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    SportsUrías leads Mexico past Puerto Rico, faces Japan in WBC semifinals – Sportsnet.ca

    Urías leads Mexico past Puerto Rico, faces Japan in WBC semifinals – Sportsnet.ca

    Urías leads Mexico past Puerto Rico, faces Japan in WBC semifinals – Sportsnet.ca


    March 17, 2023, 11:14 p.m.

    MIAMI (AP) — Luis Urías hit a go-ahead single in a three-run seventh inning that gave Mexico a 5-4 comeback victory over Puerto Rico to advance to its first World Baseball Classic semifinal.

    Mexico will face Shohei Ohtani and Japan in the semifinals on Monday. Puerto Rico failed to advance to the second round for the first time.

    “What game. I don’t have the cap, but if I did, I would give it to Puerto Rico,” said Mexico coach Benji Gil. “We fought until the end. Thank God we were able to come out with the victory against a great team.

    Pitcher Alexis Diaz, who had previously homered, drove in Austin Barnes and Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Randy Arosarena to tie the game at 4.

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    Puerto Rico tried to rally in the ninth with singles by Christian Vázquez and Francisco Lindor, but reliever Giovanni Gallegos bailed out to make the save.

    Arosarena saved a potential tying run in the eighth when he made a jumping catch over the wall in left center.

    “We know what kind of player Randy is. He is a great player. He killed us,” Puerto Rico manager Yadier Molina said. “We couldn’t score. But they played well. We started very strong, but then the Mexican pitching made some changes and put us to zero.

    Puerto Rico was coming off an emotional quarterfinal win over the Dominican Republic on Wednesday when New York Mets star closer Edwin Díaz tore the patellar tendon in his right knee while celebrating the win. A sellout crowd of 35,817 at Lone Depot Park in Miami cheered as Diaz’s jersey appeared on the Jumbotron.

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    Javier Báez and Eddie Rosario scored four runs off Mexican starter Julio Urias in the first inning.

    Rosario hit his second home run of the game. Pace, in one of his best games of the event, had three hits, giving him a total of seven.

    “We had a very difficult start to the game, but we know the team we have and how united we are,” said Paredes. “With several tickets remaining, we responded in zero time.”

    [brightcove videoID=6322787128112 playerID=JCdte3tMv height=360 width=640]

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    Urías allowed five hits and four runs and struck out four before being pitched after the fourth inning on 60 pitches, 20 shy of the WBC quarterfinal pitch limit of 80.

    Jojo Romero wins.

    When Paredes homered off Marcus Stroman, Paredes made it 4-1, one of five for Mexico.

    Stroman allowed three singles in the fifth, one of which made it 4-2 Mexico. He went 4 1-3 innings with two strikeouts.

    [brightcove videoID=6322779598112 playerID=JCdte3tMv height=360 width=640]

    Puerto Rico finished second in the last two WBCs. Prior to this game, their pitchers put in an all-time eight perfect innings performance against Israel in pool play.

    Mexico won Pool C 3-1 in pool play.

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