombia pitcher struck out Philadelphia Phillies short stop Trea Turner in the next at-bat.
Betts followed with a single to left field.
Jasier Herrera replaced Galindo on the mound before Trout walked to the plate.
The Angels pitcher fouled off Herrera's first offering. He then belted a low-and-outside curveball into left field for a two-run single.
American relievers Kendall Graveman, Daniel Bard, David Bednar, Jason Adam, Ryan Pressly and Devin Williams did not allow a run over the final six innings. They also combined for nine strikeouts and allowed just two hits down the stretch.
Team USA will battle Venezuela in a quarterfinal at 7 p.m. EDT Saturday at loanDepot park. The game will air on Fox.