It’s March, but in Miami, at Marlins Park, it felt like October. With the U.S. losing David Wright for perhaps the remainder of the tournament (sore back), and the Dominicans playing what appeared to be a home game, pinch hitter Eric Aybar broke a 1-1 tie in the top of the 9th. Fernando Rodney proved too much, as the U.S. failed to tie it up the in bottom of the inning.
It’s worth pointing out that this is being hailed as the biggest win in the country’s history.
The victory guarantees them a spot next week in San Francisco, while the U.S. will be sent to an elimination game against Puerto Rico on Friday. The winner of that will face the Dominican Republic on Saturday to determine who plays Japan or The Netherlands in the Championship Round. Confused? If the U.S. beats P.R., they go to the final four. Here’s a recap of the action:
Twins SP Samuel Deduno walked Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer with the bases loaded in the first inning. Hanley Ramirez homered off of R.A. Dickey in the 2nd. Cut to the top of the 9th inning, still 1-1, the U.S. brings in 28 year old Braves’ closer Craig Kimbrel. Kimbrel promptly gives up a double to Nelson Cruz, who scores 2 batters later off a single to right by Eric Aybar. Aybar then steals second, and is driven in by newly acquired Toronto Blue Jay Jose Reyes.
Photo Via Bleacher Report