"I got a lot of responsibility here, " Leyland said, "and he was going to pitch four innings".
In addition to Cruz and Marte, Manny Machado homered for the Dominicans. Santana, Segura, Bautista, and Gregory Polanco each recorded multi-hit games. This one, he said, was at the top, explaining that it was for the Dominican fans who follow him from team to team in the majors, love him wherever he goes. He would pitch no more than four innings in his first start, no matter if he struggled or whether he cruised.
Marte, starting in center field and batting eighth, was 3 for 4 with a single, double and the home run. Roark walked back-to-back hitters, and Santana's RBI single cut the Dominicans' deficit to 5-2. Jean Segura added a three-run double and scored on an error by Colombian third baseman Giovanny Urshela. David Robertson relieved Roark in the sixth and limited the damage. It came a game early in this tournament, but nonetheless represented a one-game playoff to put one of those two powerhouses into the final.
Yes, there's a scenario where Canada wins by two runs, scores one unearned run, and then every single hit matters in determining who gets to play in the tiebreaker. He would never get the opportunity.
A insane come-from-behind 7-5 win for the Dominican Republic, and a brutal night for Miller. In the home half of the 11th, however, Colombia was unable to plate even one of those two runners. They can clinch first place in Pool C by beating Colombia on Sunday. If the USA does reach the semifinals for just the second time, all bets are off against the best of what the other half of the tournament has to offer, particularly if it runs into two-time Classic champion Japan, which looks like a strong contender to go all the way once again.
At 7:08, Team USA will face Canada right-hander Ryan Dempster, who was out of the game for 3½ years, and now will pitch for the second time in four days. Brandon Crawford had knocked in two more, allowing manager Jim Leyland to turn the game over to the strength of the US team, a deep bullpen that included postseason hero Miller waiting to close the game out.
The U.S. fell to 1-1 and is in jeopardy of being eliminated in the first round.
Fellow Marlin player, Christian Yellich, then doubled into the left field corner to double USA's advantage, giving them all the momentum.
Colombian starter Carlos Quintana was also dominant, holding the Americans hitless until Brandon Crawford singled with two out in the sixth.
Meanwhile, Stroman took the mound looking to replicate Chris Archer's Friday success against a much tougher lineup. That disappointing showing has muted enthusiasm for the event in the United States, and the hope once again this year is that the USA can play deeper into the tournament to stoke domestic interest.