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WBC Wrap: Team USA Wins First Title

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Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

He did not allow a hit in the first six innings, and departed after free agent Angel Pagan led off the bottom of the seventh with a double down the left field line. Although Stroman was born in NY, his mother is Puerto Rican, which made him eligible for both teams.

The USA got on the board in the third inning when Kinsler delivered a 91 miles per hour fastball thrown by Puerto Rico starting pitcher Seth Lugo over the left-center field wall.

Ian Kinsler talks the talk, and walks the walk.

The game got off to a great start for the Netherlands squad as they were staked to a 2-0 lead by Balentien's home run, but Puerto Rico answered right back. He gave up four runs in 4 2/3 innings in a game that US would lose by one run, 6-5.

Asked if there was extra motivation on the part of the U.S. to avenge Friday's loss, center fielder Adam Jones answered frankly: "You want to know the truth?" They tagged on another two runs in the sixth, and were able to withstand a late rally by the USA. Posey has sometimes been kept out of the starting lineup by manager Jim Leyland in favor of Jonathan Lucroy, but expect to see him in there against the Puerto Ricans in the final.

In the fifth inning, Christian Yelich singled home Kinsler to make it a 3-0 game.

Hiram Burgos relieved Romero and Giancarlo Stanton greeted him with an RBI single to make it 7-0. With two outs in the third, Edwin Rodriguez went to his bullpen, and the high-scoring pace of the first couple innings slowed down dramatically.

On Tuesday, Puerto Rico beat the Netherlands 4-3, and will face the victor of the US-Japan match.

The irony here is that Yadier Molina has been one of the stars of the tournament for Puerto Rico. Alas, 11 years and zero championships later, it's team US playing the role of underdog as they defeated two time champion Japan 2-1 to advance to their very first WBC final, thanks in large part to their stellar pitching. It was a deserved win. His stay in Spokane was brief - one game, to be exact. "I hope they say yes". "We've had crowds that not only were record-number crowds, but had passion that it's hard to think where you saw something that good the last time", he said. There was plenty of that to be had on a soggy Tuesday night in LA, as both team's brought their best to the mound, albeit using very different strategies.

In 2013, Stroman tweeted that he was going to play for Puerto Rico, where his mother was born.

The 2006 US team that featured legends like Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Chipper Jones, Ken Griffey Jr. and Roger Clemens went 3-3 and lost in the second round.

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